H&R Block

Budget Challenge

Registration Information

Frequently Asked Questions

The H&R Block Budget Challenge is an online game that helps teens increase their financial fitness by simulating real life as an adult: paying bills, managing expenses, saving money, investing in retirement, paying taxes and more. Participants play within a classroom and compete against classrooms and students nationwide to win college scholarships.
The H&R Block Budget Challenge is FREE to all teachers and their students. H&R Block has invested more than $13 million dollars in Budget Challenge since its inception.
Budget Challenge is open to students 14 years of age or older, enrolled full-time in grades 9 through 12. Teachers must register classrooms to play Budget Challenge. Students may play one simulation per semester (Fall and Spring) but are only eligible for a scholarship on their first attempt. Home school students may play one simulation per school year. The program is available to 200,000 students for the 2017-18 school year.
Budget Challenge is open to accredited public and private high schools as well as home study programs.
Teachers simply visit hrbds.org to begin the classroom registration process. Class creation closes one week before the simulation start date, so be sure to sign up before it’s too late.
Budget Challenge is limited to students playing in a classroom registered by a teacher. Students and parents: be sure to tell teachers to enroll your class for the chance to win a college scholarship to put towards your future.
No, teachers who participated in 2016-2017 can use their existing teacher account to participate in 2017-2018 by logging into hrblock.budgetchallenge.com. First-time teachers may register at hrbds.org. Students can register at hrblock.budgetchallenge.com once they receive a class code from their teacher.
Think of Budget Challenge as a road test to personal finance. Students are in the drivers’ seat as they immerse into the financial life of a recent college graduate who has been working for about six months. Each student gets a regular paycheck, a checking account, a 401(k) savings account and bills to pay throughout the simulation. By maximizing 401(k) savings, paying bills on time and responding correctly to quiz questions while avoiding fees and penalties, students increase their individual score.
It’s Budget Challenge’s mission to help get students Real-World Ready and tackle financial life as an adult. If students can demonstrate the target levels of Behavior, Knowledge and Skill in the simulation then they are ready to manage their own personal finances in the real world. At the end of each semester (Fall 3 simulation period and Spring 3 semester period), the five students with the highest overall Real-World Ready scores receive a $20,000 scholarship. That’s a lot of dough that can be put towards tuition, books and more at any four-year accredited university.


BEHAVIOR: Out of a 100% possible engagement score, calculated by login frequency, frequency of late bill payments and quiz participation.

KNOWLEDGE: Out of a 100% total quiz score, calculated by how well students answer important financial questions.

SKILL: Based on a possible 200% simulation score, calculated by how well the student saves, avoids late fees and performs on quizzes.

The winner is determined by the highest overall percentage out of a possible 400%. Students can see their Real-World Ready ranking from the Student Login tab on their home page.