roadtrip games

Roadtrip Games

If you have a roadtrip coming up, we’ve got some great ideas for you.

These fun roadtrip games range from easy and basic guess games to more creative, and even done for you question games you can buy to help keep you sane and maybe even learn more about each other on your road trip. Remember that before tablets, mobile devices and podcasts, we used roadtrip games to keep us entertained. 

We’ve categorised into Free games (e.g. I Spy), Card style games (Question cards) and 2 others. Read on, plan/purchase ahead of time and that upcoming roadtrip might pass much quicker than you think..

Free games

I Spy. The roadtrip classic and not just for kids.

  • Player one says “I spy with my little eye…. something” and then vaguely describes something they see, like “something red” (or maybe “a seductive shape”)
  • The other players take turns guessing e.g. stop sign, red car etc. Player ones says no until someone guesses correctly. They can also say ‘close’ if someone is almost correct but out on one small detail like a guess ‘red train carriage’ when you meant ‘red train engine’. The players still have to keep guessing until they get the right answer, but ‘close’ saves them going off on another tangent.  

The R rated – License Plate Game. Interpret the letters in each license plate as sexy, crass or provocative you pass. 

  • For instance, REG could stand for “Randy Ex Girlfriend” and BLB could be “Blokes Love Breasts”
  • The other players take turns and continue on until somebody gets stuck, or perhaps gets too crass and is told ‘no more guessing for you’.

While You Were Sleeping. Create the most believable story when someone falls asleep.

  • First, a passenger accidentally falls asleep
  • After five minutes of slumber, the awake passengers begin creating a story
  • Each person takes turns adding to the story
  • Once the passenger wakes up, you have to get them to believe the story
  • If somebody breaks character, they lose a point
  • If somebody goes off script, you ask, “Are you sure?” and then that person is silenced and loses two points
  • If you successfully fool the person, each storyteller wins three points
  • If the sleeping passenger fools the car and joins their story correctly, they steal their current point total
  • The one with the most points at the destination wins. Simplify the game if you want by just seeing how long you can keep the story going until the sleeper realises they’ve been had.

10 Questions.  Guess what a person is thinking in 10 questions

  • One person thinks of something and can only answer questions with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’
  • Then the car participants take turns asking questions (with one person counting the questions to a maximum 21)
  • You can’t repeat a question that has been asked
  • Whoever guesses it right gets to start the next round
  • If you get to 10 questions and still can’t guess, the one with the thought has to start giving the yes or no answer, but with an additional short explanation or clue e.g. Yes it’s an animal, and a larger one from Africa.  

Rule. Everyone in the car gets to make one nonsense rule.

  • An example would be “every time we go under a bridge everyone needs to moan like they’re in personal rapture” or “whenever I put my hat on everyone has to think of a sexy word and say it out loud” 
  • Every time a rule is enforced the last person to catch on loses a point
  • Whoever has the biggest negative score when you get to your next stop has to buy coffees/ water/ snacks etc.

Question card games

Questions are a great way to while away the hours but also make good use of the time learning more about each other. Rather than think of 20 clever questions yourself, the work is done for you when buying a cost-effective pack of roadtrip question cards. 

How Game Are You?™ ORIGINAL EDITION. The perfect game for long roadtrips as there are 150 thought provoking questions and split into three levels so you can pick the right tone for the players you are in the car with. 

  • ‘A’ questions are more straightforward with easy answers like ‘What is your favourite movie, and why?’ These are perfect for new acquaintances and are short and sharp. 
  • ‘B’ questions need a bit more thought like ‘If you could travel back in time and stay for five days only, where would you go and why?’
  • ‘C’ questions are great for couples or friends that already know each other well. They need more effort or deeper thinking e.g. ‘What is something you would like to say to your younger self if it were possible, and at what age?’. 

Play each card (A then B then C) in order or just choose A or C questions. It’s your game to change and you have all the hard work of the questions done for you.

We! Connect Cards. This is a pack of 60 basic questions like ‘What has been the highlight of your week so far’ and ‘What are the most adventurous things you’ve done?’ and maybe the answer is this road trip we’re on.

So Cards. 52 questions as conversation starters for people to get to know each other. ‘What is a common trait shared by everyone you’ve dated’ and ‘If you could punch anyone in the face without repercussions, who would it be?’

Other roadtrip games

Gamie Magnetic Board Game Set Includes 12 Retro Fun Games. 12 small physical games are designed for kids, but heh, they’re retro so you are probably going to enjoy them even more. They include Checkers, Chess, Chinese checkers, Tic Tac Toe, Backgammon, Snakes & Ladders, Solitaire, NineMen’s Morris, Auto Racing, Ludo, Space Venture and Racing. These mini board games measure just 5”, making them the best pocket games for children, with the magnet holding all the pieces in place during any road trip or while camping.

USA Road Trip Trivia Game. This is the road trip game for frequent road trippers, or maybe professional drivers. It’s a tin of 100 trivia cards about the world’s highways and byways. Questions are given with multiple answers to things like ‘As of 2019, in which state would you find the world’s largest ball of twine?’ Spoiler alert – the answer is Kansas. So if highway trivia is your thing, there is a product for that too. 

So there you go, the best road trip games for adults. We hope we’ve helped you determine the game you want and if it’s a good card game you are after, then go grab a copy of our How Game Are You?™ ORIGINAL EDITION game to help take your trip filled with conversation, learning and fun. 

