Personal Finance (FBLA)

Category: Objective Test
Type: Individual


60-minute test administered during the NLC.

Objective Test Competencies: Financial Principles Related to Personal Decision Making; Managing Budgets and Finance (Planning and Money Management); Earning a Living (Income, Taxes); Buying Goods and Services; Saving and Investing; Banking and Insurance; Credit and Debt

Skills: This event recognizes students, who possess essential knowledge and skills related to financial issues, can analyze the rights and responsibilities of consumers, and apply knowledge to financial situations.


Objective Test

Objective Test Guidelines

  • No materials may be brought to the testing site.
  • Electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight.
  • No calculators may be brought into the testing site; calculators will be provided.
  • Bring a writing instrument.

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid FBLA national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 1 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit four (4) entries in all events except LifeSmarts, Virtual Business Finance Challenge, and Virtual Business Management Challenge.
  • Each competitor can only compete in one (1) individual/ team event and one (1) chapter event.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.
  • All members of a team must consist of individuals from the same chapter.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the national level unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (American Enterprise Project, Community Service Project, and Partnership with Business Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (American Enterprise Project, Community Service Project, Local Chapter Annual Business Report, and Partnership with Business Project).

Additional Materials

Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Sample Practice Materials

Format Guide

Website Resources
Financial Principles Related to Personal Decision Making
1. Evaluate how decisions made at one stage of your life can affect your options at other stages.
2. Find and evaluate financial information from a variety of sources.
3. Identify major consumer protection laws.
4. Make financial decisions by systematically considering alternatives and consequences.
5. Develop communication strategies for discussing financial issues.
6. Control and secure personal information.
7. Describe how wise financial planning can help you achieve your goals.
8. Predict the effects of financial planning on specific situations.
9. Define money (characteristics, role, and forms) and trace how money and resources flow through the American economic system.
10. Define basic economic concepts (such as supply and demand; production, distribution, and consumption; labor, wages, and capital; inflation and deflation).
Managing Budgets and Finance (Planning and Money Management)
1. Determine short- and long-term goals.
2. Develop and implement a personal financial plan for earning, spending, saving, and investing.
3. Develop a system for keeping and using financial records.
4. Track income and spending to analyze and prepare a budget and make adjustments.
5. Describe the effect of different payment methods—cash, credit, installment loans, mortgages, debit cards, checks or online deposits, transfers and payments on the budget and financial plan.
6. Identify some of the serious problems that can arise when you don’t plan your finances or implement your financial plan.
7. Use financial management software to prepare a budget, track income and expenses, and project taxes.
Earning a Living (Income, Taxes)
1. Identify components and sources of personal income.
2. Describe how the demand for certain skills helps determine the amount you will be paid.
3. Identify the effects of employment on financial security.
4. Relate employee benefits to disposable income.
5. Compute gross earnings and describe factors affecting take-home pay.
6. Calculate mandatory and voluntary deductions to get net pay.
7. Compare various employee benefits and retirement programs.
8. Identify various types of taxes that relate to income.
9. Summarize guidelines for reporting taxes.
10. Define exemptions, dependents, and taxable and nontaxable income.
11. Prepare tax forms such as 1040EZ, 1040A using a aW2 form and a 1099 interest form, W-4, and I-9 forms.
12. Compute taxes using a tax table and other appropriate information.
13. Describe the differences in various types of employment. (i.e., flextime, job sharing, telecommuting, full- and parttime, piece work)
Buying Goods and Services
1. Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of renting versus purchasing property such as a home, auto, and equipment.
2. Calculate costs involved in purchasing and maintaining a vehicle and a home and the methods of figuring depreciation.
3. Determine spending patterns based on a review of financial records.
4. Evaluate information about products and services such as warranties, clearance items, and consumer reports.
5. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of alternative payment types—credit, cash, loans, etc.
6. Describe the rights and responsibilities of buyers and sellers under consumer protection laws.
Saving and Investing
1. Define investment terms including risk management, yields, and rate of return.
2. Explain how investing and saving builds wealth and helps meet financial goals.
3. Distinguish between short- and long-term savings goals.
4. Determine saving options and the need for and the purpose of savings.
5. Evaluate investment alternatives and sources of investment information and prepare a personal investment strategy.
6. List types and methods of savings.
7. Compare and choose among saving and investment options such as stocks, bonds, CDs, and 401K savings plans.
8. Describe how to buy and sell investments.
9. Track various stocks over a period of time.
10. Compute the anticipated rate of return on specific investments and savings accounts using various factors such as simple or compound interest, dividends, fees, etc.
11. Explain how taxes affect the rate of return on investments.
12. Demonstrate how to evaluate advisors’ credentials and how to select professional advisors and their services.
13. Investigate how agencies that regulate financial markets protect investors.
Banking and Insurance
1. Identify common types of risks and basic risk management methods.
2. Identify the purpose, importance, and major characteristics of property and liability insurance protection.
3. Identify the purpose, importance, and major characteristics of health, disability and life insurance protection.
4. Evaluate how insurance (e.g., auto, home, life, medical, and long-term health) and other risk management strategies protect against financial loss.
5. Compute the costs and benefits of specific insurance plans.
6. Predict how personal factors affect insurance needs and costs.
7. Compare different types of banking options such as credit unions and other banks.
8. Identify the types of banking services and their costs for meeting various needs.
9. Write a check and prepare deposits and withdrawal slips.
10. Maintain a check register including proper procedures for ATM and automatic payment withdrawals.
11. Reconcile a bank statement.
12. Explain the advantages and security issues with online banking and bill payment.
Credit and Debt
1. Identify the costs, benefits, and sources of various types of credit.
2. Give the advantages and disadvantages of using credit in specific situations.
3. Explain the purpose of a credit record and identify borrowers’ credit report rights
4. Develop and use personal debt-reduction strategies to manage and avoid or correct debt problems.
5. Identify major consumer credit laws.
6. Reconcile a credit card statement and analyze finance charges.
7. Evaluate the terms and conditions of credit offers and make recommendations based on the analysis.
8. Evaluate the concept of creditworthiness as it relates to credit records, credit ratings, credit reports, and credit laws.
9. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of bankruptcy.
10. Compare the terms and rates of mortgage agreements.
11. Demonstrate awareness of consumer protection and information (identify theft, phishing, scams, etc.).
12. Complete credit forms and loan applications.
13. Compare the costs of a purchase if paid with cash, credit cards, charge accounts, and installment loans.
14. Evaluate various personal and economic factors that influence the availability of credit.
15. Describe the responsibilities of the consumer to the creditor in terms of handling credit as a responsible consumer.


Career Clusters
  • Business Management & Administration
  • Finance


States may submit up to 4 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 1.


Test: 1 hour