Game of Life User Guide

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					         Game of Life User Guide

The Game of Life is an interactive simulation which aims to raise awareness around life decisions
commonly faced by students, both before and after graduation.
While the game can be used as a component of Money Week, it may also be marketed as a stand-alone
event. In its current stage the game could be held in a variety of different settings. Options for an event
location include:
	 • A classroom or community room on campus.
	 • A hallway or other popular public space in the Commons.
	 • A dorm lounge.

Hosting the Game of Life will require the following resources:
	 • At least one computer with Internet access at Stations Three and Four, and potentially Station Five
    (more may be used depending on participation rate).
	 • A few calculators, ready to use (student players will most likely need a calculator and not everyone can
    be relied upon to have a cell phone at hand).
	 • Depending on projected attendance, a number of Living in Balance spending sheets, multiple decks
    of the Chance Cards, and a number of profile cards (you may choose whether you want to hand these
    out individually or have players fill in their information on a separate sheet at the start of the game).
	 • At least one person to run each Station (five people total). Depending on participation, more helpers
    may be needed.
	 • Attendance sheets to record Impacts.

To make this event successful, it might be important to include the following incentives into your
presentation of the Game of Life:
	 • Create catchy advertisements that play up the interactive simulation aspect of the game. Each player
    is largely allowed to make his or her own financial decisions, and must live with the reality of those
    choices at the end of the game.
	 • Color and flair will also be important in designing the space in which to host the event. Just like the
    actual board game, consider using bold purples, blues, greens and oranges (the colors which outline
    the title of the game, LIFE, on the box) when creating signs or decorating tables.
	 • Providing snack food could draw in a passerby or two. However, food hasn’t been proven to generate
    enormous crowds, so have a backup plan ready.




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       • Use the draw of prizes to get students to participate. Give every player a smaller prize for completing
         the simulation—such as a piece of candy, a wristband, a pen, etc.—and offer a larger prize for a few
         select participants. For example, you could allow everyone who plays the game to enter their name
         into a larger drawing for a gift card to Target. Or, you could introduce a tiered prize system, where
         every player can be entered to win a small prize but only those players who end the game with a
         positive net income can enter to win the grand prize.
    	 • Enhance the marketability of your event by co-sponsoring a round of the Game of Life with another
        campus organization, or a faculty member or academic department. This will increase the visibility of
        your event and will provide you with an additional avenue through which to advertise and publicize
        the game.
    	 • Often, events held by various campus organizations or entities could count toward fulfilling class
        requirements for some students. If possible, connect with the appropriate faculty to situate the Game
        of Life as an event which would fulfill an attendance requirement for a course.
    	 • Create and distribute a pamphlet that provides a useful list of next steps for students who participate
        in the Game of Life. A potential list has been provided in this document, but that list is by no means
        exhaustive—feel free to add your own ideas and suggestions.

    Ideally, during the course of this simulation student players will be made aware of a variety of messages
    related to the six Money Topics of Money Revolution, including (but not limited to):
       1. Your credit score can change due to a variety of factors, but in the end it’s significant because it helps
          determine APR rates for loans. It’s important to know and understand your credit score.
       2. Your student loans are a financial obligation, and you need to understand the details of your loans as
          outlined by your lender. Changing the time it takes to pay off your loans can influence both your
          monthly payment and the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.
       3. When renting an apartment, it’s important to be practical. You’re not always going to be able to afford
          your dream place.
       4. The cost of living comfortably can be high if you don’t pay attention to your conscious spending plan.
       5. Credit card debt sucks and should not be used to achieve a higher standard of living than you
          can afford.
       6. You need to have an understanding of your priorities when analyzing the flexibility in your financial
          situation.
       7. There are many ways to easily cut expenses from your Spending Plan if you think creatively and are
          willing to make sacrifices in order to afford the things you value most.

    Provided for you is a guide for conducting one version of the Game of Life; the eight different profiles from
    which a player may select; a deck of eight Chance cards; a deck of 20 Transportation Chance Cards; the
    eight different housing options from which a player may select; and a Living in Balance spending sheet,
    which should be given to every player. While an outline for the simulation has been drawn up for you, it is
    by no means required that you follow this guide exactly.
    The beauty of your role as a Money Revolution student leader is your ability to test, to react and to
    reformulate. Feel free to tweak this outline, change or add to it, or even to scrap it entirely and come up
    with your own version of the simulation. But most importantly: Let us know what works.

                         Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • Thrivent.com • 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836)


26303GLE N12 -11
    Game of Life Facilitator’s Outline


Station One: Get profile.
First, hand each student a Living in Balance sheet. Then, allow the player to choose three profiles from
the pile of eight (which are presented face-down). From the three, the player must pick one. In order to
keep this profile the player must correctly answer a question related to finances. If the player answers the
question incorrectly, you may personally choose a profile for him or her.
Possible questions (though you may choose to come up with your own):
  1. Q: What number represents the highest credit score an individual can attain?
     A: 850.
  2. Q: When applying for a credit card, a person’s credit score can directly affect whether they qualify
        for a card with a low or a high APR. What does APR stand for?
     A: APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate.
  3. Q: True or False: Being late on ONE credit card payment will not affect your credit score.
     A: False.
  4. Q: There are many different types of accounts through which an individual can save for his or her
        retirement. Name one of those accounts.
     A: (Roth) 401(k), 403(b), Roth IRA, traditional IRA, pension plan, annuities, 457 plan, etc. (If player
        cites the name of an account that you don’t recognize, ask him or her to describe the retirement
        plan for your benefit.)
  5. Q: True or False: Federal student loans and private student loans cannot be combined when creating
        one consolidated student loan.
     A: True.


