Learning the Game of Economics and Family Finance

If there's a chance for us parents to teach lessons through games, then that would be awesome, right? One of my weaknesses is finance. I just can't digest the topic (or I refuse to understand it). To be honest, I'm just not interested in learning and talking about it. But of course, I want to earn lots of money, hehee...who wouldn't?! A few weeks ago, I was invited by Mommy Mundo to one of their Mom School workshops with the theme Family Game Time. With the help of Sun Life, this was the first time for me and the boy to really have fun learning about business and investments, insurance and stocks through a board game!

The boy and I had no expectations when we arrived at the Mom School 3.0 event. There were tables set up with this unique board game called Praxis, created by a group from Sense for Money (SFM) based in Singapore.  Sun Life is the first to bring Praxis to the Philippines. It's a fun way to promote financial literacy among adults and children. There were facilitators for each team of four players and they set the scenario for us to progress through the game of economics and finance. Unfortunately, the board game is not for sale.

To make the long story short, my boy and I got sort of a crash course on understanding business cycles, how to save and invest, buying stocks and insurance, and being unemployed! =) 

I was surprised that the boy actually got so engaged in the game and learning about the principles of basic economics and family finance. Check out the elements of the game and what the boy and I learned while playing Praxis at Mom School:

1. Ways to earn money -- have a job or run a business. When you earn income, naturally, you need to pay taxes. Accumulating wealth stems from different resources, like savings and investments. Spend within your means.

2. Investments come in various forms -- insurance, retirement plan, stocks, other financial instruments and purchasing assets like properties that generate rental income. There are also life insurance plans with an investment component.
On a side note, when the boy was earning lots of cash during the game, he was very prudent when deciding where he would spend his money. In one round, he bought shares in stocks at a low price, and also saved up to buy a property so he can collect rent.

3. The success or failure of a business can be caused directly by the state of economy -- if it's a boom, in recession, slump, or recovery.
During the Recession cycle, the boy "lost" his job but was able to sell some stocks he bought earlier in the game, so he was still in a good financial position despite the slump.

4. Stocks are good investment options depending on your risk appetite -- you can go for low risk-low-returns, or high-risk-high returns when planning your financial portfolio. See the PeZoology illustration below.

5. Get advise from seasoned financial consultants to find your best investment options. 
Buy low, sell high. That's what the boy did when he was advised by the facilitator during the stock buying round. He won some, he lost some. That's life!

Thanks to Mom School, this unique family game time with my boy was such a fun learning experience for both of us especially on concepts of financial planning. We also got practical financial advise from experts at Sun Life. Yes, they sound so simple and we've heard them before but most of us never apply them in our lives. I do believe we need to start them young, to let our kids learn the value of money and how money can work for them, not the other way around.  It's never too early or too late to learn. We all want financial freedom, and to make the right choices when it comes to saving and investing for our families' future.

Check out Mommy Mundo for more updates on upcoming events and workshops.
Consult a Sun Life financial advisor for investment and insurance needs:
Arlyn Tan, AIM-Sun Life Certified Financial Planner

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