H&R Block Dollars & Sense National Financial Literacy Month + $50 Gift Card Giveaway


Update: And the winner is…Alicia K Livivua C.  I have sent the winner an e-mail, and he or she has 48 hours to respond with contact information or I’ll have to choose another winner.  Thanks to everyone who entered!

While I was growing up, my parents worked hard to teach my sister and I how to manage money.

Starting in kindergarten, we each received a small allowance, and we had to manage that money to buy any toys or do any extra activities (that they wouldn’t normally have paid for).  Plus, once we hit high school, my parents gave us a set amount of money for our clothing allowance.  We could choose to either blow that money on a few outfits or shop the clearance racks and stretch our money as far as it would go.  It was a great lesson in sticking to a budget.

I wanted more money than I got from my parents, so I worked a paper route in 6th through 8th grades, babysat, and worked in fast food in high school.  In my college years, I worked every summer and Christmas break as well as several steady babysitting jobs.  I learned a lot about working hard for my money.

Although I think my parents did a good job of teaching my sister and I about money, not everyone’s parents did that.  Did you know that 1/3 of parents are more comfortable talking with their kids about smoking, drugs and bullying than about money?

Because of that, H&R Block has funded H&R Block Dollars & Sense, which provides personal finance curriculum to high schools and scholarships to students nationwide, helping to further financial literacy in youth.


And since April is National Financial Literacy Month, they have teamed up with DoSomething.org to encourage young people to share stories about wacky things they have done to save money – and they can even win a scholarship by doing the following by April 30th:

  • Facebook App: Using the Craziest Thing I Did To Save Money Facebook app (dosomething.org/crazy), young people can upload photos, stories and advice to share with their friends and receive advice on smart ways to save money. Participants have the chance to win a $4,000 scholarship.
  • Mobile: By texting “WYR” to 38383, teens can weigh in on ridiculous ways to save money and receive more reasonable money-saving advice.
  • Toolkit: More than $30,000 in scholarships is up for grabs for young people who use the “Mind On My Money & Money On My Mind” toolkit to teach their friends about personal finance. The toolkit (dosomething.org/save) includes interactive activities, an online personal finance game and additional resources.

The H&R Block Dollars & Sense Team has some great tips for parents for teaching their children personal finance, including:

  • Prepare a budget and don’t spend more than you earn. While this may seem simple, more than half of adults don’t have a budget[i] and 4-in-10 families spend more than they earn each year[ii]. Encourage teens to prepare a budget that includes income from allowance or jobs, regular and expected expenses, and a savings plan. Each month, help them track their expenses and learn tips to stay on budget.
  • You must pay your bills on time. Defaulting on a loan can have dire consequences – and paying just a few bills late can have a big impact on one’s credit score. Yet, many young adults do not pay their bills on time each month. Teach your teen to be timely with bill payments by tackling the chore together around the same time each month. Getting teens in the habit of a monthly bill-pay day will pay off in the long term.
  • Before taking on debt, determine the cost to repay any loans. Two-thirds of students who graduate with bachelor’s degrees have student loans, with the average debt of about $27,000[iii]. During your child’s junior year of high school, develop a student loan plan with your teen. Consider how long he will be in school, discuss subsidized versus unsubsidized loans, and use online student loan calculators to estimate his monthly payment after graduation.
  • Big investments often come with unexpected costs. Homes, cars and other investments come along with a range of expenses that are unfamiliar to teens. If your teens have access to a vehicle, require they play a role in the auto’s payment, insurance and maintenance.
  • Save now and spend later. Studies have shown people spend up to 30 percent more on purchases when using credit cards instead of checks or cash[iv]. Rather than start with a credit card, have teens open a checking and savings account, then help them develop a savings plan for their next big purchase. Teens should save at least 30 percent of everything they make from allowance, jobs or gifts.
  • If you must use credit cards, pay in full each month. Nearly half of households carry a balance on their credit cards, with an average debt of more than $15,000[v]! If your teen takes out a card, help her set a realistic credit limit, then require she pay the balance in full each month. Be sure to discuss interest rates, default rates, annual fees and payment schedules.

