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Finance Challenge 2nd Place Winners


Four Arnold senior girls participated in the second round of the Nebraska High School Finance Challenge. Brooke Blowers, Racheal Smith, Grace Magill and Claire Beshaler competed in this regional competition on Saturday April 18th placing second by only one percentage point. The winning team, Alliance Team 1, won with a score of 93% and Arnold placed second with a score of 92%.

The girls were given two hours to analyze a very in-depth case study describing a family’s financial situation. Their goal was “to give the family sound advice for their future based on their knowledge of financially sound practices.” Their task was to create a powerpoint presentation that would present to a panel of 3 judges that was no less than 5 minutes and not over 10 minutes. They were to create a “budget and expense sheet… with their recommendations in regard to debt, savings goals, insurance, and taxes.”

Their presentation went very well. You could really tell that the study materials Ms. Meyer used with the senior class, the Dave Ramsey materials, really paid off. They knew what they were talking about and they could answer the judges’ questions. The girls spent several hours on Friday night re-watching some of the Dave Ramsey videos and watching some of them that they didn’t get to in class yet. Then, on the way to Kearney they also studied from the workbook. “Without that information we would have been at a disadvantage,” said Racheal Smith.

As Mrs. Badgley was walking out the door one of the judges commented that they “were well versed.”
In their presentation, they told the family what they did well. The family did a good job with insurance needs, but girls made recommendations to change some of that also. One of the first things they noticed was that family should have had a 15 year mortgage instead of a 20 year mortgage and ti would have saved them so much money in the long run. They made an immediate recommendation to refinance to get a lower percentage rate.

They also recommended that the family use their income tax return money to immediately pay off their credit card debts which had really high percentage rates. They also discussed emergency funds, saving for college funds by using mutual funds instead of the stock market, and putting extra money into Roth IRA accounts for retirement.