I know some of you are actually struggling with this in real life, but for those of us who are fortunate enough to not have such a situation, I highly recommend you go play SPENT, created by the Urban Ministries of Durham.
The basic premise of the game is simply to budget, make choices, deal with life events and make it to the end of the month.
So you start by getting a job and making decisions:
And then you make it to the end of the month.
Out of the 10 times I’ve played, this is my highest score (I realized on the left that I had options of donating plasma for $50 for instance), and some of the choices they gave me were not as tough as on the other times I’ve played.
…but my rent was $800, so I would have been screwed.
Give it a shot.
Play the game SPENT and see how well you do on a super bare bones budget.
This is real life for many people, even some readers of this blog.
It is deciding between things like living far away and hoping your car doesn’t break down, or whether or not to go to a funeral because the travel cost is out of your budget.
For those of us who are fortunate to not have to decide between the gas or electric bill on some months, or whether our kid goes hungry, we should have a renewed sense to take care of our money better and a true sympathy for those in need.
We should be:
- Donating to those charities who will actually help our neighbours in need
- Budgeting properly and tracking expenses are important
- Understanding that your salary isn’t guaranteed
- Understanding that poor people aren’t always lazy people
- Having savings and emergency funds
- Watching out for the 5 Lies we tell ourselves to keep spending
- Making the choice to cut back in our spending to build for our future
- Knowing how NOT to spend more than what you make
- Understanding that a lottery ticket is not a retirement plan
Big thanks to Leslie of 27 and Frugal for initially talking about it on Twitter!