3 Kid-Friendly Board Games To Teach Your Kids Personal Finance

3 board games for family fun & finance

Written by Monica Fan, edited by Cindy Teh. This article is a part of a special series by fundMyLife content marketing interns from QLC.io.

Putting the Fun in fundMyLife

Often, the best lessons in life are learned through games. In sports you learn to work hard, cultivate resilience, and build grit. In video games, you learn things like strategizing, working in a team, and hand-eye coordination, etc. But how about financial literacy and skills? We here at fundMyLife are all about having fun in life, and what better way to incorporate fun and personal finances than to use games to go about it! In this article, we look at some of the board games out there that you can enjoy with your family while learning about managing personal finances at the same time. Start ‘em young, we say!

1. Happy Pigs

 

Happy Pigs board game box
The one who’s truly happy here is the farmer

Level: Easy
Number of players: 2-5
Time to play: 30-50 mins
Age: 10+

Happy Pigs is a fun and silly game for the entire family! The main aim of this game is to raise the pigs in farms and keep them alive by feeding and vaccinating them, with the objective of selling them off at a good price. The games have 16 rounds: with 4 in each season – Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. It is not difficult to play, once you understand the importance of optimizing the Costs and Returns within a limited timeframe. The richest player wins! Happy Pigs is a strategy game that is perfect for kids, and teaches them to overcome the challenges of working with limited resources and terms.

2. Monopoly

Not shown: hours of chaos as every player fights to be the last one standing

Level: Medium
Number of players: 2-8
Time to play: 60 mins (or forever)
Age: 8+

For kids, the most recommended game is the classic board game MONOPOLY. This game puts you in the shoes of a real estate tycoon – in this game you are buying and selling, or investing in properties. Parents, through this game your kids will encounter basic ideas in economics, e.g., cash flow, assets, debt, stock market, and bankruptcy. The ultimate goal of this game is to be the last player left with cash in hand. While some luck is involved, it is still an educational game for the whole family.

3. Cashflow For Kids

The logo for cashflow for kids game
No one should be left behind when it comes to financial education, especially kids!

Level: Intermediate
Number of players: 2-6
Time to play: 60 mins
Age: 6+

Cashflow For Kids, developed by Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, is an interesting game which gives young players some ideas of how accounting works in the real world. The aim of the game is to encourage players to think about different streams of passive incomes, such as mutual bonds and stocks, instead of focusing on the limited and stabilized salary income.

A sheet for cashflow game
That’s a lot of sheet, but better prepare your kids for such sheet in the future!

One astonishing characteristic of the game is the accounting sheet given to assist players. It is for recording income earned and expenses incurred to help kids better visualise financial scenarios, and for assessing the performance of their investments.

While the accounting sheets given are different from actual financial statements, it is designed to give your kids ideas about passive income, unexpected expenses, unsystematic risks, and the importance of cash in real life. This is a sophisticated game with many volatile variables and it is not easy to play, but the depth of financial knowledge gained would be extremely useful for your kids. As the creator said, children will learn most by playing this game regularly. Anyone can train to have a higher financial IQ! Even your 6 year old!

That’s All Folks!

Having adequate financial knowledge is no longer a “good-to-have”, but a “must-have” in today’s world and economic climate! Besides cultivating good habits, you have to teach your kids to take care of their money, and they will take care of you in your old age with their money.

Why else do we have kids for? OH, you mean the joys of parenthood?

fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower the average Singaporean to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect consumers to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on their financial planning questions. Follow us on our Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Let us know what you want to know about finances or something that you wish your friends knew.

10 Ways to Up Your Side Hustle Game Using SkillsFuture

By Cindy Teh, edited by Jackie Tan

What is SkillsFuture?

By now, I’m sure all of you and your grandmother knows what SkillsFuture is. Basically, the government gives EVERYONE 25 years old and above (yes, everyone, even your great-great-grandfather if he’s still alive and kicking) $500 in SkillsFuture credits to pursue a course or programme for upgrading your skills and gaining superpowers*!

Get superpowers like baking
*Superpowers like superbaking may or may not be included. Just normal baking, maybe.

Here at fundMyLife, we are all about empowering people to make sound financial planning decisions. So we thought, what are some of the ways in which we can use our SkillsFuture credits to earn some cash? This ain’t no quick get rich scheme, I’m afraid. This is about investing in yourself and picking up new lifelong skills that would generate extra bucks for you in the long run (read: side gigs).

Let’s get started! Money isn’t gonna just fall into your lap, you know!

1. Become a Personal Trainer

A man and woman in a gym fraternizing
It’s a noble calling – you get to help others/yourself achieve their goals and look good too.