After a player has selected a profile, instruct him or her to fill out the top three lines in the Living in
Balance sheet (yearly base salary, yearly income after-taxes, and after tax monthly income). In order to
calculate yearly income after taxes, instruct player to deduct 23% from their yearly base salary. Note that this
percentage is an approximation used for the purposes of the game; the actual amount of taxes deducted
from an individual’s salary depends on a variety of factors, including income bracket and state residency.
RESOURCES NEEDED: Profile cards; calculators or cell phones; multiple Living in Balance sheets;
pens or pencils.
NOTE: When under time constraints, simply allow players to pull three profiles and choose one.


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GOAL: A player must take into consideration a variety of factors when choosing a profile, including salary,
total debt and credit score. Many profiles with a larger salary have a lower credit score and higher amounts
of debt, while many profiles with a lower salary have a higher credit score and lower amounts of debt.
In between Stations One and Two, give each player a Chance card. If player’s credit score exceeds 850, do not count
Chance card— a credit score over 760 will ensure lowest interest rate. Instruct player to record credit score in the
appropriate place on their Living in Balance sheet.


Station Two: Select an apartment to rent.
Each player will have the option of choosing between eight different apartment setups. The rent amount
and size of each apartment reflects the yearly base salary listed for each profile, and was calculated by
applying the rule that monthly rent should represent about 25% of take-home income. Each apartment is
assumed to have one renter.
NOTE: For eight rental options, please see supplement titled “Housing Options.”
After a player has chosen one housing option from the eight available, inform the player that he or she can
select the layout of their apartment based on their monthly rent. Show them pictures of the furnishing
options for four rooms: Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchen and Living Room. Each room should be represented in
four degrees of quality. The price of each room corresponds directly to the quality of that room. For example:


Kitchen:                      Bedroom:                            Living Room:                    Bathroom:
• Very outdated = $125        • Drab with old carpet = $100       • Drab with old carpet = $100   • Very outdated = $75
• Outdated = $150             • Plain but clean = $150            • Plain but clean = $125        • Outdated = $100
• Clean and new = $200        • Ordered and updated = $175        • Ordered and updated = $175    • Clean and new = $125
• Modern and hi-tech = $250   • Elegant with hardwood             • Elegant with hardwood         • Modern spa = $150
                                floors = $200                       floors = $200

Allow players to put together the pictures to form their ideal apartment, keeping in mind the financial
limits of their monthly rental payment. For example, if my rent is $555/month I could feasibly select the
clean and new kitchen ($200), plus the plain but clean bedroom ($150), plus the plain but clean living
room ($125), plus the very outdated bathroom ($75). Allow a player to rearrange the pictures of the room
options within the outline of a typical one-bedroom apartment (either printed from the Internet or hand-
drawn) on a felt or poster board. It may be useful to have multiple boards if many players arrive at the
Station at once. If a player would like a higher- or lower-priced room, he or she is allowed to reselect an
apartment with a correspondingly larger or smaller monthly rental amount.
Once a player has selected an apartment, make sure the player writes down the monthly rent amount in
the first Expense category on his or her Living in Balance spending sheet.
In order to make Station Two as engaging as possible, scour the Internet for colorful pictures of homes!
Print off photos of the four different rooms (each varying in quality and order) so players can physically
create their unique apartment space. Additionally, search online for the floor plan to a one-bedroom
apartment, and use it as a model for this Station.
RESOURCES NEEDED: List of eight housing options; 16 pictures of room options (four per room)
(optional); felt or poster board (optional); printed or hand-drawn layout of a typical one-bedroom
apartment (optional).
NOTE: After selecting four different rooms, a player may realize that the sum of their rooms doesn’t exactly
reach his or her monthly rental amount. Explain to players that any remaining funds would ideally go
toward paying for additional home furnishings or services.

                                                              2
NOTE: When under time constraints, simply allow players to select an apartment from the eight available
options and skip the room design portion of the Station.
GOAL: Players should take into account their monthly income when choosing which apartment to rent.
Additionally, players should consciously select rooms based on their personal values system—for example,
a player may sacrifice a large bedroom if he or she assigns higher significance to a modern kitchen. Note
that this conscious spending plan can extend to all areas of an individual’s life. For example, if a person
enjoys an active social scene, he or she may choose to live in a smaller apartment with multiple roommates
to save money for going out.
In between Stations Two and Three, give each player a Chance card. If player’s credit score exceeds 850, do not
count Chance card—a credit score over 760 will ensure lowest interest rate. Instruct player to record credit score in
the appropriate place on his or her Living in Balance sheet.



