Board game gives lessons in finance

CEDAR CITY – Chris McCormick, a loan officer and financial adviser with Investment Lending, is on a mission to help people realize that financial freedom isn’t as intimidating as some may think.

And he’s using a board game – yes, with little, colorful guys and all – to get his point across. Once a month, he invites people from the community to play in order to better understand their own personal finances.

“We’d like to see people of all ages get involved,” McCormick said. “The key is if you can start having a better grasp of what this is, the better off you’re going to be financially.”

So what is it exactly?McCormick said this board game, which was created by Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” might be the answer for those who are interested in investing, but have no idea where to start.Cashflow Game

However, Cashflow, as it’s called, is not your mother’s game of Monopoly.

The concept comes from real-life budgeting practices, possibilities and potential opportunities. Through simulations, players learn to calculate their incomes, assets, liabilities and, of course, cash flow. In this game, cash flow is a combination of investment returns and monthly income.

The objective of the game to get out of the “rat race,” as Kiyosaki calls it. Players begin with an assigned profession, which can range from an engineer, to a janitor, to a teacher, and then the wheelin’ and dealin’ begins.

“The thing I like about this is no matter what your job is, or how much you’re making, you can do this,” said Cade Stubbs, of Inwest Title Services, who, along with his co-worker, Cheri Skewes, sat down for a round with McCormick on Wednesday afternoon.

“This is just the best learning (experience),” added Skewes, a first-time Cashflow player.

McCormick said Cashflow is so accurate that he even encourages players to use the game’s worksheet to help manage their personal finances in real life.

Along with the worksheet, which includes lines for salary, taxes, mortgage payments, savings, child expenses and passive income, Cashflow also comes with big/small deal, market and “doodad” cards that players can draw depending on where they land.

To win, a player must be the first to buy their “Dream” or the first to accumulate $50,000 in monthly cash flow. It sounds easy, but there is a fair amount of strategy involved and a basic knowledge of the real estate and stock market comes in handy, too.

McCormick said the next community Cash Flow night is scheduled for Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Crystal Inn in Cedar City. Everyone, he added, regardless of skill level is welcomed to participate, and the group will go as fast or as slow as it takes for people to catch on.

“If we push you, there’s no way you’re gonna learn,” McCormick said, stressing a no-pressure attitude.

Overall, after playing the game, Stubbs and Skewes both agree that Cashflow is a fun way to learn how to obtain financial freedom without fully diving head first into the real world.

Unfortunately, McCormick said, society doesn’t teach people how to think like a money savvy mogul. But, Cashflow does.

“It just gave me a whole new creative look at finances and how we can benefit,” Skewes said.