What is Cashflow 101?

Cashflow 101 is a board game created by Robert Kiyosaki[1], best known as the author of the #1 personal finance book of all time, Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

My first game on Cashflow 101 was year 2012, when a work colleague invited the team to attend a game seminar of Cashflow. Before attending the seminar, I did my own research on the game and found an online software where I learned the rules. I felt exhilarated with the online game  (even when I lost) but it made me excited to play the actual board game.

How to play the game

Cashflow 101Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seasonalplume/2586943441/

The board game can be played by maximum of 6 players. Each player starts out in the “Rat Race” wheel found on the board. You will stay in this wheel until you gain enough passive cash flow to exceed your monthly expenses.

Each player will randomly draw a profession card and choose a dream tile from the board. There are many professions to pick from: Lawyer, Janitor, Truck Driver, Nurse, Doctor, Police Officer, etc. Each profession has their own financial details inclusive of initial cash on hand, debts, salary and monthly expenses. Dreams come in varieties like visiting asian countries, go yacht racing, cruise the Mediterranean, golf around the world and more.

Once you have your profession card, you will need to transfer your financial information to an income statement sheet, which is included when you purchase the board.

At each turn, players may land on any of the following tiles: Opportunity, Doodads (luxury or personal expenses), Charity, Pay Check, Market, Baby or Downsized.

Whatever tile you land on, you will have the opportunity to make decisions that will impact your income statement. Each decision will call for an update on your income statement and your neighbor player will “audit” it to ensure your calculations are correct.

The Objectives

1. You must get out of the “Rat Race” wheel.

The “Rat Race” wheel is you working to earn money. You receive your monthly pay check, pay monthly expenses (inclusive of tax, mortgages, credit card expenses, etc.) and have some cash on hand for later investments.

To get out of the rat race, you have to make decisions on buying and selling stocks, buy properties or businesses, sell your assets for profit and earn cash flow. When your cash flow or passive income exceeds your monthly expenses, you are now off to the next objective which is,

2. Achieve Your Dream.

Once you are out of the rat race you will move to the “Fast Track”, which is the larger tiles found outside the Rat Race wheel. With each turn you will gain the opportunity to further increase your passive income by buying businesses or land on the dream tile you chose earlier.

The first person to land on their dream or achieve $50,000 in passive income is the winner.

What Makes this Board Game Awesome

Cashflow 101 board game boxCredit: http://www.richdad.com/apps-games/cashflow-101.aspx

I am personally a huge fan of Cashflow 101. Although playing this game a few times will not make you an instant millionaire there are many benefits you can gain:

  1. This is a game for education to personal finance. Believe it or not many people has never filled out a personal financial statement. This game will show you how to to fill out one and become aware of your current financial standing.
  2. You will realize the meaning of asset and liability and how those 2 terms can “interchange” or “merge” in real life. Example, a bank may see your house as an asset  but it can be also seen as a liability because you have to pay mortgage costs each month. This is an important lesson people to learn.
  3. The game emphasizes that clear and smart decision making in handling your money can make you win the game regardless of your current job. It’s not about how high the salary is. It's about responsibly operating your finances.
  4. You will learn basic financial analysis. You can see how your decisions impact your financial statements without risking real money in the process. In reality, there is a lot to learn before investing and mistakes can be costly. The game’s gameplay may not apply loosely in the real world, but you will be educated to problem solve, make decisions and be aware of the impact.
  5. You will get ideas on where to look for cash flow or passive income in real life.
  6. When playing with friends you get a picture of a person’s financial attitude. Some are risk-takers while others are cautious. You learn together, know each other better and you can also advice on each others strategies.

In Conclusion

I highly recommend everyone to play this game despite reviews stating there are flaws in the game. Such reviews are expected since the board game was meant to teach basic financial management and in some ways does rely on “luck”.  “Luck” can signify to real life “opportunities” to which we should be educated to realize its potential in the near future. The game makes you discover opportunities and helps you become financially smart and responsible for the future.