by: Tracy E. Ore, Assistant Professor, Saint Cloud State University, Department of Human Relations & Multicultural Education.
1. For “families” to provide their members with the basic necessities of:
2. For “families” to provide their children with the best possible education.
3. To maintain the physical and mental well being of each family member by providing:
- Health care
- Family Descriptions
- Cost of Living Sheets
- Life Happens Cards
Have class members count off from 1-7. After counting off, class members should then divide into seven groups according to their respective numbers.
Each group is then given a Family Profile that indicates the make-up of the family (e.g., how many adults, children, etc.), the household income, the amount of assets, as well as any special circumstances.
During the Game:
Each family must meet the needs of each member and develop and maintain the budget of the household. Families can calculate a weekly, monthly, or annual budget–whichever is most manageable.
The instructor periodically distributes Life Happens cards that indicate an event or circumstance that will impact the family. Members of that particular family will have to make attempts to accommodate the events and circumstances of these cards.
The instructor acts as the government/state/and any other institution that has the responsibility of insuring the welfare and safety of children. Due to the lack of response or the irresponsibility of particular families, it may be necessary to take children into protective custody.
Ending the Game:
The game ends after each family has had adequate time to manage their budgets, deal with their particular life circumstances (as determined by their profile and Life Happens cards), etc. Family members should give an oral report to the entire class with regard to their beginning circumstances, life events, and eventual outcome. The class will then discuss how well they think each family dealt with their particular situations.
Cost of Living (Monthly)
Food on sale (lower quality, mostly prepared foods): $100 per person
Food not on sale (higher quality, fresh vegetables, etc.): $175 per person
Clothing (Buying new and cleaning old) $20.00 per person (minimum)
Renting an apartment within Saint Cloud: $550 (gas & electric not included)
Renting an apartment in all other areas: $350 (gas & electric not included)
Buying a 3 Bedroom home:
Rural $10,000 down, $500/month
Saint Cloud Area $20,000 down, $800/month
Gas & Electric $75
Phone $50 (minimum)
Honda Civic $275
Ford Escort $200
Used Car $170 (monthly costs for car for repair and service costs.) Note: if you have a used car you must also purchase at least one monthly bus pass.
No coverage for uninsured drivers
Uninsured driver coverage
Gas: $80/car/month (minimum)
Through High School:
Private: Cathedral High School $3,000/year
St. John’s Prep $7,000/year for day student $16,000/year for boarding student
Ivy League $20,000/year
Room and Board add $3,000/year for State University add $5,000/year for Ivy League
$500 one-time emergency room deductible
50% off prescriptions
No emergency room deductible
$10 co-pay on prescriptions
No Health Coverage $30 per person for miscellaneous medical costs
Basic care (no activities or educational programs): $5/hour
Extended care (activities and educational programs): $10/hour
Miscellaneous Personal and Household Expenses
$81.25 per person Includes everything from toothpaste to household repairs.
State Sales Taxes
$25.00 per person
Other Costs You May Incur:
Live-in nurse: $300/week
Physician (office visit only) $75
X-rays and other tests $300 per x-ray/test
Hospital stay $300/day
Car Repairs $150
Plumber $100/hour (3 hour minimum)
Dining out (fancy) $20/person
Dining out (McDonald’s) $5/person
Life Happens events!!
Oops…You forgot to use protection! A new member of your family is on the way! Include in your budget increased expenses for medical care as well as the food, clothing and shelter arrangements necessary.
Congratulations! Your child receives a full scholarship to the college of her or his choice! Make the necessary changes in your budget.
Telegram: Your elderly parents (who both require constant medical care) are coming to live with you. Include in your budget increased expenses for medical care as well as the food, clothing and shelter arrangements necessary.