Cashflow: The Board Game That Will Teach You To Be Rich, If You Can Afford It.
Can a simple board game teach you the secrets of the wealthiest people alive? Is it possible to change your mindset and attitude towards money, by playing a game? And can a board game really make you rich? That's what I wanted to know.
I've been reading (and listening to) a lot of Robert T. Kiyosaki's teachings lately. If he sounds familiar to you, he's the Rich Dad, Poor Dad guy. In his book Success Stories there is a brief introduction to his board game - Cashflow. This game promises to teach you the ways that rich people think, operate and make money. It also promises to change the way you think about money forever, which will ultimately get you out of the rat race and into a life of financial freedom.
Sounds great, right?
I figured I could afford to spring $20-$30 on a board game and see if it really was worth all the self-generated hype.
As you can imagine, I was a little taken aback by the $256 price tag that came with the "game" when I saw it on Amazon. Being the deal hound that I am, I dismissed this and figured I could find a much better price. This must have been a fluke, surely. I went to the author's official site. It sells there for $195!
Several days later and I am at the point where I have not been able to find the game for less than $107 including shipping (good ol' eBay). It's a whole lot better than $256, but it's still a heck of a lot to shell out on a board game. And unlike most books (and audiobooks), this isn't one of those things you can rent from your local library.
As this game's cost is now up there with the price of a digital camera, I figured I would do my due diligence and really research Cashflow. Here are some of my findings.
* The aim of the game is to "buy your dream" or be the first person to reach $50,000 in cash flow.
* At the start of the game, you choose a profession. This profession comes with an income, expenses and cash flow. You also choose a dream, which can be anything from "jetsetting" to "dinner with the president."
* Expenses mirror real life. There are taxes, mortgage payments, credit cards and child costs.
* You make money by purchasing cashflow positive properties, businesses, shares and mutual funds. You also get a paycheck.
* You will also be presented with business opportunities. It is up to you whether you invest or pass.
* Unexpected expenses pop up, which you have to pay for. They can be large electronic or appliance purchases, bills or other surprise costs.
* When you start making passive income that exceeds living expenses, you leave the rat race and move to the "fast track."
* Your goal, once on the fast track, is to buy the dream you selected at the start of the race.
Now, with a few obvious differences, this seems a lot like Monopoly to me. But the more I read from people who have played Cashflow, the more I believe that this is much more than a simple board game. It seems as if the act of making decisions on every day life and business ventures, and playing a game that is, in effect, a realistic balance sheet, makes a significant difference to the way people think about money.
Whether anyone has actually made a fortune from this game (other than the creator, Kiyosaki) is a mystery. I'm still figuring out whether or not I should buy this game on eBay, or just forget it and read more of Kiyosaki's books fore free, courtesy of the local library.
Have you played the game? Would you buy the game? Is a board game ever worth $256? Do you think a board game can really change your life and make you rich? Over to you.
Note: If you're in the market for economy-based games that are much more reasonably priced, check out Xin Lu's board game article here. At less than $50 a pop, they won't break the bank.