Station Three: Pay off your student loans.
Each player should use the student loan amount listed at the bottom of his or her profile to participate at
this station. Before calculating their monthly payment, the player will have an opportunity to lower their
total debt amount by answering up to five questions. If the first question is answered correctly, the player
can deduct $1,000 from his or her student loan amount (and $1,000 for each question answered correctly
after the first, up to five questions). If the player answers a question incorrectly, no deductions are taken
from his or her student loans.
	 •   0 questions right: no deduction taken
  •   1 question right: $1,000 deduction
  •   2 questions right: $2,000 deduction
  •   3 questions right: $3,000 deduction
  •   4 questions right: $4,000 deduction
  •   5 questions right: $5,000 deduction
Possible questions (which may be altered by the facilitator but must aim primarily to illustrate an important
facet of student loans to the player):
  1. Q: While you are in school, and during grace and deferment periods, who pays the interest on your
        federal subsidized student loans?
     A: During this period the federal government pays all interest on federal subsidized student loans.
  2. Q: When does interest on an unsubsidized federal loan begin to accrue?
     A: When the loan funds are disbursed to the student.
  3. Q: Are you required to pay the interest that accrues on your unsubsidized federal loan during school?
     A: No; you can choose to let the interest accrue without payment until you are required to begin
        repayment. However, all accrued interest will be added to your principal and will increase the
        total amount of the loan on which interest will be applied once your repayment period has begun,
        thus increasing the amount of your loan.
  4. Q: Are you required to pay your student loan if you do not receive a repayment notice?
     A: Yes. You must make loan payments every month.
  5. Q: Name one of the circumstances in which you must notify your loan provider of a change in
        personal information.
     A: When you graduate; withdraw from school; drop below half-time status; change your name,
        address or Social Security number; or transfer to another school.


                                                           3
  6. Q: What is a “grace period”?
     A: A set period of time after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time status before you
        must begin repayment on a Stafford or Perkins Loan.
  7. Q: What is a graduated repayment plan?
     A: A repayment plan in which payments start out relatively low and then increase, usually every two
        years. Payments must at least cover the interest that accumulates on the loan(s) between payments.
  8. Q: What is loan deferment?
     A: A period in which repayment of the principal balance of a loan is temporarily postponed if the
        borrower meets certain requirements.
  9. Q: What is loan forbearance?
     A: A condition which allows a borrower to postpone or reduce the monthly payment amount for
        a limited and specific period if the borrower is willing but unable to make scheduled loan
        payments for reasons including, but not limited to, illness or financial hardship and does not meet
        the eligibility requirements for deferment.
  10. Q: What is loan consolidation?
      A: The process of combining multiple federal student loans with various repayment schedules into
         one Direct Consolidation Loan, resulting in a single monthly payment rather than multiple
         monthly payments.


After the player has answered up to five questions correctly, run the Amortizing Loan Calculator found on
Thrivent’s website (https://www.thrivent.com/calculators/dinkytown/SimpleLoan.html) to illustrate how
monthly student loan payments are calculated. For simplicity’s sake, assume an interest rate of 7.5%.
(Many federal loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.8%, and private loans can fluctuate greatly in rate.) Ask
the player to record the monthly student loan payment in his or her Living in Balance spending sheet.
RESOURCES NEEDED: Computer(s).
NOTE: When under time constraints, simply calculate a player’s monthly student loan payment using the
Thrivent Amortizing Loan Calculator and skip the loans trivia questions.
GOAL: Explain to players that drawing out payments over a longer period of time could help lower
monthly payments, but will increase the amount of interest paid to the lending institution over the life of
the loan. Remember: there isn’t necessarily a “right” answer when paying back loans. For some individuals
it would be more harmful in the long run to take on a large monthly payment. For others, eliminating
their student loan debt sooner is a possibility and should be considered. The important message of this
station is to know and understand your student loans in order to create an effective plan for paying
them off.
In between Stations Three and Four, give each player a Chance card. If player’s credit score exceeds 850, do not
count Chance card —a credit score over 760 will ensure lowest interest rate. Instruct player to record credit score in
the appropriate place on his or her Living in Balance sheet.