Are you already into fitness and eating well? Take a course on the human anatomy and nutrition and get certified. Superboost your health knowledge and you can either save some money on hiring your own trainer or earn some money by training people. Personal Trainers get to choose their own schedules and most people are only free on weeknights and weekends anyway, which means you don’t even have to leave your day job! Moreover, you get to yell at random strangers to motivate them – a true win-win.

Personal Trainers charge between $50 – $120 per hour.

2. Become a DJ

DJ looking coolly into the distance because he is cool
You can be the next big DJ at the next big festival!

Envious of awesome DJs like Steve Aoki or Tiesto? Learn to mix tracks and drop the beat, and not only can you earn some income on the side, you’ll also be super popular at house parties!

DJs charge at least $60 per hour.

3. Be a Copywriter

Cat looking at typewriter
Write marvellous pieces that move and motivate!

Can’t write? Don’t worry! For only 8 hours of your life, you’ll develop skills in writing awesome, compelling articles! Businesses (especially online ones) are always looking for copywriters to create copy for their products or services. Learn copywriting, and you can even freelance for us!

Depending on the type of content needed (press releases, blog posts, articles); most Copywriters charge at least $30 per hour!

4. Be a Photographer

Man contorts beautifully while taking a photograph
Do not be fooled – this is a protographer in action.

I’m sure you saw this coming. Everybody needs a photographer be it for weddings, for new babies, for portraits, for a new spouse, etc. Learn how to work with cameras and enhance images digitally, and you’ll never have a bad Facebook profile pic again. Spend your weekends taking photos for other people, and you could get good enough that someone would bring you on an overseas photoshoot!

Photographers charge upwards of $50 per hour depending on the type of assignment.

5. Be a Graphic Designer

Ah, graphic designers. Prepare to be misunderstood about what you do!

This has to make the list. It is probably one of the most common side gigs you’ll hear about. Be trained in Adobe Illustrator, or Photoshop, or InDesign, and design your own brand logo for your side hustle instead of paying others to do it.

Freelance Graphic Designers charge $20-$50 per hour (at the low end), to more than $300 per hour! This also brings us to…

6. Be a Web Designer

Another common side hustle! Web design is a popular side gig among freelancers and digital nomads because all you need is an internet connection and you can work with clients from anywhere in the world. Even if nothing comes out of it, you now know how to create an awesome fan site for your favourite GoT character.

Web Designers charge upwards of $40 per hour, depending on their skills and experience.

7. Be an App Developer

A bunch of guys getting drunk and coding
While drunk coding makes everything infinitely better, alcohol not included in the SkillsFuture course. Source: The Social Network.

Technology moves the world – don’t get left behind! The skill ceiling is high, and you might have to put in a little more time and effort to master this one. However, once you master it, you can charge between $30 – $180 per hour! Scarcity for good technical help also means your skills are always in demand.

Click here to learn how to create Android apps and here for iOS apps.

8. Be a Drone Pilot

Credit: Bill Stafford.

Not kidding, this course promises to teach you how to start your own aerial filming business in 2 weeks! Get in there quick while there’s not too much competition around yet.

Google tells me that drone operators can charge from $200 per hour to $5000 per session!

9. Become a Hairstylist for events

Master stylist or Edward Scissorhands – your choice!

This is perhaps more for the ladies, but we’re all about human rights and equality here! No one should tell you what you can or cannot do – forget about gender norms!

*ahem* Erm yeah, so learn how to do hair for weddings, events, photoshoots, etc, and rub shoulders with models/taitais/socialites while you’re at it.

Bridal Hairstylists can charge $100 per updo!

10. Be a Career Coach or Life Coach

Are you the enthusiastic grab-life-by-the-balls type? Are you your loved ones personal cheerleader? Do you love helping people? Do your friends always tell you that you have an inspiring life story? Consider coaching as a side hustle.

You get to choose your own working hours, and nowadays you can even coach people over Skype so you are no longer restricted by geography!

Career coaches typically charge upwards of $70 per hour.

That’s all, folks!

Here are 10 ways to convert your SkillsFuture credits into cash, through a little bit of investment of your time and effort. We never did say it’s easy after all, but it’s important that you take charge of your life!

…or you could just put your feet up and watch the next episode of GoT. We won’t judge.

fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower the average Singaporean to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect consumers to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on their financial planning questions. Follow us on our Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Let us know what you want to know about finances or something that you wish your friends knew! 

Why Bonds Are Not Such a Bad Idea

An underrated vehicle? fundMyLife bonds with bonds to find out more

Written by Kartik Goyal, edited by Jackie Tan. This article is a part of a special series by fundMyLife content marketing interns from QLC.io

No love for bonds?

With exceptional volatility in stock markets, slower lending and higher borrowing rates, bonds should not be a taboo for young investors. In a survey conducted to find the best investment instrument for young investors by youngsters, none mentioned bonds as a viable investment opportunity.

