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Cashflow is a game invented by Robert Kiyosaki, author of the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" books. The game is designed to help normal people learn how to make wise choices in investments with buying and selling. To me, it's just a fancy version of Life and Monopoly mixed together. The object of the game is to build up enough passive income (or money you don't have to work for) so that it acceeds that of your regular income.

At the beginning of the game, each player draws a card which basically tells them their occupation, how much they make, their debt, and how much they must pay out of every paycheck. After receiving their cards, each player must then write down all the information from their cards on a columned piece of paper in pencil, so it can be changed and erased.

The gameboard has cartoon rats all over it, because you are supposedly the "Rat" trying to get out of the "Rat Race". The gamepieces are different colored rats also. The board has two paths. The first is an inner circle called the "Rat Race". The circle has several places that when landed on one must draw a card. The cards are in four categories:

  • Small Deal: This card is usually drawn when you first start out and land on a Small Deal/Big Deal space. Each small deal card has an oppurtunity that the player must choose to take or not. The deals are usually buying stocks, mutual funds, and real estate.
  • Big Deal: This card is basically the same as a small deal card, except the stakes are higher. The investments are usually in businesses.
  • Market: This card is drawn when a player lands on the market space in the Rat Race circle. This card is utterly useless unless you are holding real estate or a business. If you have either of these the card will give you big money, if you take the right one, that is.
  • Doodad: This card was my undoing when I played. When a player lands on the Doodad space they take one of these cards. The card basically tells you what you must buy. I bought so much useless crap on my turn I went into colossal debt. Be wary of these cards.

There is also another space in the Rat Race you must be wary of: the "Baby" space. The baby space gives you a kid which in turn gives you more things to pay for which means less of a paycheck.

The last space is the "Paycheck" space. This gives you the amount of money that it says on your income sheet under the "Total Monthly Income" column. If you pass the space you get your paycheck, but if you do not ask for your money, it will not come to you.

The second path is the Cashflow path. You enter this path, which circles around the edge of the board, when you gain more passive income through investments then your regular income. In order to win you must be able to get to your "Dream". A "Dream" space is basically things like "Own a Resort", "Travel the World", etc.

This game is lots more fun than I thought it would be, but it is kind of long. It took four hours for us to come up with a winner. I don't know if it really helped me to make wise investment choice, but I did learn how to balance my budget somewhat. Of course, it's an imaginary budget.


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