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Learning money skills virtually can be profitable

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Before you get out in the real world some simulation is a good thing, and money skills definitely benefit from some painless, consequence-less practice.

For the past 17 years, the non-profit Financial Basics Foundation has been providing free financial literacy programs to students in Australian secondary schools and has now put the call out to teachers to register their classes to enter the 2019 Suncorp ESSI Money Challenge.

The annual money management competition for students teaches them valuable lessons on how to earn, save, spend and invest and potential scams to look out for through its real world simulation.

In addition to bragging rights, the winning schools and students have a chance to win up to $1500 for themselves and their school.

Financial Basics Foundation CEO Katrina Birch said the free program was open to secondary students throughout Australia.

“So many of our money transactions are done online or digitally now, it’s not unusual for peopleto go weeks without any actual real cash in their pocket,” Birch said.

“This can make it harder for young people to keep track of what they are spending and where their money is going.

“In today’s click and spend world, it’s important that we educate young people on how to make smart financial decisions.”

Since 2017, more than 37,000 students have played the ESSI Money financial literacy game.

Students enter a virtual world where they can safely put their money management skills to the test including what it is like to earn a wage, budget, invest in shares and even be scammed

How to join in the ESSI Money Challenge
• Teachers must register their students to compete in the Challenge
• Register for free at from 5 August
• Challenge runs from Monday 26 August - Friday 6 September

• Three highest scoring students win prizes ranging from $1500 - $750
• Two winning schools win $1500 each.
• 16 students win a $250 Suncorp EFTPOS gift


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