Choose a job, and play through the month. How did your choice impact your month? [+1]
Where did you choose to live? Why, and what are the benefits and costs of that choice? [+2]
What were some extra ways you made money? What were unexpected costs? [+3]
How do different jobs affect someone’s living? [+1]
What did you choose regarding your child’s afterschool activities? Why? [+2]
How did your priorities change during the month? What does being financially responsible mean? [+3]
Some days, if I could pay a bill with at least a $100 cushioning, I would do it (especially if it was near a payday) to avoid up charges and debt in the future. Most of the time, however, I could not afford the setbacks. I think financial responsibility means trying to stay on top of payments and avoiding debt; either investing or holding back with some foresight of future cost to yourself and others.
When have your own financial concerns affected your choices? How were your choices influenced? [+1]
When I have had financial concerns, I would wind up avoiding get-togethers that I knew would have some sort of cost. I got in a good habit of only eating out two meals per week (2 of 21 meals), and -if necessary- I would borrow from my parents. I have always made sure I could afford what I’ve bought, however in one case at the end of last semester, I had to spend $150 on school supplies. I charged it to my credit card, knowing I couldn’t afford it right away. Thankfully I got a job with a bi-monthly paycheck just in time! My parents make it open to come to them for help with money, so I’ve never been in true jeopardy. But I try to avoid seeing them as a way out.
How did playing change they way you think about your own or other’s struggles with money? [+2]
It makes me more empathetic to the struggles they have. I have a co-worker who has nearly all of the issues that came up in this game… no car, not enough food, always asking for money, taking “sick days” off when he could use them to make money. Some of his choices I just couldn’t understand, but this game helps put a bit of it into perspective. And I cannot blame someone -even in a poor financial situation- to be 100% frugal, as I cannot even set that expectation for myself. And if you cannot enjoy life once in a while, then it makes the efforts seem so pointless when relief is not on the horizon.
Other than learning the importance of saving money, what other skills did you learn? [+2]
I learned a bit about the impacts that poverty has -psychologically- on a child. Figuring out ways to allow a child to have a normal life while trying to avoid spending is challenging and a bit of a balancing act.