Friday, March 1, 2013

Spent - A Personal Fiscal Cliff

Take a few minutes out of your busy day and click here.  Don't worry, it's not anything nefarious!  You'll be taken to a website called "Spent", an online "game" that will give you a realistic look at what it is like to be poor in America today.

The game is a collaboration between the McKinney advertising agency and the Urban Ministries of Durham, North Carolina, a group that runs a homeless shelter.  Players are given a scenario in which they have lost their house, are single parents with no job and minimal savings.  You are then given a choice of low-paying jobs, whether to pay for health insurance and then must find a home that is within a reasonable commute from work.  Bills must be paid, however, there is often only enough money to pay one bill at a time.  Spent will ultimately tell you how many days it will be before you run out of money.

The game is very illuminating and makes you realize just how close we all could be to falling into a personal financial abyss should we lose our house, our job or suffer a catastrophic health event.  

As the saying goes, "There but for the grace of God go I.".  Unfortunately, with 15 percent or 46.2 million Americans living below the poverty line in 2011, "Spent" is a "game" that they play every day out of necessity.  

At the very least, "Spent" certainly puts our own problems into perspective.

1 comment:

  1. I was able to make it through the 30 days with enough for rent at the end of the month but it still told me rents due try again. Game is rigged for failure shananagans i cry shananagans....