Financial Literacy Challenge

South East Region

This page is for the South East Region challenge, welcoming schools from:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
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Returning Teachers and Students – Log In Register Here (Spring 2024)

For more information on how to register your school or organization to the Financial Literacy Challenge, please reach out to finlitsim@bofa.com

Are You Up For The Challenge?

In support of our community centered approach to enhance our clients’ financial education, Bank of America and StockTrak have partnered together to bring a financial literacy simulation to high schools and their students.

This simulation helps build strong money habits early, equipping participants with tools to avoid mistakes that lead to lifelong money struggles.

To further enhance the program, we are pleased to unveil the opportunity for both students and facilitators to win exciting rewards based on their active involvement and fulfillment of specific criteria. This is your chance to enhance your financial literacy skills, enjoy a captivating learning experience, and demonstrate your simulated triumph.

About The Simulation

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In the Financial Literacy Simulation, your students experience two different game modes. First, they will be college students with part-time jobs, and then half way through the game, they graduate and get their first full-time jobs. On top of experiencing the difference between sharing the cost of rent with roommates to living on their own and having larger bills; they will see what it feels like to suddenly have health insurance and student loan bills to pay.

Students must learn how to balance their savings goals with their fixed and variable (unexpected) expenses.

The main objectives of the game are to build an emergency savings fund, setting and keeping a savings goal, build your credit score while maintain a healthy quality of life.

How the Budget Game Works

playing the budget game

Playing the Game

Students progress through the game by rolling a die. At the end of each roll, a random life event pops up where students must choose how they will respond. Over time their choices impact the events that happen, offering a unique experience for every student.

At the start of each month, students are shown how much income they expect to earn, see all their fixed expenses and set aside money for unexpected expenses and emergencies and set a savings goal for that month. When they achieve that goal before month’s end, they earn bonus points.

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Decisions Matter

Students make decisions throughout the game.

  • “How much rent do I want to pay?”
  • “Should I invest in a cheap backpack or a rugged one?”
  • “Should I hang-out with their friends this weekend, or study?”

Every decision has a long-term impact on how the game plays out.

Students who study a lot in school will start their full-time job with a higher salary. Students who take care of household chores save money on their groceries by clipping coupons. These impactful decisions are the basis for how the Simulation experientially teaches students how to responsibly manage their life.

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Progress Reports

Teachers can review student progress from accessing every student’s checking and savings bank statements, and their credit card statements. Teachers can see the bonus points they’ve earned from hitting their savings goals and the grades they earned in their lessons.

All actions students perform on the platform can be tracked so you have a full picture of how much they’re learning.

Integrated Lessons

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There are dozens of lessons in the Financial Literacy Challenge to help students understand how to navigate their life, as the events in the game mirror back to real life.

Topics include:

  • How to distinguish between needs vs wants?
  • How to file your income taxes?
  • How to fill-out a check?
  • What are common banking fees?
  • And more!

As students complete lessons and achieve milestones in the game, they earn badges and students who complete all the lessons and all the months in the Budget Game will earn their Financial Literacy Certification.

How Students Are Assessed

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Savings Goals

Students earn the most points by quickly saving up an Emergency Savings Fund of $1,000. Then consistently saving 10% of their monthly income and replenishing their savings whenever they use these funds for costly life events, (like the axle breaking on their car).

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Credit Score

Students earn points by building up their Credit Score through responsibly using their credit cards. This also increases their Credit Limit. They will see first hand what happens when they keep a balance on their credit cards, and how expensive it is to incur late fees!

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Quality of Life

After building their emergency fund and hitting their monthly savings goals, students also earn points by focusing on their Quality of Life. This keeps the students from just saving all their money and not taking care of themselves.

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Net Worth

Net Worth is not counted as part of the overall game score, but it can be a powerful motivator! Students can see the Net Worth of other students from the ranking page, which gets them thinking about how much money they’re spending.

Pay Yourself First!

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The key takeaway of the Budget Game is the Pay Yourself First savings strategy.

Students with the highest overall scores will have a minimum of $1,000 in their savings account, and will continue to save 10% of each paycheck as soon as they earn it.

If they do have a sudden cash shortfall they responsibly use their credit card instead of withdrawing from savings to make sure every bill is paid on-time. Then they pay-off their credit card balance to ensure their credit score continuously grows.

If students are struggling to pay their bills and keep their credit balance low, it’s time to re-evaluate their spending habits!