Sun Life Financial is the first company that introduced a board game to the country last 2015 which teach its players to manage their finances in a fun and interactive way. The PRAXIS board game was originally developed from Singapore, played by 4-5 people wherein they get to experience budgeting and saving and some complex ideas such as retirement planning, protection planning, investing in the stock market, and buying real property. What makes it more exciting is there’s a real-life simulation of events that may happen or is happening in the country right now – like job loss, job promotions, illness, etc.
As a player, your objective while playing this game aside from learning how to manage your finances, it’s to be the wealthiest player at the end of the game.
HOW’S MY EXPERIENCE PLAYING THIS GAME?
First off, all players were given the same job role as an Executive Professional earning $2,500 and $2,500 cash. You’ll roll the dice and each step you’ll be given the chance to do it or not (e.g. shift career/savings/buying a property/investing in stocks/buying retirement and protection plan), rewards (employee of the month, year-end bonus), and some events wherein you don’t have an option but to pay (real property damage fee,income tax, vacation leave, etc.). And every time you finished a cycle you’ll earn your wage and pay for your rent (if you didn’t buy a property). For example, if you’re still an executive you’ll earn $2,500 play money. If you got promoted before the end of a cycle you’re wage increase and if you became a business man earning $12,000; once you passed a cycle you’ll be given $12,000 play money less rental fee of $500. During the game, there will be some announcements coming from the game master which may be a good news or a bad news and this is where it becomes more exciting.
At the first round of the game, I gain quite some play money for I landed on the year-end bonus and best employee of the month and was given the chance to choose another profession. Blessedly, I become a businesswoman (in the 1st round of the game) with $12,000 wage per business cycle. I grabbed the opportunity but I become mindful of the income tax because one of the players on our group who’s profession is a lawyer, landed to pay income tax. I checked mine and it’s quite more than what she paid. If I got the chance to land again in changing profession I’ll choose on the public sector. I landed multiple times on investing at the stock market but still closed on the first round. Also, I landed going to a vacation which I’m obliged to pay $250 play money which lessens my play money on hand. How I wish I got to save more and buy more retirement and protection plan.
The second round of the game is quite a thrill, this is where the game master has a lot of announcements and where we change the economy cycle from BOOM to RECESSION to SLUMP. So that’s where others got unemployed, got sick and have to pay for hospital bills and increased electricity, and a lot more. Good thing I have 1 protection plan which I was able to use in the game when everyone got sick. This is also where I’ve got a lot of chance to invest in the stock market but I only buy minimal shares every time I landed on it. And where I got a chance to change profession. From businessman earning $12,000 play money, I got to be a minister earning $10,000 play money.
At the end of the game, I’m second to the wealthiest player. My assets accumulated to $42,300 play money. How I wish it’s convertible to REAL money.
MY INSIGHTS ABOUT THE GAME
#1: You don’t have to increase your lifestyle once you earned more money. If you can’t manage the money you’re earning now, how much more if your earnings increase? In the game, I landed multiple times in buying a property. Though I have the means to do so, I declined the offer since renting is cheaper. But in real life it’s
#2: When you were given an opportunity, DO NOT waste it. You’ll have to hold on to it and do the best that you can to keep it. If you really want it and if it’s God’s will for you to have it, work on it so you won’t lose it.
#3: Use PESO-COST AVERAGING method when investing in the stock market. The market is volatile, but the degree of its volatility adjusts over time. The gist of investing in the stock market through Peso-Cost Averaging method is “BUY & HOLD.” It is for the long haul, sell it after 5-10 years when the value already increases.
#4: FIND A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION THAT CAN HELP YOU MAXIMIZE THE VALUE OF YOUR MONEY. Saving in the bank alone will not help you maximize the value of your money. You need to consider other factors such as the inflation rate of the economy. The estimated inflation rate of the country is 3.3% as of May 2017. So, if you save on the bank and it only gives you an annual interest rate of 0.25% – 1.5%, you are getting poorer as time pass by. Why? Prices of food and fuel are increasing and your money is earning less than inflation rate. The catch here, find a financial institution that gives you a higher interest rate for your money. Invest your money in the stock market, mutual funds, UITF, or any income generating instruments that gives higher interest rate than inflation.
#5: BE INSURED. Life is full of uncertainties, all the more you need health and life insurance.
WANT TO PLAY PRAXIS BOARD GAME?
This game is absolutely free, as part of Sun Life Fianancial’s advocacy to educate Filipinos in managing their finances to gain financial freedom. There are different types of learning styles, and some might find attending a workshop or seminar quite boring. This game provides an interactive learning because it’s more hands-on, real-world process of relaying information and you’ll get to apply and sharpen your decision-making skills.
We will bring this game to you, if you wanted to play this game together with your friends, co-workers, family/relatives. Minimum participants of the Praxis Board Game is 20 people – 4 people, 5 groups OR 5 people, 4 groups. Just let us know and email us with the title “PRAXIS Board Game Workshop Request.”
Jalene B. delos Santos