Learning about budgeting is an important part about handling your finances. If you were not taught at home or in school, you may not have the skills necessary to control your bills and spending as an adult. Budgeting games, whether board or online, can help you develop the ability to keep your finances balanced. Many games may not apply to your specific situation, so it's best to look for ones that have particular characteristics to help you remember what you have learned and use the skills on a daily basis.
Objective of the Game
The objective of a budgeting game is to help you learn how to meet your financial goals. For example, you must not accumulate more bills and expenses than your total amount of income. It's important to budget for luxury items, like expensive shoes, a boat or jewelry, so you don't increase your credit card balance. In addition, your budget should include having enough money to save and invest. If you have a family, you want to teach your children how to imitate good budgeting skills for their future success.
Income and Expenses
A budgeting game should have you choose or should assign you a salary that you must use to meet your fictional expenses. You need to make wise choices and practice frugality in order to have enough for your necessities, such as your housing, food, vehicle and utility bills. You should pass up items like luxuries and entertainment when offered in the game, if you do not have enough money to buy them.
Saving and Investing
A goal of the budgeting game for adults is to teach them how to have enough money to meet all expenses and invest for the future. Start with placing a small amount of money, such as $10 or $20, each month in your fictional bank account. This eventually can be transferred into an investment vehicle. If balanced wisely, you should be able to have enough money to pay your bills and save each month.
Play the Game
Your income and expenses will be established along the path. During the game, you have to draw cards or land on unexpected expenses, like emergency medical care or an expensive car repair. This will cause your budget to be off balance, so you will need to decide which regular expense to eliminate until you can afford to pay for it again. Investments are offered along the path. Adults need to decide if they can afford to start saving, sometimes by sacrificing something else, or if they prefer to wait. If they choose the investment, then they collect extra money each payday. The person with the most money at the end of the game wins.
Carol Deeb has been an editor and writer since 1988. Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and online publications, as well as a book on education. Deeb is a real-estate investor and business owner with professional experience in human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University.