Be sure to check out H&R Block Dollars & Sense and the H&R Block Dollars & Sense Facebook page for additional tips.

[i] National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc.
[ii] Federal Reserve
[iii] Federal Reserve Bank of New York
[iv] Consumer Credit Counseling Service
[v] Federal Reserve



H&R Block has offered to give one (1) lucky reader a $50 Emerald Card (a prepaid Mastercard).

You must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. resident to win.


1.  What is the craziest thing you ever did to save money?  Leave a comment on this post with your answer.


1. Follow “Cents”able Momma on a reader or via e-mail updates and leave a comment on this post.

2. Follow “Cents”able Momma through Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment on this post.

3. Follow H&R Block Dollars & Sense through Facebook and leave a comment on this post.

You have until Tuesday (4/30) at 11:59 pm ET to enter the giveaway. I will choose a winner at random using the “And the Winner Is…” plugin, and send the winner an e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond with his/her contact information or I will have to choose another winner.  After the giveaway is over, I will update the winner’s information (first name and last initial) on the top of this post.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of H&R Block.  H&R Block is providing the gift card for the winner.


  1. Lisa Brown says:

    Well, nothing crazy, but did have to reduce eating and grocery buying for some time to pay bills. Still have to do it today, unfortunately.

  2. Lisa Brown says:

    email subscriber with email: jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  3. Lisa Brown says:

    Following “Cents”able Momma through Facebook as Lisa Brown
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  4. Kelly D says:

    There was a promotion several years back in which if you found a better hotel deal than was advertised on their site you could get the stay for free. The catch was you could only book one hotel at a time. I took a 5 day vacation with my mom and switched hotels every day to get the deal.

  5. Kelly D says:

    I subscribe to your email under kellywcuATyahooDOTcom

  6. Kelly D says:

    I Follow you on twitter(Kellydpa)

  7. Thabal says:

    Well, we have never done anything crazy so far. However, we live within our means. Save a portion and spend the later for mortgage and regular living expenses.

  8. Candice says:

    I think I have been a little ‘crazy’ stocking up on good sales. I remember buying 20 jars of salsa at once because it was cheap, and we eat it a lot.

  9. Thabal says:

    RSS Subscriber of your blog.

  10. Candice says:

    I am an email subscriber. Thanks!

  11. Candice says:

    I like you on Facebook.

  12. Candice says:

    I like H&R Block Dollars & Sense on Facebook.

  13. Thabal says:

    Follow you on twitter: (at) thabal628

  14. Melissa A. says:

    I had 1.oo off a gallon at Safeway, but didn’t have room in my tank for the full 25 gallons that you can get at that price, so I filled up a gas can to take advantage of the rest.

  15. Melissa A. says:

    I subscribe to your emails

  16. Melissa A. says:

    I like you on Facebook

  17. Elena says:

    Some time ago I was walking everywhere instead of driving to save money on gas

  18. Elena says:

    I like you on Facebook (Elena Istomina)

  19. Elena says:

    I like HR Block Dollars & Sense on facebook (Elena Istomina)

  20. Elena says:

    I subscribe to your emails

  21. Jessie C. says:

    Shop on Black Friday.

  22. Jessie C. says:

    I am a subscriber

  23. Jessie C. says:

    Follow “Cents”able Momma through Facebook

  24. Jessie C. says:

    Follow H&R Block Dollars & Sense through Facebook

  25. Lina says:

    Probably waiting in line during Black Friday for 3 Hours

  26. Lina says:

    Subscribe in a reader

  27. Lina says:

    I follow you on twitter @lkim496

  28. Rebecca Marion says:

    I’m not proud of it, but I did go dumpster diving behind a fancy shmancy bakery in our hometown for cookies to give out at our church fall festival. They always had boxes and boxes of unopened, fancy cakes and pastries back there every day that were perfectly edible and really pretty!

  29. Rebecca Marion says:

    Email subscriber

  30. Rebecca Marion says:

    I like you on facebook as Rebecca Lynn Marion

  31. Rebecca Marion says:

    Follow H&R Blocks dollars and sense on facebook

  32. Christy Anderson says:

    I have picked up things on the side of the road to save money.

  33. Christy Anderson says:

    I’m an email subscriber!

