Are you looking to lead a group or get your family focused on improving personal finance knowledge?
Awesome Island is the product you have been looking for. Typically, when adults play the Awesome Island Game, someone will say,
“I wish someone would have showed me this stuff when I was a kid.”
In fact, someone probably did; but it was not done in a fun or engaging way so the lesson wasn’t learned. Awesome Island is a great way to introduce or re-introduce groups or families of players to the fundamental concepts of personal finance. Each game comes complete with player game sheets, job and career cards, investment share cards and spinners, visual aids (travel posters), CD with projectable game spreadsheet. Only one game is needed to lead a group of up to 30.
The number one mistake that people make when leading groups in discussions on personal finance is making it too personal. A sad truth is most people are uncomfortable talking about money. People who’ve made poor financial decisions need to better understand choices; not to be shown again that they made a mistake. So, how do you lead a discussion on good financial decision making without making it too personal? Start by playing the Awesome Island Game and seeing where the discussion goes.
Examples of Discussion Points –
Careers and Income
Every player gets a first job with income. It is not a good job (grocery bagger, shoe shiner). It encourages them to invest in education to get a better job. Career and Professional jobs bring more income (and increased taxes). This can open up good discussions (Where are the good jobs in your community? What job training resources are available?)
Every player is given money by their employer to invest (2% of salary). Players should be told that most people recommend at least 10% of income go into saving and investing. The game does not introduce a mechanism for saving so it is a great point of discussion – what is the difference between saving (not spending) and investing (putting money at risk). Lead a discussion on what is entrepreneurship.
Credit and Debt
All players are given an opportunity to go into debt. Explain that the ability to go into debt is called credit. How do people earn credit – it is their reputation for using money. Good financial choices earn credit and the ability to use other people’s money for their gain. People in community who are in credit “crisis” may not want to discuss their personal situation so you can lead a group discussion on ways can community resources available for a a game player to get out of debt.
The game introduces insurance as an expense in the budget; but offers no details. Lead a discussion on what is included here. Car insurance, renters or home insurance, medical insurance are all topics of discussion.
The game allows players to give any portion of their income toward philanthropy. What does this mean? Lead a discussion on various ways people choose to give back to the community. Philanthropy does not always have to be money; volunteer time can be very valuable.
Customize the Game –
Make the game your own by introducing new elements, or random life events to the game. You could add a tax refund (increasing income) for players who choose to start a family. You can put an extra expense on players for car repair or a new roof for their home. You could randomly choose a career and change their income because of increased or decreased demand for that job. Have fun with it and make it work for your group or family.