Rithvik Panchapakesan, grade 9, was named an H&R Block Budget Challenge scholarship winner! Panchapakesan won the award for proving himself a personal finance master in the game of “life.” Students who participated in the challenge were given a virtual job, complete with a 401(k), credit card bills and student loans. They then had to successfully manage their paychecks for 10 weeks. Panchapakesan was in competition with thousands of students nationwide and was one of only 22 to receive the $20,000 scholarship.
“The most challenging part of the budget challenge was managing my credit card utilization rate,” said Panchapakesan. “The game deducted points from your score if you used more than 50 percent of your available credit. In the simulation, I had to overdraft multiple times, increasing my credit card balance. Therefore, I brainstormed different ways to decrease my balance and near the end of the simulation, purposely paid a deductible late in order to lose fewer points because I would lose more points if I over drafted from my credit card.”
“I think this challenge will help me manage my money in life because it brought the different issues of money management to my attention and allowed me to formulate and try out solutions to these problems, therefore increasing my knowledge about finance,” Panchapakesan finished. Great strategy, great appreciation of the value and a great win!