Sunday, June 26, 2011

Budgets, Checkbooks and RPGs

I recently, in my non-rpg-playing life, bought a book on personal finances and budgeting. I really wish that I had been taught earlier in life how to do those kinds of things, not because I'm in any kind of trouble, but just so I'd know and wouldn't have to be figuring this stuff out on my own now. I hang out with my grandpa on Sunday mornings, and I was telling him about all this and had an idea:

Since , when I'm a middle-school teacher, I'm already planning on using rpgs to teach kids about the metric system, why not also teach them basic budgeting and how to keep track of their finances with rpgs as well?!

After all, while the students might not receive an allowance or have a job, their characters will be dealing with more "money" than most people will ever see in their lives. Teaching them to use that responsibly, or at least keep track of how they blow their silver in un-responsible ways, seems like a blindingly obvious way to teach responsible budgeting, saving and, in the right format, how to use a checkbook.

Imagine if having fun playing D&D was the memory that popped into your mind every time you opened your checkbook. How much more likely would you be to balance your checkbook if you associated it with RPGs? Creating a "wealth record sheet" that resembles a checkbook (and, incidentally, would serve as a cursory adventure record as well) would do that. Kids would be learning checking without even realizing it.

Lastly, this would be yet another point I could bring up if anyone ever challenged having an RPG club at the middle school. "I'm teaching the kids how to budget, save and keep track of money responsibly… and they're enjoying it!"

(Oh, and this is also a great excuse to drain your players' purses in every way you can imagine. ^__-)