The Four Corners

Lesson: Budgeting

Real Life

The Four Corners are the most important spaces on the board and represent Budgeting.  Establishing a weekly, monthly or annual budget is the first step to getting a handle on your finances.  You have to figure out how much money is coming in and how much money is going out to calculate how much is left for saving and investing.

How to Play the Game

The Green Corner represents your salary.  Each time you complete a trip around the board and pass the Green Corner, you Get $20.  If you land on the Green Corner, you Get an extra $5.  This extra $5 might be a bonus payment, an inheritance, or money from a second job.

The three Red Corners represent your essential living expenses.  Essential living expenses represent the minimum expenses you need to live.  Examples are food, shelter and clothing.  Each time you pass a Red Corner you Give $5.  There are $15 of essential expenses that must be paid each trip around the board.  If you land on a Red Corner, you will have to Give extra money due to an unexpected expense.  Unexpected expenses might be money needed to repair a car or money needed to replace a broken phone or money needed to cover a medical emergency.

1. You start the game with $20.
2. For each complete trip around the board, you need to create a Budget and establish an emergency fund.  At a minimum, you should Budget for $15 for essential expenses.
3. You also have to plan for unexpected expenses by establishing an emergency fund.  As a rule of thumb, an emergency fund should equal 3 to 6 months of your essential living expenses.  For the game, it is possible to incur $5 of unexpected expenses each complete trip around the board so you should establish an emergency fund of $5.
4. Once you have your essential expenses and emergency fund covered, any additional money can be used for discretionary spending, saving or investing.
5. For the game, you have two choices to use your discretionary dollars.  You can do nothing (the equivalent of keeping your money under the mattress) or you can Give money to potentially Get money depending on where you land on the board.
6. If you need to sell an asset to Get cash, click on the asset prior to your spin.
7. You win if your opponent goes bankrupt or if you are the first player to have a net worth of at least $100.