Port Macquarie student Thomas Crundwell has crunched the numbers and finished second in national finance tournament, the Suncorp ESSI Money Challenge.
The St Columba Anglican School year 10 student placed second in the age 12 to 15 category of the online commerce competition from August 26 to September 6.
The challenge runs for two weeks each year with 5600 students competing against each other in a virtual reality financial literacy game.
Students are added to a national leader board as they use lifelike actions such as earning, saving, spending and investing to amass the most money.
"During the competition you try and find the best strategy, work on your money and investment knowledge," he said.
"It's a very quick game compared to real life but I definitely think the concepts in the game that you learn would be useful in real life.
"It's all about making sure you think about your decisions wisely. This could mean the difference between taking out a credit card when you may be better off saving up the money by not accruing interest."
During the game students can improve their net worth by applying for jobs, planning a career path, managing wages or living expenses, managing banking accounts, setting investment goals and managing superannuation.
"I found that not investing my money was the best strategy because there was too much risk. I couldn't predict what would happen when it was invested," he said.
"Instead I opted to try and get the best job in the quickest amount of time. That meant making sure to get the best income job based on what was needed for it.
Mr Crundwell decided upon taking the virtual career of a National Parks site supervisor with safe investments in banking to produce a final value of more than $41,067 in savings.
The highest score was $41,944 and third place was $41,042 in the competition.
"The leaderboard is based on how much money you have at the end of the competition so I tried to get a good job as early as possible," he said.
"Once I had the job I could bank that higher pay cheque throughout the remainder of the time to store up as much money as I could and stay at the top of the leaderboard.
"It's a little bit ironic (that I did so well by not investing) although I did invest by putting money in the bank, which is very low risk and you get interest from that.
"ESSI stands for earning, saving, spending and investing so there are other aspects than just investing."
The competition encourages use of mathematics, personal development, economics and business.
Students also completed a financial literacy quiz at the end of the game.
Mr Crundwell was rewarded with a $1000 cash deposit into a personal Suncorp Bank Kids account as a prize for his efforts.
"I think I'm just going to just save it," he laughed.
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