  34. Christy Anderson says:

    I like Centsable Momma on facebook!

  35. Christy Anderson says:

    I liked H&R Block on facebook!

  36. Vicki Wurgler says:

    nothing too crazy my husband likes jelly so I will take those little packets at cafes plus tea bags. I also rinse out and reuse my ziplock bags

  37. Vicki Wurgler says:

    e-mail subscriber

  38. Caroline B says:

    I think the craziest thing that I have ever done is to shop CVS for the money making deals and shop target for their clearance deals, so not so crazy.

  39. nannypanpan says:

    i pretty much lived off of spaghetti o’s during college..wasn’t good for the diet

  40. nannypanpan says:


  41. Michele P says:

    other than borrowing from Peter to pay Paul… just to get by, I would go dumpster diving for coupons at the local recycling plant and also check out the dumpsters behind stores for goods after seeing other people get really good merchandise finds… unfortunately after slipping & falling in one lol…not doing that again!

    • Michele P says:

      let me say that was when I was young and foolish, I’d never be able to climb into a dumpster now!

  42. Michele P says:

    following in google reader

  43. Michele P says:

    I follow you on FB as Michele Pineda

  44. Theresa S says:

    I was so determined to keep my student loans to a minimum while in college and my scholarships didn’t nearly cover my tuition, room, and board…so I worked part-time as a bank teller, directed traffic for campus police during special events, typed papers for other students, babysat for children of several professors, and worked as a dorm monitor in the women’s dorms…and continued to make the dean’s list.

  45. Theresa S says:

    I receive “Cents”able Momma emails.

  46. Theresa S says:

    I follow you on Twitter. @mdgirlabouttown

  47. Amy C. says:

    The craziest thing I did lately to save money was have my husband cut my hair for me. It was crazy, but turned out just fine thankfully! 🙂

  48. Amy C. says:

    I follow “Cents”able Momma via e-mail updates!

  49. Amy C. says:

    I follow “Cents”able Momma through Facebook!

  50. Amy C. says:

    I follow “Cents”able Momma through Twitter (@Midwestchick27)!

  51. Amy C. says:

    I follow H&R Block Dollars & Sense through Facebook!

  52. Livivua Chandler says:

    Not that crazy but to a lot a people around me it was couponing!

  53. i ate hormel meals for $1 to save money on groceries

  54. i follow in a reader (feedly)

  55. i like you on Facebook

  56. i follow you on twitter @pixystik4u

  57. i like H&R on Facebook

  58. Toni Proper says:

    I save change in a jar and then roll it and hide it for a “rainy day” or new video game for mom

  59. Jessica To says:

    I went thru the self check-out at the grocery store 3 times in a row so that I could use a coupon to be doubled on each order!

  60. Jessica To says:

    I follow Centsable Momma on facebook.

  61. Tara Liebing says:

    I sat in line for 6 hours just to get a laptop for really cheap.

  62. Tara Liebing says:

    I follow you via email updates

  63. Tara Liebing says:

    I follow you on facebook

  64. Kathryn Young says:

    A wonderful college date: water in a canteen, packages of hot cocoa mix, a camp stove, and a tarp: hot cocoa in the middle of the archery field on a warm summer night under the stars! No car, no money, but no lack of safe fun.

  65. amber says:

    i don’t know if it’s crazy but i’ve taken napkins and condimetns from fast food places more than i needed and used at home, that’s really stealing

  66. amber says:

    i get your email updates

  67. amber says:

    follow u on twitter as Callie1981

  68. Lori S says:

    I dive in garbages all the time to save money.


  69. Lori S says:

    Email subscriber


  70. Lori S says:

    Facebook fan


  71. Sarah Hall says:

    I collected aluminum cans and put all the money in a jar for a special purchase.

  72. Cori Bloom says:

    I walk 3 miles to work and home every day!

  73. Cori Bloom says:

    I follow Centsable Momma on facebook.

  74. Joyce Kliewer says:

    I have gone to so many stores for specials with coupons that I was too tired to carry things in, but I have a good husband.

  75. Misty Nicholas says:

    The craziest thing I do to save money is go to the local rivers to dig up my “house”plants. 🙂

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