Turn game night into money

Cover Art Erka Capili Inciong

Words by

Lifestyle Upgrade 101

Financial literacy is not limited to unpacking theories, jargon and the financial statements. It can be accessible and fun, too. Here’s the story of how we got on board with money‑making through—believe it or not—a board game.


The year was 2004 and I was just learning the ropes at my new job. I was living off of my first paycheck when a friend (now my husband) introduced me to Robert Kiyoski’s book “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” The book made me understand that making my salary my only source of income will never get me anywhere near my dreams. It will not get me to any level of financial stability. It was also through the book that I got introduced to the board game called Cashflow 101.

Cashflow 101 looks like your regular run‑of‑the‑mill board game, with dice and place markers for up to 6 players. Similar to another popular board game, you’re given paper money and you follow a track that goes around the board endlessly until the objective of the game are met—that your passive income is greater than your expenses. Unlike any other game in the market, however, the track is a simulation of life, and players are asked to make decisions on what to do with their money, how much to invest, and so on, all the while managing all their income and expenses on a sample financial statement.

The game taught me so much on financial freedom, financial statements, countless opportunities and OPM a.k.a. Other People’s Money. It taught me that financial freedom is when I am no longer dependent on my paycheck. I can choose to stop working because my money is more than enough and because work was just something I wanted to do and not anymore something I had to do. I learned that financial statements are the inventory of your income, expenses, assets and liabilities and that they were so simple to do. The game was such an eye#x2011;opener for me that it made me realize that opportunities are everywhere and that I just had to educate myself and be more wary of them when they pass me by. All it takes is a keen eye on the stock market, investments, and real estates, and ka‑ching! Money into your pocket. Cashflow 101 even got me into working with Other People’s Money (OPM) in order to earn more and more for myself. Pretty cool stuff, right?

To say that Kiyoski’s Cashflow 101 changed my life is an understatement. I got so hooked into it that I eventually got a board of my own, started hosting game nights with invited family, friends, and colleagues, and never stopped since. I attribute a large portion of my money knowledge to this tool. Every game is a new experience that allows me to pick up on new learnings and insights every single time. Having different people play it at different times shows you different perspectives in handling money, and promise, you will never grow tired of it all. It’s a win-win situation every time because people learn from you and you learn from them. What an absolute treat to exchange ideas and contribute to each other’s financial education, right?

The game eventually drove me and Sharon to start our advocacy on financial literacy. We hosted game nights together, started writing a blog after much prodding from friends, and later on, churned out books that would reach thousands. It has been quite a journey indeed.

I’ve been on board for more than a hundred times and I still find myself playing Cashflow 101—but this time, in real life.

Art Erka Capili Inciong


I was never really into gaming as a kid and even until I grew up, it never really attracted me as much as books, movies and sports did. After college, I was introduced to Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” and then found myself getting invited to a game night of “Cashflow 101.” The rest, they say, is history.

Sharon is now a gamer.

The first time I played Cashflow 101, I learned that my investment risk appetite was very conservative. I had a very low tolerance for risk and I was too afraid to get a loan. After weeks of coming back to play the game with different people and numerous organizers, I’ve learned so much about myself and how I manage my finances. My negotiation skills improved and my confidence immensely grew game night after game night. My risk appetite then increased to moderate and I even went for some pretty risky moves sometimes. It was like Kiyosaki’s words kept ringing in my head: There’s always going to be risks in business and in making deals. You just need to reduce them and turn them into calculated risks by knowing what you’re getting yourself into.

Cashflow 101 taught me that while small to medium businesses are good, real freedom actually means time and financial freedom. This kind of freedom is only possible if my passive income (money that grows by itself without me having to physically work for it like investing in real estate or investments) is more than my expenses. It made me realize that there’s much to gain from using OPM (Other People’s Money) and that managing projects well—not spreading yourself too thinly by taking too many projects—will make huge differences in your business. The lessons are endless and despite years of playing, Cashflow 101 still continuously guides me throughout my financial journey.

I guess it’s safe to say that Cashflow 101 is not only the foundation of my financial aptitude but the reason I keep growing and learning even after 15 years of playing it.

Should you want to start your financial journey or even boost your confidence and know‑how in the game of money just like we did, you could join us in our next game on August 6, 2017 (Sunday), from 12:00 nn to 7:00 pm at the Crowne Plaza in Ortigas. Contact Michelle at 0917‑1457787, 0939‑9340788, 0922‑8468891, or 02‑9591874 and get on board with the board game that will change your life.