                                                            4
Station Four: Purchase a Car.
Before a player can select a vehicle to purchase, he or she must refer to his or her housing option (selected
at Station Two). If a player selected housing option One, Two, Six or Eight, he or she “lives” close to his or
her workplace and may draw a Transportation Chance Card (presented face-down). If the player draws a
TAKE THE BUS card, he or she may opt to use public transportation (although it is not required that this
player choose to take the bus —he or she may still decide to purchase a car). In this instance, the player
need only record $100 for total transportation in Expense line two of the Living in Balance sheet.
If, however, a player selected housing option Three, Four, Five or Seven, he or she does not “live” close to
work and must select a car to purchase.
Players will choose from four different car options, the prices of which were determined by Kelley Blue Book:
 • Used 2009 Audi S4 in excellent condition with 36,500 miles and automatic transmission: $27,100
 • New 2012 Toyota Corolla (base model): $18,250
 • Used 2006 Mazda 6 in excellent condition with 77,000 miles and automatic transmission: $11,500
 • Used 2003 Honda Accord in excellent condition with 108,000 miles and automatic transmission:
   $9,600
    NOTE: Price includes sticker amount, sales tax [assume 5.6%, the national sales tax average] and
    registration fee [assume $50].
Players who purchase a vehicle will use their credit score (which will have changed from the original
number based on the fate of their Chance cards) to determine the interest rate of their car loan. Work with
the player to determine monthly payment information using the Loan Savings Calculator provided by
myfico.com (http://www.myfico.com/myfico/CreditCentral/LoanRates.aspx). Then, ask the player to record
the monthly payment into the second Expense category on his or her Living in Balance sheet.
In order to make Station Four as engaging as possible, scour the Internet for photos of the four cars! Find
pictures that are flashy and colorful, and blow them up so each player can see the differences between each
car. Or, print off multiple copies of the picture of each car, and give them to the player (after he or she has
selected a vehicle) to keep.
REMEMBER: Under “Step One” on the myFico Loan Savings Calculator, select the 36-, 48- or 60-month
new car loan (if the player selects to purchase the 2012 Toyota Corolla) or the 48-month used auto loan (if
the player selects to purchase the Audi, Mazda or Honda). Under “Step Two”, select the state identified on
the player’s profile. Finally, assume no initial down payment on the car selected by the player—that is, the
loan principal amount (under “Step Three”) will be the full price of the vehicle as listed above.
RESOURCES NEEDED: Computer(s); four pictures of vehicle options (optional).
GOAL: A player’s credit score, in this game and in real life, will greatly influence the interest rate at which
he or she repays loans for big ticket-items. Additionally, purchasing a vehicle is a costly decision and should
be undertaken realistically (keeping in mind an individual’s monthly after-tax income).




                                                       5
Station Five: Balance your life.
Players who arrive at this station will have the opportunity to balance their expenses based on the Life
after College Firestarter. If a player has not yet calculated his or her yearly income after taxes, have the
player deduct 23% from his or her yearly base salary. (This rate is an approximation and in reality will
vary from state to state.) The player should have already filled in the monthly payment information for
Station Two (Rent an Apartment), Station Three (Pay Off Your Student Loans) and Station Four (Purchase
a Car). For the remaining slots, the player should guess the most costly elements to a post-graduate
spending plan. The sheet should read as follows:
According to the 2009 Consumer Expenditure Report:
  1. Housing: Add an additional $165 to monthly rental payment (calculated in Station Two).
     Amount includes household furnishing and equipment, housekeeping supplies, and miscellaneous
     household operations.
  2. Transportation: Add an additional $390 to the monthly car payment (calculated in Station Four)
     for insurance, gas, warranty and monthly maintenance:
	 	   •   For insurance, assume $100/month (in reality, this amount will vary from person to person).
      •   For gas, assume $115/month.
      •   For the vehicle warranty, assume $30/month (in reality, this amount will vary from dealer to dealer).
      •   For monthly maintenance, assume an average of $145/month.
NOTE: If a player opts to take public transportation (which is only available to players who select housing
option One, Two, Six and Eight and who draw a TAKE THE BUS Transportation Chance Card), total
transportation is $100.
  3. Student Loans: (This amount was calculated in Station Three).
  4. Food: $390.
     Amount includes groceries, dining out and alcoholic beverages.
  5. Technology: $250.
	 	   • Smart phone: $140/month (based on Verizon Wireless single-line plan rates [$70 for unlimited
        minutes, $20 unlimited messaging, $50 5GB data]).
      • Cable/Internet: $80/month (rates based on the XFinity Digital Preferred TV + Performance
        Internet package).
      • Additional average costs: cell phones; TVs; music players; personal computers.
  6. Utilities: $230.
     Amount includes electricity, gas, water and other public services.
  7. Health Care: $175.
     Amount includes health insurance, doctor bills and prescriptions.
  8. Entertainment: $145.
     Amount includes going to movies, sporting events, hobbies and recreation, etc.
  9. Clothing: $100.
     Amount includes clothes for work, casual clothes, shoes, seasonal outerwear, etc.
  10. If applicable: Additional Debt (located under “Outstanding debt” on player profile).




                                                          6
NOTE: When under time constraints, simply tell players the most costly elements to a post-graduate
spending plan—no guessing need be involved.
NOTE: If the player has additional debt (written at the bottom of his or her profile under “Outstanding
debt”), use the calculator from Station Three (Student loans) to calculate a monthly payment plan for the
player based on his or her desired repayment timeline: https://www.thrivent.com/calculators/dinkytown/
SimpleLoan.html. Assume an interest rate of 7.5%. Ask the player to include this amount in the final
category on his or her Living in Balance spending sheet.

RESOURCES NEEDED: Calculator(s) for player(s).


