New board game helps teach young people about how to manage their money

News release from 06/11/2018

A BOARD game that teaches young people about how to manage their finances is being presented to schools across Cambridge.

‘Reality Cheque Cambridge’ has been devised by PlayEast, which is part of Cambridge City Council’s Children and Young People’s Participation Service (ChYpPS).

In the game, which is aimed at secondary school students in Year 10 and Year 11, players navigate around the board balancing their budgets.

They first randomly select an ‘Income’ card which allocates them with a job and a monthly wage. People playing then decide where they would like to live, based on factors such as location, cost and whether to share or live alone.

They also face typical ‘real life’ scenarios such as paying for food, transport and unexpected costs like having to fix a broken phone screen or opening a bank overdraft.

Finally they decide whether they would like to put their money into savings and how much they wish to spend on ‘extras’.

The aim of the game is for students to balance their accounts at the end of the month, and so learn how to calculate income, outgoings, and keep track of finances. Players work in teams and can learn some valuable skills to help them in the future.

Reality Cheque Cambridge was produced using funds allocated to PlayEast by the government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, and was developed with assistance from students at four Cambridge schools.

Improving the financial literacy of young people forms an important part of the council’s Anti-Poverty Strategy. The strategy aims to improve the standard of living of households that are experiencing poverty, and to help lessen the chance of residents experiencing financial pressures in the future.

Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “The Reality Cheque board game is a really innovative way to help young people learn more about managing their money.

“I know from my own teaching experience that young people really value the opportunity to think about budgeting, especially at a time when they are considering work and college.

“Cambridge is an expensive place to live for many people, which makes this project even more important.”

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