financial therapy for $200
I forget how I first learned about Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow 101 board game, but I was excited about the premise: play the game, and learn about yourself and money. I eagerly went to find out where to order the game. This was some years back. At the time, I saw the game advertised for a little under $200.
… Yeah, my jaw dropped too. I was horrified. Are they crazy? I was also curious.
I searched the internet for used games and I searched for experiences of people who had played the game. I found out that Robert Kiyosaki had detractors, that I could buy a used game for about $100, and that a lot of people recommended the game. I was expecting to find a lot of people complaining about been ripped off or scammed. I didn’t find that. While I found complaints from people who hadn’t purchased the game, I found positive reviews from people who had bought and played Cashflow.
$100 was still a lot of money for a used board game. I bought it anyway.
I didn’t find people to play with at first. If you’re familiar with the game, you know that you randomly select a career, then go round the board while building passive income. You win when you’re able to purchase your dream (I usually choose building a stock market for kids), or when you achieve a certain amount of passive income.
The first time I played, I played four different pieces; one was a doctor, another a janitor. I got all four pieces into debt. It was a great lesson: it didn’t matter how much money I made, my spending habits resulted in the same outcome despite my income level. It’s one thing to know that on an intellectual level, and it’s another thing to experience that. The game allows you to see the results of your relationship with money. Playing the game, I could experience how not keeping an emergency fund resulted in debt when I had unexpected expenses.
That’s one part of the powerful formula. The other part is that, because it’s a game, it’s safe to experiment. And those experiments result in cognitive changes in real life.
Like others, I recommend playing the game regularly. Think of it as your financial behavioral therapist. You’ve built your money habits over the years; it’s going to take some time to become aware of them, and then make appropriate shifts.
That first game was about 6 hours. I played to the very end, completing the game for each of the four pieces. And I realized the game was severely underpriced. I would happily pay $500 for the game.
Thankfully, you can find Cashflow 101 games for less than $100.