Call to action
After completing Station Five, a player may find that they have ended the game significantly in debt. If
time allows, have a brief (one- to three-minute) conversation with players to brainstorm ways in which to
improve their monthly spending plan. Or, give each player a pamphlet that lists relevant resources and
money management tips. For example, provide the following next steps:
	 • Set up a Mint (mint.com) account to begin balancing your life, and be prepared to know where your
    money is going after graduation.
  • If you plan to make large purchases after graduation (like buying an automobile or a home), start a
    savings plan now.
  • Go to the Financial Aid office and discuss your student loans with a specialist. Ask questions, discuss
    options and make a plan for paying off your loans after graduation.
  • Pull your free credit report safely at www.annualcreditreport.com. (Be aware that websites like
    freecreditreport.com and others actually ask you to sign up for a free trial subscription period, after
    which you will be automatically billed.)
    – For more information on your credit report or score, visit www.myfico.com.
	 • Options for saving money or cutting costs:
    – Single Americans spend, on average, $27.33 each month on public transportation.* While a monthly
      bus pass might run you around $100, taking public transportation is still significantly cheaper than
      owning and maintaining a vehicle. If you live in a populated area, consider alternatives to driving
      to work, like taking public transportation, biking or walking.
      o If you’re still in school, chances are your local public transportation system is either inexpensive
        or free to students. Instead of having your car on campus, could you take the bus? Alternatively,
        can you ride your bike? (Does your campus offer a bike loan program?) Could you schedule a few
        more minutes in your day to walk? Could you use public transportation, such as the bus or train,
        when leaving campus for holidays or breaks?
    – Single Americans spend, on average, $148.75 each month on food away from home.* Consider
      eating out a limited number of times a week, or only for special occasions. If you have ready access
      to a kitchen, try cooking more meals at home. If you’re still at school, take advantage of your
      campus cafeteria.
    – Housing is an area with huge potential to cut costs. If you’d like to save money:

*According to the 2009 Consumer Expenditure Report, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.




                                                               7
            o … consider on-campus housing, such as a dorm room or campus apartment, instead of renting off
              campus. This option may be less expensive and will place you within walking distance of campus
              facilities and entertainment.
            o … think about living with a roommate, or multiple roommates. Not only will your monthly
              rent be cheaper, but you’ll also be able to collectively pay for food and utilities, and household
              supplies, furnishings and equipment.
              ~ Speaking of furnishings: Instead of buying new, consider scouring garage and estate sales,
                 second hand stores, online listings, or the clearance section of home furnishing centers for
                 both small and large furniture needs. Also, check in with friends and family members for any
                 cheap or free furnishings they’d like to give away. And think creatively! A do-it-yourself project
                 is personal and cost-effective.
            o … prioritize when choosing a rental. If location is important to you, understand that you may be
              paying a higher amount for a potentially smaller apartment. Consciously make a list of the
              elements you value in housing—and stick to it.
            o … try to get a feel for the amount you can afford to spend on rent by following this rule of
              thumb: only around 25% of your after-tax monthly income should go toward housing.
            o … think realistically about your housing situation in relation to your monthly income. You may
              not be able to afford that studio apartment one block from campus or that flat in the city that
              you’ve been dreaming of since sophomore year, but paring down your rent can allow you to save
              money, spend more in other areas of your life, and stay out of debt.
          – Consider living without certain technological expenses. If you don’t often use the data plan on
            your cell phone, opt for a more basic contract. Instead of cable TV, consider purchasing a Netflix
            account or renting movies (for example, from the library or from Redbox). Take care of your
            personal laptop to extend its lifetime. Make do with the older version of a phone, computer or TV as
            long as your technology lasts instead of opting for the latest and greatest update.
          – Scrimping on entertainment can be difficult to do, so instead of cutting back the amount of time
            you spend outside of the house, revolutionize the way you view entertainment.
             o Use your student ID for discounts at a variety of locations.
             o Look for free movies in the park, or go to a dollar theater.
             o Hit the Internet to see if your city’s website has a calendar of free local attractions and events.
             o Ask your public library if they offer discounts on museum fees, or if they provide museum passes
               for check-out.
             o Use websites like LivingSocial.com and Groupon.com to find deals on events, attractions,
               personal care services, restaurants and more.
             o Attend more school or local sporting events, and go to professional team games on a special basis.
             o Volunteer! It’s often a free way to spend your time, and additionally benefits your community and
               develops your personal brand.


    When a player has reached the end of the game, give him or her a prize —even if it’s something small like
    candy. Consider allowing everyone to enter their names into a drawing for a larger prize. Let players keep
    their Living in Balance sheets, and give them information about additional events sponsored by the Money
    Revolution program.




                         Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • Thrivent.com • 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836)


26303GLA N12 -11
           Living in Balance Spending Sheet

        Yearly base salary: $ ________________

        Yearly income after taxes: $ _________
        (To calculate yearly income after taxes, deduct 23% from yearly base salary.)

        After tax monthly income: $ ________ /month

        Credit score: _______________________

         Credit score after Station One: __________

         Credit score after Station Two: __________

         Credit score after Station Three: _________

        Expenses
        1. Apartment: $ ____________________
           Add $165 for household furnishing and equipment, housekeeping supplies and miscellaneous
           household expenses.

           Total Housing: $ ________________

        2. Monthly car payment (only relevant if a car was purchased at Station Four): $ ___________
           Add $390 for auto insurance, gas, warranty and monthly maintenance.

