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By Dave Buten, Budget Challenge

Budget Challenge teaches students to learn to manage the finances of an independent young adult by actually managing the finances of an independent young adult in real-time for 10 weeks.  The patented simulation provides each student with live checking, savings, 401(k), credit card and vendor accounts in an online financial ecosystem where they learn by doing. In addition, Budget Challenge’s highly engaging completely online format makes it perfect for in-person, hybrid, or full remote learning. ELL/ESL students will appreciate the translation and speech-to-text capability, and advanced teacher tools makes it easy to identify struggling learners and provide them with the help they need.


Moving Financial Literacy Forward

Budget Challenge is a complete financial literacy solution that uses a highly-engaging patented simulation. It has been successfully used by over 850,000 students and 10,000 teachers in all fifty states. Budget Challenge includes teaching tools that include:

  • 2021 Comprehensive 17 chapter companion e-textbook including chapters on the next steps after high school and paying for college.
  • Student trophies for demonstrating key financial behaviors such as paying down debt, managing a credit card, building credit, establishing an emergency fund, and saving for retirement.
  • 401(k) investment tracker with optional live trading and additional investing trophies.
  • Planning guide with teaching suggestions, and chapter question answer keys for each chapter.
  • Parent engagement emails for each chapter with discussion suggestions to extend the learning.
  • Expanded video library to support learning of key concepts.
  • Student Bill Pay app to simulate banking the way Gen-Z uses technology.
  • Self-scoring authentic assessments of key financial behaviors provide immediate feedback to students and assessment data for teachers.
  • Self-scoring chapter quizzes and customizable quiz scheduling.
  • New professional development tools and live webinars.
  • Simulations start every Thursday for the ultimate in scheduling flexibility.
  • No student personally identifiable information used or collected means absolute student privacy and protection.

Find us in the Jump$tart Clearinghouse!


What’s New

The Department of Education has provided Covid-19 relief dollars to K-12 schools in the form of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER Funds). These funds are designed to help schools deal with lost learning and purchase the technology and curriculum necessary to be better prepared to deliver instruction in hybrid or remote environments The total allocation to schools is over $190 billion or an average of $3700 per pupil! Budget Challenge is a 100% reimbursable expense using these funds. Learn more and find your district’s funding here. 

How about a game with the engagement and competitive scoring of a stock market game, but placed in the context of managing the complete finances of an independent young adult? A game that teaches about retirement investing and the importance of an employer match and tax advantaged accounts? How about a game that forces students to decide the tradeoffs inherent in a real budget? A game that rewards the behaviors and habits students really need to achieve long-term financial independence and security? Budget Challenge + Investing is that game.

Our teachers are the real experts when it comes to positively changing lives with our program. Read their stories at the Budget Challenge blog.

Sign up for a Free Teacher Account and watch the Action Tour video series to see and do the most important features only found in Budget Challenge.


Connect With Budget Challenge

Find us on Social at FacebookTwitter LinkedIn, and Youtube or at the Budget Challenge Website.

Tim Lambrecht, Director of Education


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Friday Five

Coalition Corner

Want to nominate someone for our 2022 Awards?  Odom Award, Innovation Award, Federal Leadership Award or State Coalition of the Year? The online nomination forms are here on our website, but the deadline is today, October 15, so act quickly!

We have a great exhibitor line up for the NEC in November! We still have some room to add more. If you want to share your organization and/or product with the country’s greatest teachers, contact Dan Hebert at

Congrats to Joey Running for winning a $100 gift card by reviewing resources in the Jump$tart Clearinghouse! Thank you for participating in our quarterly raffle!