Cashflow 101

Financial Education Through Board Game

I first heard of Cashflow 101 when I was in living in Bombay, India. The book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki described this game and its benefits. I was not able to afford one of my own then. So I started searching around for someone who had it and lived nearby.

I can’t remember how it happened; anyway I got in touch with a gentleman who knew someone with the game. We met up at the residence of the owner of the board game and started playing. All of us were new to the game. It looked very tedious in the beginning, especially the financial recording after each roll of dice. It took some time before we could play it without looking up the rules over and over again.

Later I played Cashflow 202 and the E-Game Versions of 101 and 202. E-Game versions are cheaper and definitely quicker. But I would recommend playing the board game first before moving on to the E-Game. I learned a lot by tallying my income statement manually.

Here is the sequence I suggest: Cashflow 101 Boardgame, Cashflow 101 Egame and then Cashflow 202 Egame.

Cashflow 101 comes with supporting CDs.

The game has the following items

• The board, on which you play. It has two tracks - the circular rat race track and the fast track. The tracks are made up of cells like any other board game. Each cell has a specific event on it. It could be a paycheck, opportunity, market, doodad, charity, baby or down sizing. The details of the events are given in the manual. The fast track has dreams and opportunities in the cells.

• Dice. Normally a player rolls one dice. But as per the instructions of the cards you draw you can roll more than one or you may loose one or more chances.

• Coins that represent the players. You advance your coin along the track as per the number that appears on the dice

• Deck of cards – small opportunities

• Deck of cards – big opportunities

• Deck of cards – doodads

• Income statements

Please have some good quality pencils, a sharpener, an eraser and a calculator by hand before starting.

How many players are allowed?

The material supplied can support up to five or six players. But I would recommend that you limit the number of players to three or four. This is especially useful when you are playing for the first few times. Too many people trying to learn the game at the same time can be very time consuming.

How long does Cashflow 101 take?

If three players are playing for the first time, it may take 3 or 4. When I played it for the first time with two others, nobody could get out of the rat race in 3 hours. We had to stop for the want of time.

It takes time to learn the rules of the games. Tallying the income statement after every roll of dice is time consuming too.

How do you win the game?

Each player has to choose a dream from the fast track.

The player who gets out of the rat race, moves on to the fast track and buys his dream wins the game. Or the player who achieves a passive cash flow of US$ 50,000 wins the game.

How is Cashflow 101 played?

Each player has to choose a color and profession card from the deck – it can be Engineer, Surgeon, Airline Pilot, Janitor etc. Now the players have to fill in their income statements with the starting financial data corresponding to their profession of choice.

The income sheet has columns for active income, passive income, expenses, savings, assets and liabilities.

Active income is earned when you work - salaries, commission etc. Passive income comes in without any effort from your side. Rent, dividends from stocks etc are passive income.

Expenses include taxes, rent, loan payments, utilities etc.

Real estate, stocks, bonds, bullion, businesses etc are assets as they put in money into your passive income column month after month. House, car, credit card loans, educational loans and bank loans take money out of your pocket and hence they re liabilities.

Every time you pass the Payday cell and amount equal to the difference between total income minus total expenses is to be added to your savings.

If you land in an Opportunity cell you can decide to draw an opportunity card from the Small Opportunity Deck or Big Opportunity Deck. Small opportunities can be bought for US$ 5,000 and below. Big opportunities require more cash.

The Opportunity card has an investment opportunity. It can be in real estate, stocks, bonds, bullion or businesses. If it makes sense you buy it. Or else you try to sell it to another player who is interested. If there are no takers, you have to pass it on.

If it is viable, you may borrow money from the bank to buy such opportunities. But you have to be sure that there is a positive cash flow in this investment.

A market card is drawn when someone reaches a Market cell. It helps you sell your assets for a capital gain. All players can make use of the situation that Market card brings in.

If you hit a doodad cell a card has to be drawn and you have to spend money for the doodad described in the card. This is mandatory. You cannot choose not to spend.

While moving along the track you will encounter cells named Charity, Downsize, Baby Etc.

As you move around you get paid, buy assets and your passive income keeps increasing. Once your passive income equals the monthly expenses, you can move on to the fast track.

In the fast track you roll two dices at a time. There is no drawing of cards. Opportunities and other events are marked in the cells of the track. These opportunities are different from those available for the players in the rate race. They require huge down payments and no bank is available to lend you money.

You win the Cashflow 101 when you reach your Dream and buy it.

Go to Cashflow Game from Cashflow 101