The pandemic sure hasn’t been easy. Our outdoor activities have been curtailed and it’s a whole new life. However, times will change again.
When it comes to personal finance, most people have a serious approach, which is understandable as one needs to tread carefully when it comes to money matters. But this grave way of addressing finances is making the entire process of budgeting, saving and investing a tiresome and boring affair. What if we can add some fun element to the way we look at financial management? We will tell you how!
Wise men say that a man can learn a lot by observing kids. Apart from their innocence and non-judgmental attitude, children have a strong sense of imagination as they believe in the magic of life. Kids know how to have fun. So, in order to make money matters less tiresome and more fun, we need to revisit our childhood games and see what we can learn from them.
From hide-and-seek to gully cricket to pretend games like house and doctor, all these childhood games not only teach us to have fun with what we are doing, but also give us interesting insights on personal finance too. Here are 5 things you can learn about personal finance from childhood games:
Think outside the box
Nothing sparks creativity other than imagination. Kids are bestowed with great powers of imagination as they often indulge in pretend play. On some days, they are doctors. Other days, they are policemen, and some days, they are space-exploring astronauts. Imagination leads to pretend play that in turn leads to counterfactual thinking i.e. thinking out of the box.
In real life, the phrase ‘thinking out of the box’ might be used too often but its importance in resolving problems and making decisions cannot be undermined. A person blessed with counterfactual thinking will do great when it comes to budgeting and investing. Thinking out of the box will not just open new avenues of investment but will also help in budgeting by identifying expenses for cost-cutting.
Over And Over Again
Most of the times, our childhood games are like practice for real life scenarios. Team sports like football, cricket, basketball etc. teach team spirit. A game like hide-and-seek imbibes qualities like honesty, integrity and develops the skill of looking beneath the surface. Pretend games like doctor, family, restaurant etc. prepares kids to face the real world when they grow up. The more they play these games, the more they practice to face the real world. And there is no better way to learn faster than practicing.
When it comes to personal finance, we often tend to do extensive research on budgeting techniques and investment policies before we actually take a step towards the growth of money. While it is understandable to be safe and play by the book when it comes to money, sometimes it helps to act instead of going on an extensive investment-study spree.
A man can learn much more from his mistakes and experiences than just pursuing bookish knowledge. By practising budgeting, saving and investing, one gets a hands-on experience on how to go about things in the world of personal finance. Since practising the tricks of investing with your hard-earned money can be extremely risky, one can go to stock-market simulators where you get to know the basics of investing using virtual money.
As far as budgeting is concerned, prepare different kinds of budgets for yourself as well as your family and friends. This will be a good budget practice exercise for you as you will learn how to save money.
Kids who indulge in pretend play often develop the insight to understand that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. They have the power to visualise the consequences of their actions and that helps them to self-regulate themselves from indulging into harmful activities.
This quality of self-regulation is something that everyone seeks for in order to stop wasting money and saving it for the future. Most of us operate on impulses and regret our financial decisions later. Be it going out for drinks when finances are low or buying that expensive dress when you are saving for a car, we have all taken these impulsive decisions and later regretted them.
A person who is a master in self-regulation will think about the consequences of succumbing to his/her impulses and then take a wise financial decision. Those who are good at self-regulation will save more, invest more and make their money grow faster than that of others. It’s as simple as that. Once you learn to choose needs over wants and stop giving in to temptations, you will be on the right track.
Almost all childhood games are a platform for kids to develop social skills. Playing with others builds friendship, relationship and invokes a feeling of being a part of a community. When kids turn into adults, they still rely on their social skills developed in their childhood to make new friends and relations.
These social skills can help a great deal in the field of personal finance too. You can collaborate with your friends to form a budget plan and discuss about savings and investment. You can pool in with your friends and family and invest as a group. You can discuss about money matters with your better half in a less stressful environment. When you work as a community, you will be more involved in budgeting, saving and investing.
Lastly, we have arrived at the point that we have been harping about from the start. Just like the way games are designed for recreational purposes, one needs to have fun with money management too. Being too worked up and tensed about finances will not help you to make right financial choices. So, it is important to stay relaxed and have fun when it comes to money management. Only if you are enjoying the process of budgeting and investment, you will be more involved and more focused in money matters.
Budgeting offers enough opportunities to have fun. For example, you can play a game with your friend as to who comes up with an innovative budget plan or who saves more at the end of the month. Such money-saving contests will not only keep you motivated to save but will also add a fun element to the proceedings.
When it comes to investments, put aside a small portion of money to invest in stocks that are inexpensive and that may or may not offer profitable returns. Compete with your friends by investing a little amount of your savings in these inexpensive stocks and see who makes most profit out of it. In this case, the margin of loss is very minimum and at the same time you get to learn about investing while having fun with it.
Now that you have learnt how your childhood games are deeply connected with the matters of personal finance, summon your inner child from time to time to make the most of money matters. We hope that you will apply these principles of childhood games while taking financial decisions and make your money grow while having fun with it.
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