           Total Transportation: $ ______________

        3. Monthly student loan payment: $ ____________________

        4. ______________ : $ __________________________________

        5. ______________ : $ __________________________________

        6. ______________ : $ __________________________________

        7. ______________ : $ __________________________________

        8. ______________ : $ __________________________________

        9. ______________ : $ __________________________________

        10. Additional debts: $_________________________________

        Total Expenses: $__________________

        Net Disposable Income: $_______________

                          Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • Thrivent.com • 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836)


26303BSS N12 -11                                                             Thrivent.com • Thrivent.com/twitter • Thrivent.com/facebook
        Game of Life Player Profiles

Position: Social worker at a government agency in                 Position: Computer Support Specialist for a technology
New York, New York.                                               company in Dallas, Texas.
Yearly base salary: $34,000                                       Yearly base salary: $47,000
Education: The University of California – Los Angeles.            Education: Baylor University.
Credit score: 689                                                 Credit score: 526
Credit history:                                                   Credit history:
  • Almost always pays bills on time, with one or two               • Sometimes pays bills on time, but often makes payments
    periodic late payments.                                           late (with many being 30+ days past due).
  • Has made three payments that were 30+ days past due.            • Has four open credit card accounts.
  • Has five open credit cards, including retail cards.             • Regularly carries a balance on all open credit
  • Rarely carries a balance on open credit card accounts.            card accounts.
  • Rarely meets credit limit.                                      • Regularly meets or exceeds credit limit.
  • Three of five accounts are established and well                 • Regularly uses credit cards and has a combination of
    maintained, and two were recently opened.                         mortgage, education and auto loans.
  • Has a varied credit history consisting of both small and        • Two of four credit card accounts are established, and two
    large purchases, and multiple types of credit.                    were recently opened.
Outstanding debt:                                                   • Due to a fear of increased debt, credit history is stagnant
 • $20,000 in student loans.                                          and has little variety (with little variation in credit type).
                                                                  Outstanding debt:
                                                                   • $60,000 in student loans.
                                                                   • $3,300 in credit card debt.


Position: Actuary for a financial institution in                  Position: Mechanical engineer at an aerospace technology
Denver, Colorado.                                                 institute in Los Angeles, California.
Yearly base salary: $50,500                                       Yearly base salary: $52,000
Education: Colorado College.                                      Education: Iowa State University.
Credit score: 651                                                 Credit score: 802
Credit history:                                                   Credit history:
  • Usually pays bills on time.                                     • Always pays bills on time.
  • Has made a few payments that were 30+ past due.                 • Has never had a payment past due.
  • Has three open credit card accounts.                            • Has two open credit card accounts.
  • Often but not always carries a balance on all open credit       • Never carries a balance on open credit card accounts.
    card accounts.                                                  • Never meets credit limit.
  • Often but not always meets or exceeds credit limit.             • Both credit card accounts are established and
  • Two of three credit card accounts are established, and             well maintained.
    one was recently opened.                                        • Has a varied credit history consisting of both small and
  • Has a varied credit history with multiple credit types, but        large purchases, and multiple types of credit.
    recently hasn’t made many large purchases (where a            Outstanding debt:
    credit inquiry would be necessary).                            • $30,000 in student loans.
Outstanding debt:
 • $80,000 in student loans.
 • $2,250 in credit card debt.



                                                                     Thrivent.com • Thrivent.com/twitter • Thrivent.com/facebook
    Position: Lab Assistant for a biomedical laboratory in                 Position: Public school teacher at a high school
    Chicago, Illinois.                                                     in Seattle, Washington.
    Yearly base salary: $28,000                                            Yearly base salary: $36,500
    Education: Wheaton College.                                            Education: The University of Montana – Billings.
    Credit score: 713                                                      Credit score: 593
    Credit history:                                                        Credit history:
      • Almost always pays bills on time, with one or two                     • Sometimes pays bills on time, but often makes payments
        periodic late payments.                                                 late (with many being 30+ days past due).
      • Has made two payments that were 30+ days past due.                    • Has five open credit card accounts.
      • Has four open credit card accounts, including retail cards.           • Regularly carries a balance on all open credit
      • Rarely carries a balance on open credit card accounts.                  card accounts.
      • Rarely meets credit limit.                                            • Regularly meets or exceeds credit limit.
      • Three of four credit card accounts are established and                • Two of five credit card accounts are established, and
        well maintained, and one was recently opened.                           three were recently opened.
      • Has a varied credit history consisting of both small and              • Has varied credit history consisting of both small and
        large purchases, and multiple types of credit.                          large purchases, and multiple types of credit.
    Outstanding debt:                                                      Outstanding debt:
     • $55,000 in student loans.                                            • $15,000 in student loans.
                                                                            • $2,800 in credit card debt.


    Position: Marketing Assistant for a small start-up business            Position: Barista at a local Starbucks in St. Paul, Minnesota.
    in Charleston, South Carolina.                                         Yearly base salary: $18,500
    Yearly base salary: $32,500                                            Education: Bemidji State University.
    Education: Huntingdon College.                                         Credit score: 782
    Credit score: 633                                                      Credit history:
    Credit history:                                                          • Always pays bills on time.
       • Usually pays bills on time.                                         • Has made only one payment 30+ days past due.
       • Has made a few payments that were 30+ days past due.                • Has three open credit card accounts.
       • Has two open credit card accounts.                                  • Never carries a balance on any open credit card account.
       • Often but not always carries a balance on all open credit           • Never meets credit limit.
         card accounts.                                                      • All three credit card accounts are established and
       • Often but not always meets or exceeds credit limit.                   well maintained.
       • Both credit card accounts are established.                          • Has a varied credit history consisting of both small and
       • Credit history is relatively varied but few credit inquiries          large purchases, and multiple types of credit.
         have been run in the past few years.                              Outstanding debt:
    Outstanding debt:                                                       • $7,000 in student loans.
     • $32,000 in student loans.
     • $1,300 in credit card debt.




