1. Login daily
  2. Pay bills on-time
  3. Adjust 401(k) contribution % and bank account type, as needed
  4. Read simulation communications via email, Dashboard Alert, and push notifications
  5. Maintain their CFS reconciled
  6. Take quizzes and surveys
  7. Review pay stubs and W-2
  8. Use the Student Quick Tips to help navigate the simulation and perform common tasks
  9. Use the Knowledge Base to answer questions about the game, scoring, website navigation, etc.


GOAL: Let’s be honest, life happens to all of us. Below are general guidelines on how to financially manage unexpected events.

  1. Five important tips to help teens financially prepare for unexpected events are:
    1. Create a budget that includes a cushion for large expenditures like deductibles or medical expenses.
    2. Decrease your exposure by purchasing healthcare, auto and renter’s/homeowners insurance.
    3. Consider investing in the warranty for certain goods.
    4. Read policies to understand coverage and total expected payments including deductibles.
    5. Be aware of your risk and plan for an unexpected event.
  2. We accept a certain level of risk in our lives as necessary to achieve certain benefits. In the H&R Block Budget Challenge, you are exposed to the real-life necessity of insurance and warranties to reduce risk. By purchasing these products, you are able to reduce the total “out of pocket” risk for a certain scenario.
  3. Navigation Tip #1: Review your budget, the CFS, you created when we first started the simulation.
    1. You should adjust the budget to account for known expenses, plan for unexpected events and to reconcile you bank account.
    2. You may change your 401(k) employee contribution to increase your net pay to help pay for unexpected events.
  4. Navigation Tip #2: Health insurance, car insurance and renter’s insurance are required for all participants in the game.
    1. You can reduce risk further by paying more for extended coverage or add-ons.
    2. With additional coverage you will pay higher premiums or fixed cost each period, but will have less risk due to lower deductibles.
    3. It’s important for you to pay premium bills in full and on time.
  5. Navigation Tip #3: You have the option to purchase an extended warranty on your cell phone.
    1. The warranty provides the you a $10 warranty usage charge in case of a damaged phone.
    2. If you go without the warranty you will have to pay the full cost to replace the phone should it be damaged.
  6. Navigation Tip #4: Know what your insurance policy covers BEFORE something happens.
    1. The Info Packet contains all the information for insurance policies and warranties: coverage, premiums and deductibles available in the simulation.
  7. Navigation Tip #5: Events that negatively impact personal finances can occur anytime.
    1. All students in the same simulation receive the same unexpected events at the same time.
    2. You will receive an email notification should an unexpected event occur.
    3. Some unexpected events have a separate bill (car accident, renter’s insurance) and some have additional charges on a routine bill (phone replacement).
  8. You will be surprised during the simulation with unexpected events and will need to adjust your budget and cashflow spreadsheet to account for the new scenario information.
    1. Policy– Contract between an insurance company and an individual.
    2. Premium – Amount of money an individual pays to have insurance coverage.
    3. Claim – Formal request for payment based on an insurance policy.
    4. Deductible – Amount of money the individual pays for the unexpected event before insurance or warranty will pay any money.
  10. DID YOU KNOW: A 16 year-old male increases the family auto insurance bill by an average of 92%, while a 16 year-old female increases the bill by about 67%.


  1. What are some common risks while driving? What are some of the things that we can do to minimize those risks?
  2. We can avoid distractions by changing our personal habits, but sometimes accidents are out of our control. We can help minimize risk by having insurance.
  3. What do you know about insurance? How can different stages of life require different types of insurance?
  4. Using the Student Glossary, look up various insurance types.
  5. How do you determine when you need each type of insurance?
  6. What would the consequences be if you didn’t have insurance?
  7. Why do you think insurance is important?
  8. Complete the Lesson #5 Student Activity: No one wants to get stuck in a tough situation without insurance. Read through the scenarios below and determine which type of insurance each person needs and why.
    1. Ethan’s got a new ride, complete with custom rims and leather interior. He’s excited to show it off to his friends, but he can’t drive until he gets insurance. What type of insurance does he need and why?
    2. Emma is revising her financial plan now that she has a baby. In case anything happens to her, she wants to know her daughter will be taken care of. What type of insurance does she need and why?
    3. Jackie is negotiating a job offer and wants to ensure she’s covered if she gets sick or injured. What type of insurance does she need and why?
    4. Logan decides he is ready to purchase his first home. He has saved up enough money to make a 20% down payment and plans to take out a mortgage from his bank to pay for the rest. In order to get a mortgage though, Logan’s lender is requiring him to get insurance. What type of insurance does Logan need and why?
    5. BONUS: If Logan puts less than 20% down, what other type of insurance will he need and why?
  9. What types of insurance do I need now and why? What types of insurance will I need later in life and why?


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