Friday, June 26, 2015

Plan your life

iPhone Screenshot 2My youngest asked me about apps that would help her learn to budget and I realized we no longer teach that in math classesunless it is a personal finance class or a business class of some sort.  The thing is, I could offer budgeting in my pre-algebra class under the unit on decimals.
I searched the apps store and found only one possible free game called Plan Your Life Budgeting Game.

It is really great because you go through selecting a job which in your first year means you are going to be a waiter.  That is the only job offered at that point.  You go through budgeting such as housing, food, transportation, etc and if you spend all your money in the first few things, you can't get food, or housing or entertainment.

 The app has you work on building a nest egg, plan various investments such as risky stocks with good returns, fixed deposits with low returns or invest in a safe stock with medium return.  Then it takes you to look at property.  You start with a small flat which you could sell but at this point in time you cannot  afford to buy anything better and choosing to rent is not an option.

In addition, there are one to two random events happen during the year so you either receive money or loose it much as in real life.  Once you have everything filled out and set, you touch the hourglass to make time pass and at the end of the year, you are ready to move on the the next year.

I love the concept of the game and the way it goes through everything to set the budget up.  I love the way it looks at how much you end up paying every year for all your expenses.  If you spend too much money on one thing, you won't be able to afford other things such as food.  Unfortunately, there is a major glitch in this program. It quits just after the first year and when you open it to continue, it always resets to start a new game.

On the other hand, if you take the basis of this game and have students use a spread sheet for the all the investments, expenses and earning, it would give them a better overall picture for budgeting. So until the app designer fixes this very major glitch, the program itself is not very usable in the classroom.