Summary: High school graduates are a target audience for many products and services. This lesson provides general guidelines for you about reading and understanding contracts and agreements before signing on the dotted line.

By signing a contract, the law assumes it has been read, understood and agreed upon. During this week, you will choose products/services you will use during Budget Challenge. Vendor selections may be changed until 9 p.m. on February 9th. Once the simulation begins, the choices made on the vendor selections tabs represent contracts entered into by you.

Four important tips to follow before signing a contract:

  1. Read ENTIRE contract before signing, even fine print. Ask questions when you do not understand.
  2. Contracts are binding on both sides. Find out any start-up costs and penalties.
  3. Some contracts contain a warranty. Understand what is covered.
  4. Be sure to keep a complete and accurate signed copy of the contract for your records.

Navigation Tip #1: Make thoughtful product/service choices by reading the information on Student Home>Vendor Selections and Student Home>Info packet. Ask questions when you do not understand. Budget Challenge provides a Knowledge Base of FAQs located below the help desk form. If the information needed is not in the vendor tabs, info packet or knowledge base, questions may be submitted using the Help Desk form.

Navigation Tip #2: Plan payments as agreed upon in the contract. Vendor contracts in Budget Challenge are binding agreements. Failure to pay the full amount due results in fees and penalties. Note:

  1. Only the credit card allows a minimum payment.
  2. Insurance agreements require premium payments by the due date; otherwise, the insurance company does not have to provide coverage.
  3. Start-up costs may result in the first bill being higher than subsequent bills.

Navigation Tip #3: When a contract includes a warranty, it is important to know the coverage, effective dates and associated costs. In the simulation, one type of event may affect the cellphone. Two cellphone options are offered:

  1. one with a warranty $10 usage charge
  2. one cheaper plan with no warranty.

Navigation Tip #4: After the simulation starts, you may access vendor contract details on Student Home>Vendor Selections to verify the accuracy of your bills. This view is read-only once the simulation starts. 401(k) details are managed on Student Home> 401(k) page.


  1. Contract: A formal and legally binding agreement between at least two parties.
  2. Binding: An obligation by both parties to a contract.
  3. Warranty: Written guarantee, issued to the purchaser of an item by the manufacturer, promising to repair or replace the item if necessary within a specified period of time.

Did you know: Failure to fulfill a contract can cause financial loss and affect your credit score.

You can use the lessons learned from this activity to make your selection for the cellphone plan on Student Home>Vendor Selections. Remember that you must finish making vendor selections for ALL of the tabs by 9 p.m. on February 9th to begin the simulation to be eligible for prizing.

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