Tales of the Cashflow 101 Games Part 2 – Lessons Learned

Last April 3, I had the priviledge of hosting our second session of Rich Money Habits’ Cashflow 101 games.  This time, at The Old Spaghetti House (TOSH) Restaurant at Robinsons Forum, EDSA Pioneer, Mandaluyong City.

There were two great news in this session of Cashflow 101 game compared to last time —

First and foremost, all participants got out of the rat race.  Congratulations to the participants!  Yehey!  Granted, it took some time for some of the participants to get out.  In the end, however, when one of them finally got out, like magic, everyone followed suit and got out in no time at all.  It could be because they saw that getting out of the rat race is indeed possible.  Everyone focused on making more passive income from then on so they too can also get out of the rat race.  In hindsight, I realized that this is also true in real life.  The more like-minded people you surround yourself with, the more people will support you and cheer you on as you go for your dream of financial freedom.

Second, we had the luxury of time and we were able to enjoy the game without getting kicked out of the restaurant.  The first time I hosted a Cashflow 101 game in Tapa King Edsa Central, we were kicked out because apparently playing cashflow boardgame is prohibited inside the restaurant.  We were lucky the caretaker still allowed us to play the game if only for a couple of hours.  But when the guard saw us, the caretaker didn’t have any other choice than to request us to stop playing, even though we weren’t done yet…just when the participants were now beginning to see how the cashflow 101 game works.  I felt really bad for the participants and promised myself never to allow a similar experience to happen again.

Hosting the second cashflow 101 session had its own challenges but the fact that everyone got out of the rat race was a reward in itself.  It was a gratifying experience witnessing the participants get out of the rat race and cross over to the fast track.  Seeing their spirits come alive and become animated as they celebrate their personal victory is truly an amazing experience.

After the game, I asked the participants what realizations they’ve had while playing the game.  Here are 5 lessons they’ve willingly shared that I am now passing on to you so you too can learn from them as well.

1) It’s OK to start all over again. 

One of the players over leveraged and got into debt so much so that he was already paying more money than what he was able to earn.  In short, his expenses was greater than his income.  Whenever he passes by the “Paycheck” cell, instead of receiving income, he now shells out extra cash to pay out his debts.

Needless to say, this led to his downfall as he eventually filed for BANKRUPTCY.  After declaring bankruptcy, he had to sell off all his assets for half the price.  After selling his “assets” off and paying his debts, he finally got into a positive cashflow situation.

That means, he had extra money at the end of the month again.  The surprising thing was, after getting rid of his “asset” he was actually better off.  He had lots of cash and he didn’t have to pay every month for his “asset”.  What he considered to be an asset was actually eating him alive because of the HUGE loans, causing him to file for bankruptcy.

Does this sound familiar?  I think this is very similar to the housing crisis a couple of years back, and still being felt up to this day.

2) It’s OK to borrow money as long as your asset is paying for it.

One of the most popular advise you will get is to NEVER borrow money.  And it certainly is a wise advise, especially if you are still learning your way to financial literacy and you don’t have the discipline to pay off what you owe.

The surprising thing was, because of the law of leverage, those who bought assets turned out to be in better position to take advantage of opportunities when the market changed.  For example, in the game when someone draws out a market card, it could turn out positive changes to the players.  Someone may be looking to buy for a new house.  And because you have the property, you get to sell it to him.

Of course, it is not always as rosy as it sounds.  One time during the game, someone drew a catastrophic market card — a financial crisis, if you may.  Tenants could no longer pay rent.  Everyone who had 3 bedroom/ 2 bath houses was affected and the owner had to let go of their properties.  Ouch.

3) It’s OK if you want to play it safe, you can still get out of the rat race

One of the players was very conscious about getting into debt, even though it was only a game.  At first, she was focusing on the paycheck and wanted to earn more, feeling safe with the money that she had.  She avoided debts as much as possible and ensured she always had extra cash at hand.  She occassionally invested in mutual funds and stocks throughout the game.

In the end, even she was able to get out of the rat race.  She didn’t have to quit her job.  In fact, after getting out of the rat race, she now has the option to still do what she’s always done.  But the good thing is, she’s no longer tied to her job anymore.  She can quit anytime she wants, and the passive income will still be able to cover her monthly expenses.  Isn’t that great?

The lesson? You can still get out of the rat race even if you’re afraid of debts.  You don’t have to despair if you find out you’re afraid of risks.  You can still get out of the rat race.

Of course, while the game went on, she had to shift her focus from paycheck to opportunities.  One time, she was even complaining why she landed on paycheck instead of opportunity.  At the time, she was almost out of the rat race.  One small deal was enough for her to become financially free.  In that context, it’s understandable why she wanted to land on another opportunity instead of a paycheck.

4) It’s OK to give away what you seek the most

It is sometimes counterintuitive to give away what you seek most.  Your tendency is to keep what you have for as long as you can.  In reality, however, keeping it to yourself does more damage to you because of the feeling of scarcity that you’re telling your mind.  Instead, do what one of the players did.  Here’s how.

The same player who went into bankruptcy had the habit of donating to charities, even when he was financially struggling. The surprising thing was, he eventually managed to get up and get out of the rat race even with the bankruptcy.  The fact is, he even surpassed and got out ahead of some of the other players. 🙂

He mastered the flow of money by starting to be generous with what he had. It is truly mind boggling how things fall into place when you set your priorities straight.

5) It’s OK to be the last one to get out of the rat race

It doesn’t matter whether all other players are already out of the rat race, although I might say, it can be demoralizing sometimes.  When that happens, know that we all start out somewhere.  Perhaps, one was able to get out of the rat race faster because she had only minimal expenses.  Or perhaps, she took advantage an opportunity and the market rewarded her investments.  The important thing is YOU are able to get out of the rat race.  It is your personal victory.

It’s inevitable to compare your results with other people.  It’s just what we normal humans do.  But instead of living your life in despair, use that motivation to be inspired instead.  You can say, “if they can get out the rat race, it only means, I too can get out as well!”.  Keep the positive attitude up, and sooner than later, you too will celebrate your day of financial freedom. Cheers!

Readers, have you played Cashflow 101 game board?  What other lessons can you add into the above list?

P.S.  Ready to play cashflow 101 in real-life?  CLICK HERE to email me.

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