A donut chart showing the % difference between those who prefer to invest in property over stocks.
Investment preferences from a survey conducted on adults aged between 18 to 34. Around 2/3 chose property over stocks as a form of investment.

65% of the people aged between 18 and 34 would prefer properties as their first major investment, stating stability and security as the rationale behind their choice. We also conducted another survey that asked adults over 35 on what they would recommend for younger adults.

Donut chart with different percentages on it
Survey results of what older adults would advice younger adults to invest in.

66.7% of the people aged 35+ would recommend youngsters to invest in properties first, whereas 17% would recommend them to create a 6-month fall-back cash fund for emergencies before investing in properties.

Whether it was a lack of confidence or knowledge, we think bonds might be a little misunderstood and frankly underloved. With this in mind, we set out to enlighten you all on the pros of bonds and why they shouldn’t dismiss them so quickly.

Pros of Bonds in General

Diversification

If you don’t trust the stock markets or are just looking for something that’s more stable than the latest and hottest stocks at your watercooler chats, bonds might be the answer. While stocks are ownership stakes in companies, bonds are essentially loans that you extend to companies. By investing a percentage of your portfolio in bonds, you are ensuring that you do not keep all your eggs in the same basket. They tend to be more stable than stocks and provide relative certainty.

Steady Income

Bonds come attached with a fixed interest rate that pays the bond holder on an annual or bi-annual basis. While companies are under no obligation to pay the stockholders with any dividends, bonds provide predictable returns which is perfect for anyone planning for their retirement or just looking for additional income.

Interest Rates

Bonds come with a coupon rate which is the percentage of money that the issuer would pay the holder as interest on the loan, throughout the life of the bond. This interest income can be used to fund your extravagant lifestyle, satiate your appetite for riskier investments, or it could also form a part of the income you retire on.

Liquidity

Highly rated bonds from reputed companies and those issued by stable governments are easy to sell and convert to cash when needed. This provides you with the assurance that you would get your money when you need it. If you plan to hold the bond until maturity (i.e. the time at which the issuer agrees to pay the principal) you would get the totality of your principal back.

From 1980 to 2016, bonds yielded a positive return 34 out of 37 times, whereas stocks went up 31 out of 37 times (based on USA markets). Stocks generally provide higher returns over longer duration and that they are volatile. On the other hand, bonds are relatively more stable and are known to provide positive returns even in bad market conditions. The graph below perfectly visualises this phenomenon.

Relative performance of bonds to S&P 500
A plot of the relative performance of bonds to S&P 500 over a period of over 80 years

Fun fact: Apple holds $148 Billion worth of corporate and treasury bonds, making it the biggest accumulator of bonds in the world. When the biggest company in the world decides to invest 58% of their cash pile in bonds, there must be something attractive.

Legal Protection

You must be asking what happens when the issuer goes bust or refuses to pay? Well, if the company goes bust, it starts selling its assets. The remuneration is paid in such an order that structured bond holders get paid first (the highest class of bonds), then the holders of unsecured and subordinate bonds are paid, and if something remains it is distributed amongst the shareholders (so much for being an owner).

Still not convinced?

Story Time

What would you choose were you given a choice between a diamond and a bottle of water? You would pick the diamond, and this is because you are taking into account the exchange value of the product in account.

Assume a situation where you are in a desert; if you are like most people, you would choose the bottle of water over the diamond, and this represents the use value of the product. This is defined as the ‘Paradox of Value’, first brought forth by Adam Smith in the 1700’s. Consider another scenario where you are in a desert but you get to make the same choice every 15 mins. You would first choose enough bottles of water that can last you the whole trip and then take as many diamonds as you can carry!

In a similar fashion, the following two cases represent examples where the value of low risk investment and ability to liquify investments at will is higher than the opportunity cost of investing in stocks and holding over a long duration of time.

Example Case Studies

Case 1: Say you are saving to buy a new car in the next couple of years. You carry this out by putting aside a share of your monthly income in a bank account. The bank would then pay you a small interest on whatever you accumulate over the course of the years. Since you have a fair idea of time frame and the amount you would require, you could invest in bonds instead. Not only would this provide you with a better interest rate on your savings, bonds are fairly liquid instruments as well and can be readily converted to cash when needed.

Case 2: Assume you are saving for your child’s college fund and thus, you can’t invest the same in risky instruments. However, instead of saving in a bank account you could put the funds in bonds, reap benefits of higher interest rates and calculate with fair certainty how much you would need to save in future to accomplish your goals. Additionally, you can liquify the investments as and when needed.

That’s All Folks

Phew – bonds are quite useful under certain circumstances, and might be more suitable depending on what you’re looking for. Want to know more? Come ask us on our platform and you’ll get quality answers!

fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower the average Singaporean to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect consumers to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on their financial planning questions. Follow us on our Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Let us know what you want to know about finances or something that you wish your friends knew!