For generations, parents and caregivers have tried to teach children the value of a dollar. There are many tools at their disposal — allowances, chores, and of course, piggy banks! My kids, now teenagers, are truly learning the value of a dollar. And while we have always preached at them about saving money, shown them how to save money, etc… it all seems to really be hitting home now that we require them to pay for their activities and a portion of their bills.
I am not yet old, but not really young anymore either. Middle of the road? When I was 18 I could not wait to get out on my own. I loved working – I always have. So making a paycheck wasn’t an issue for me. I knew I could make the money I needed to live. But I soon understood that simply paying the bills wasn’t all you needed to do in life.
It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed to make a better plan for my finances. I wanted to save more, but my habits and daily routine needed updating. I saw many friends who had to move back in with their parents, or get multiple roommates, or came close to being altogether homeless when unexpected bills maxed them out, and I definitely don’t want to end up in that position. And I’m not alone. Research shows that one in three millennials (34%) ranked saving as their number one goal for the year.
I was excited to find FeedThePig.org. It has great resources to help me, my family, and my friends save more and spend wisely, including a new game called Yesterday’s Tomorrow. The game is like a “choose-your-own-adventure” in the form of a digital photo album! You get to develop a relationship with a future version of yourself, jumping through key life stages and instantly seeing the outcomes of those choices from teenage years through retirement. As you think through some life decisions like school, job, and awesome vacations, you’ll see how your choices may save, or lose money. No one wants to blow their money needlessly, right?
We have been using Feed the Pig games since its launch in 2008. At that time, my kids were just 8 and 9 years old. After struggling with student loan debt and other debt that we have piled up over the years – I really wanted to play this game for myself – and I wish I had done it years ago! The new Yesterday’s Tomorrow game lets you not only have a little fun but also see that financial literacy is important. I love that you can virtually see how adopting healthy financial habits can pay off!
Before I understood my personal finances, I made the mistake of maxing out a credit card as soon as I opened it. A majority of millennials (65%) attributed their lack of saving to impulse buying and not establishing a personal budget (62%), so I’m not the only one who has done this (and immediately regretted it!).
Although my parents told me to pay cash for my everyday fun things I wanted to buy and to set aside a set percentage of my paycheck into long-term savings, once I got into the “real world” those tips went out the window. After using Feed the Pig’s resources, I realized that just by switching up how and where I spent my money, I could really begin to save. It felt impossible before, but playing through Yesterday’s Tomorrow helped me to focus more on my future self and realize the different ways to reach those goals for where I want to be financially. The game and FeedThePig.org helped us a lot.
While we are a lot older now than when we first set out on our journey of adulthood, we still have financial goals that Yesterday’s Tomorrow has helped us see. We want to be debt free and we want to have a comfortable retirement. Those are our two main goals right now.
What are your financial goals? Make sure to play Feed the Pig’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow and figure out how you can make them happen!
For more information and to play the game, visit FeedthePig.org!