                            Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • Thrivent.com • 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836)


26303GLC N12 -11
             Game of Life Chance Cards



      After setting up an automatic bill pay system                           After paying off your credit card debt,
     through your checking account, you’re able to                          you maintain a low balance on your cards
         pay your bills on time for eight months.                                        for five months.
           Credit score improves 40 points.                                    Credit score improves 50 points.




        You decide to open a new credit card, but
     make sure to maintain a low balance and a low                       You accidentally throw away the bill for your
      credit utilization rate on the card. Additionally,               new retail card, and that new pair of shoes is now
     you make repayments faithfully and on time for                       costing you a lot more than they’re worth.
        seven months. Your responsibility is noted.                               Credit score drops 30 points.
           Credit score improves 30 points.



     Lured by the ease of qualifying for more and
                                                                           You bite the bullet and finally close a credit
    more credit, you go on an unchecked spending
                                                                          account, but this only serves to increase your
     spree for months on end. Pretty soon you’ve
                                                                          credit utilization rate and highlight your poor
     racked up a sizeable amount of debt, and it’ll
                                                                               choices with your remaining cards.
        take time and moderation to pay it off.
                                                                                  Credit score drops 20 points.
              Credit score drops 50 points.



         While your friends are applying for new
                                                                         Times have gotten a little tough, and you’ve
        credit cards left and right, you take stock
                                                                          fallen significantly behind on student loan
      of your financial situation and decide against
                                                                        payments. It might be a few months before you
           opening any new credit cards for at
                                                                                can dig yourself out of this one.
                     least six months.
                                                                                  Credit score drops 40 points.
           Credit score improves 20 points.




                        Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • Thrivent.com • 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836)


26303GL N12 -11                                                            Thrivent.com • Thrivent.com/twitter • Thrivent.com/facebook
CHANCE   CHANCE


CHANCE   CHANCE


CHANCE   CHANCE


CHANCE   CHANCE
        Game of Housing Options

OPTION ONE:                                                    OPTION TWO:
A modern, multistory apartment complex in the heart            A historic apartment building in a periphery neighborhood,
of Downtown.                                                   just on the outskirts of Downtown.

                Monthly rent: $835                                             Monthly rent: $810
                   Square footage: 560 ft.                                         Square footage: 735 ft.
Pros:                                                          Pros:
  • 24-hour Fitness Center … and we all know you need            • Hardwood floors.
    the workout.                                                 • Spacious layout.
  • Dishwasher.                                                  • Historic charm and character.
  • On-site laundry.                                             • Designated parking.
  • Brand-new building.                                          • Close to the bus line — and to work.
  • Within walking distance of everything, including work.       • Friendly, young (sophisticated!) neighbors.
  • Trendy neighborhood in the thick of the action.              • Attentive landlord.
  • Well-mannered, friendly, young (attractive!) neighbors.    Cons:
  • Attentive landlord.                                          • Older appliances.
Cons:                                                            • Skyline view is blocked by neighboring apartment
  • Small apartment for the price.                                 buildings.
  • City noises are loud at night.                               • Must either pay for public transportation or for parking.



OPTION THREE:                                                  OPTION FOUR:
The upper unit of a Victorian duplex home in a quiet           A small, newer apartment building in a growing suburb
neighborhood, 15 miles from work.                              30 miles from work.

                Monthly rent: $750                                             Monthly rent: $585
                   Square footage: 800 ft.                                          Square footage: 700 ft.
Pros:                                                          Pros:
  • Spacious home.                                               • Larger apartment for a lower cost.
  • Antique, elegant feel.                                       • On-site laundry.
  • Secluded deck.                                               • Dishwasher.
  • In-unit washer and dryer.                                    • Close to the highway.
  • Off-street parking.                                          • Garage parking.
  • Updated appliances.                                        Cons:
  • Quiet neighborhood.                                          • Your neighbor has a newborn, and he screams.
Cons:                                                              Loudly. And constantly.
  • By the smell of it, the downstairs tenant is a cat lady—     • Nothing is within walking distance (or connected to
    and you’re definitely allergic.                                a bus line), so you’ll have to drive everywhere … and
  • Your landlord can be hard to reach. Your record is five        unfortunately, gas adds up.
    unanswered calls in a row.                                   • Your neighborhood is quiet, but it’s also older — no
  • No nearby public transportation, so you must drive             young, urban social scene here.
    to work.




                                                                  Thrivent.com • Thrivent.com/twitter • Thrivent.com/facebook
    OPTION FIVE:                                                          OPTION SIX:
    The second floor of a four-unit home, 10 minutes                      An older apartment building in a small suburb 20 miles
    from Downtown.                                                        from work.

