What are the key aspects of the game?
Learning about financial statements
The Financial Statement tool is key to tracking your progress throughout the game. It consists of your payday amount, your income statement and balance sheet.
You can land on Payday throughout the Rat Race (the yellow tile). This takes into account your income and expenses and pays you the balance.
Your income statement shows you your monthly income sources (salary plus any passive income from your investments) and monthly expenses.
The main use of this section is to keep track of how much passive income you’re getting from each asset (you will lose it if you sell them off!) and to try to reduce your expenses as much as possible by paying off the corresponding liability.
Your balance sheet shows your assets and liabilities.
Assets are things you buy and own for the cash flow they provide and/or in the hopes of selling them for a higher price than you bought them for. It is important to keep track of how much they cost you to buy because it will determine how much you can earn when you sell them.
Liabilities include the ones you started off with (e.g. car loans, credit cards), as well as the money that you may owe when you purchase a property or business opportunity.
The two statements are linked. The income statement shows your short-term financial position (monthly income and expenses) whilst the balance sheet shows your long-term financial position (how much your assets are worth and how much outstanding debt you have on liabilities).
Other game elements
At the start, you get to pick a “dream”. This isn’t really important because it relates to the second part of the game once you’ve gotten out of the Rat Race, so it doesn’t really matter what you pick.
When you land on a deal, you get to choose between a small or big deal. Your choice should depend on how much cash you have to invest.
When you land on a market opportunity, it’ll come up with an opportunity to sell a specific type of asset. If you don’t have the asset, this is essentially useless to you. If you do have the asset, you can choose to sell it. It can also come up with changes in market conditions like stock splits.
Each turn you take, you have the option of repaying your debts as and when you have enough cash. This enables you to reduce the corresponding expenses.
Random one-off expenses
Robert calls these “doodads” (no idea why). Basically, they’re things you decide to splurge money on from time to time. And you have no choice but to pay for them.
This game reflects real life, so you can get laid off! It basically means that the company you work for is downsizing and you lost your job.
Yes, the game also gives you babies. This adds on expenses that you cannot get rid of (sigh). Thankfully, the maximum amount of babies you can have in the game is 3.
I hope that this explains the mechanics of the game enough for you to give it a shot.
Of course, the game isn’t perfect. It’s based on a US context, the prices and values may not be very realistic and it’s definitely overly-simplified. But then again, if it tried to be very realistic it would probably get too complicated for anyone to even bother to pick it up.
Feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message if you have any questions. If you’ve played the game, let me know what you think about it!
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