When I married my wonderful husband, I also said “I do” to his debt. As a high school teacher and baseball coach, the majority of Zach’s spending was in support of his students and players: pizza parties on test days, new bats, tournament entry fees. I scored a fantastic man, but he came with some financial baggage fo’ sho’!
And because research suggests financial problems are the #1 cause of a cold marital bed, we had to have ourselves a conversation about stuff like financial planning and term life insurance quotes real quick. Lemme tell ya, rubbing two pennies together isn’t as sexy as it sounds.
As husband and wife, we knew the conversation was important to our relationship and future family. As educators, we realized financial intelligence isn’t innate; it must be taught. So we decided if there was anything we could do to help the next generation of married couples become financial planning pros, it was to teach them. Here’s how our plan works, in six easy steps:
1. START YOUNG: School-age teens will be exposed to financial planning when teachers register their classes to participate in the H&R Block Budget Challenge by clicking HERE.
2. PRACTICE: Students will learn how to budget their money, pay bills, and generally make responsible financial decisions as a result of partaking in The Challenge. Both teachers and students appreciate the opportunity to connect over real-life scenarios while earning their school some serious cash-money in the form of classroom grants and scholarships: a total of $3 million, to be exact, in addition to a $1,000,000 grand prize scholarship.
3. PREPARATION: These fiscally disciplined guys and gals graduate from high school with knowledge and experience that students who didn’t participate in The Challenge are missing. This means they effectively manage their money right off the bat, instead of wasting away the first couple years of “oooh look at all this cash!”, also known as their first real paychecks.
4. IMMEDIATE BENEFITS: Our budget-savvy scholars have a proverbial leg up, quickly working their way up the corporate ladder, while their non-H&R Block Budget Challenge counterparts bring them coffee and pick up their dry cleaning. By allocating menial tasks, our Challenge participants have more time for important things: love.
5. REAL-WORLD SUCCESS: The skills honed during the Budget Challenge prove useful in and out of the office; our budget-savvy students’ problem-solving and decision-making expertise come in handy in their personal lives, too. Because The Challenge has given couples financial peace of mind, husband and wife never argue over money, the #1 contributor to failed marriages. While H&R Block can’t guarantee Mother-in-Laws won’t call 13 times a day, or that husbands won’t continue to be plagued by selective hearing, The Budget Challenge will, in fact, save marriages.*
6. MARRIAGE SAVING ADVICE: *Okay, it’s a bit of a stretch, but the sooner kids learn how to manage their moola, the better. So if you’re a teacher, sign up NOW because it’s worth it. Don’t believe me, check out what other teachers who have participated in The H&R Block Budget Challenge have to say:
My kids love this challenge. Everyday they are engaged and want to learn more about personal finance—and, more importantly, they are becoming more financially literate.
I must thank you for the wonderful resource this simulation is and how useful I’m sure it is going to be for their future financial success. They are checking on their status in class all the time, even when it isn’t our scheduled activity. Those who have downloaded the app have found it incredibly useful and convenient as well.
My Juniors and Seniors do this for a Project grade every Wed. and Fri. We have a good time with this “bonding” experience and there is great laughter as well as dread when they have late fees! I really appreciate the people who put this challenge together. It is wonderful to witness them learning about “real life”!
The Personal Finance teachers at our school have incorporated this simulation into our daily class procedures. The students (and teachers) love the real-world components and valuable lessons to be learned. We are very grateful to have this free resource to help students better understand financial responsibility.
I am so thankful that you guys have put together such a wonderful curriculum for teens. Every time I am out and someone asks what I do and I tell them I teach financial literacy to teenagers they all say “I wish they had that class when I was growing up.” Thank you for everything you do!
This is sponsored post, but I’m a teacher and a happily married person and fully support the budget challenge!