                    Monthly rent: $545                                                      Monthly rent: $520
                       Square footage: 530 ft.                                                Square footage: 610 ft.
    Pros:                                                                 Pros:
      • Coin-operated on-site laundry.                                      • Good-sized apartment for a lower cost.
      • Dishwasher.                                                         • Dishwasher.
      • Near bus line.                                                      • Garbage disposal.
      • Quiet, young, friendly neighbors.                                   • Close to a recreational park.
      • Growing and artistic neighborhood.                                  • Street parking.
    Cons:                                                                 Cons:
      • Small apartment.                                                    • Outdated appliances.
      • Limited parking available — park where you can, even if             • Old carpet and linoleum.
        it’s multiple blocks from home.                                     • No on-site laundry.
      • While your neighborhood is young and trending, it has               • No public transportation.
        a less-than-stellar crime rate …                                    • Quiet neighborhood, but it’s filled with families—and
      • … and your landlord still hasn’t fixed the security alarm             you’re single and willing (but circumstantially unable)
        in your unit.                                                         to mingle.




    OPTION SEVEN:                                                         OPTION EIGHT:
    An old multi-unit home in a small farming community over              A rundown urban apartment building five miles from
    an hour away from work.                                               Downtown.

                    Monthly rent: $450                                                      Monthly rent: $400
                        Square footage: 515 ft.                                                Square footage: 520 ft.
    Pros:                                                                 Pros:
      • Cheap rent.                                                         • Cheap rent.
      • Safer neighborhood.                                                 • Close to bus lines.
      • Well-mannered neighbors.                                            • Close to work.
      • Street parking.                                                     • Quiet floor.
    Cons:                                                                 Cons:
      • Your oven’s on the fritz, and your shower is leaking.               • Your landlord is absent and you’re hoping nothing in
      • The other tenants in your building all have huge,                     your unit breaks …
        noisy families.                                                     • … though it probably will, because the apartment
      • Economic downturn has hit the town hard, and                          building is dilapidated.
        businesses are closing down as townspeople move away.               • Old, outdated, stained appliances.
      • With huge transportation costs, you despise the                     • Old, ragged carpet.
        ridiculous daily commute.                                           • Your neighborhood isn’t the greatest, and though
                                                                              you’re close to work, it’s inadvisable to walk around
                                                                              alone—especially after dark.




                           Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • Thrivent.com • 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836)


26303GLB N12 -11
  Game of Life Transportation Chance Cards

  Because housing options One, Two, Six and Eight are located close to a player’s place of work, player may
  draw a Transportation Chance card to determine mode of transportation. Players who have selected housing
  options Three, Four, Five or Seven live farther from work and must purchase a car.


       You’ve graduated! You’ve got a             You’ve graduated! You’ve got a                 You’ve graduated! You’ve got a
     job now! Since you’re officially an        job now! Since you’re officially an            job now! Since you’re officially an
      adult, you can’t wait to purchase          adult, you can’t wait to purchase              adult, you can’t wait to purchase
              your first vehicle.                        your first vehicle.                            your first vehicle.
                   BUY A CAR                               BUY A CAR                                      BUY A CAR

       You’ve graduated! You’ve got a             You’ve graduated! You’ve got a                 You’ve graduated! You’ve got a
     job now! Since you’re officially an        job now! Since you’re officially an            job now! Since you’re officially an
      adult, you can’t wait to purchase          adult, you can’t wait to purchase              adult, you can’t wait to purchase
              your first vehicle.                        your first vehicle.                            your first vehicle.
                   BUY A CAR                               BUY A CAR                                      BUY A CAR

       You’ve graduated! You’ve got a             You’ve graduated! You’ve got a                 You’ve graduated! You’ve got a
     job now! Since you’re officially an        job now! Since you’re officially an            job now! Since you’re officially an
      adult, you can’t wait to purchase          adult, you can’t wait to purchase              adult, you can’t wait to purchase
              your first vehicle.                        your first vehicle.                            your first vehicle.
                   BUY A CAR                               BUY A CAR                                      BUY A CAR

       You’ve graduated! You’ve got a             You’ve graduated! You’ve got a                 You’ve graduated! You’ve got a
     job now! Since you’re officially an        job now! Since you’re officially an            job now! Since you’re officially an
      adult, you can’t wait to purchase          adult, you can’t wait to purchase              adult, you can’t wait to purchase
              your first vehicle.                        your first vehicle.                            your first vehicle.
                   BUY A CAR                               BUY A CAR                                      BUY A CAR

       You’ve graduated! You’ve got a             You’ve graduated! You’ve got a                 You’ve graduated! You’ve got a
     job now! Since you’re officially an        job now! Since you’re officially an            job now! Since you’re officially an
      adult, you can’t wait to purchase          adult, you can’t wait to purchase              adult, you can’t wait to purchase
              your first vehicle.                        your first vehicle.                            your first vehicle.
                   BUY A CAR                               BUY A CAR                                      BUY A CAR

                         Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • Thrivent.com • 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836)


26303GLD N12 -11                                                            Thrivent.com • Thrivent.com/twitter • Thrivent.com/facebook
 You live close to work, and even    You live close to work, and even    You live close to work, and even
 though you’d love your own car,     though you’d love your own car,     though you’d love your own car,
you decide to make do with public   you decide to make do with public   you decide to make do with public
    transportation for a while.         transportation for a while.         transportation for a while.
       TAKE THE BUS                        TAKE THE BUS                        TAKE THE BUS

 You live close to work, and even    You live close to work, and even
 though you’d love your own car,     though you’d love your own car,
you decide to make do with public   you decide to make do with public
    transportation for a while.         transportation for a while.
       TAKE THE BUS                        TAKE THE BUS

				
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