View the full details here or Buy Now  for quick delivery direct from our website or through Amazon (US) and Amazon (AU).

Conversation Games

All too often, we find ourselves glued to our smartphones and gadgets socializing online instead of face-to-face, and the latter is by far a more rewarding experience and better investment of your time to build your relationship. Conversation games are games that require only conversational ability.

Breaking out some new conversation topics or original thoughts can be challenging. Likewise you might have good ideas, but they follow a similar pattern around the kids, or parents or work. It’s fresh new conversations that usually bring the best insights so how can you do this? 

For groups you can foster real conversations by hosting an afternoon tea, dinner gathering or a small party and say that you are trying to meet a challenge and have a gathering 100% free of mobile phones – just people talking. Start with maybe 3 friends and work up if it appeals. Add in a couple of prepared questions or ask people to bring along a topic for discussion.

An alternative to doing the hard work yourself is looking at the different pre-made conversation games to find what suits your audience and let the games begin. This style of conversation game can often be played almost anywhere, with almost anyone and even if the conversation topics ended up a little trivial at first, conversation on this often starts to take things in another direction. Sometimes these games are called conversation starters, and that’s exactly where to begin. 

Here are a few conversation games to consider:

Famous Game ( a non-card or board game more suited to movie buffs)

Almost everyone loves to talk about their favorite movie stars or musicians. In the famous game, one player mentions a famous person and a second player mentions another famous person that has some sort of connection to the first. Another player must then guess the connection.

It could be that they are two actors who played roles in the same film, it could be that they both used to date or were married to the same person, and so on.

This is a fun and light-hearted way to break the ice at social gatherings and gets everyone talking and laughing.

Two Truths and a Lie (a non-card or board game more suited to new friends or new couples) 

In this game, each player takes turns telling the other players three random things about themselves. Two of the things will be true and one will be something completely made up. The other players will guess which of these things is false.

This is a great game for learning new things about people you’ve recently met, and you may even learn a few surprises about friends you’ve known for a long time.

Twenty Questions (the original question game and more suited to patient players working through the mental options)

This is a spoken parlor game designed in the early 1900’s which encourages deductive reasoning and creativity through questions. It originated in the United States and was played widely, escalating to popularity during the late 1940s when it became the format for a successful weekly radio quiz program.

In this deductive question game, one player is chosen to be the answerer. That person chooses a subject (object) but does not reveal this to the others. All other players are questioners. They each take turns asking a question which can be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No.”

The answerer answers each question in turn and lying is not allowed in the game. If a questioner guesses the correct answer, that questioner wins and becomes the answerer for the next round. If 20 questions are asked without a correct guess, then the answerer has stumped the questioners and gets to be the answerer for another round.

Would You Rather (more suited as light-hearted fun than deep conversations)

This is a game of rhetoric and can be quite fun as it gets the imagination going. This game could involve very light-hearted questions or more serious questions that really get the players thinking. Which way you go with the questions will depend on the ages of those playing.

Players take turns posing imaginary scenarios to the other players and they have to choose the scenario they would rather have play out. The questions can even be about things that aren’t currently possible, such as “Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?”

Each question and answer opens the door to further conversation, as many times other players will want to know why a certain player answered the way that they did.

How Game Are You? Couples Intimacy Edition (more suited to couples or very close friends)

This is a couples specific game – for one couple, 2 or very close friends (not necessarily romantic interests but open to share their views/experiences). It’s a respectful adult board game designed to expand a couples connection and intimate relationship through fun real-life conversations and topics covering general knowledge, relationship questions, sex and emotional intimacy.

This is the perfect experience to take your relationship up another level.There is a mixture of trivia for ice-breakers, and questions where the more open and honest you are, usually the more place you earn on the board. You play around 36 questions per game and it really gets the couple talking, sharing and learning about the world and more so each other.

Truth or Dare (more suited to groups or as a drinking style game)

The game of candid confessions and daring deeds, this game uses questions as facts and challenges. A classic game is given a new twist, with answers to pop culture questions determining who has to answer the truth or act out a dare.

Truth or Dare uses questions as facts and challenges. Be the first player to get rid of all Truth or Dare cards in your hand. Answer pop culture trivia questions correctly in order to force your opponent to tell the truth. If you answer the question incorrectly, you will be subjected to an outrageous dare.

To win the game, you might have to lick another player’s arm, run around the block howling like a coyote, or stand on your head? Play Truth or Dare to find out how far you will go to win!

Never Have I Ever (more suited to open-minded and sometimes thick-skinned people).

Questions here are designed to tease out information you might not normally share or have considered e.g “Never Have I Ever… put gum under a table” and the respondent has to admit “yes” or “no”  The questions add a degree of challenge and discovery between the players, but it can also be a bit confronting.

Never Have I Ever presents the BEST opportunity to learn hilarious facts about the people you THOUGHT you knew. It’s fast, fun, and perfect for your next game night.

Conversation can ensue afterwards on an answer you gave, but the game is more suited to just fun and laughter with twists and turns on how you expected people to answer. 

So we hope we’ve helped you determine the style of game you want, and have also been able to direct you to the best conversation game for you. 

If it’s a couples game you are after, then go grab a copy of our How Game Are You?™ Intimacy Edition game to help take your conversations and fun to a whole new level.  View full details here or Buy Now  for quick delivery direct or through Amazon (US) and Amazon (AU).

Benefits Of Question Games

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There are many benefits of question games because they spark creativity and help people focus attention on the outcome of the questions. Examples are to ‘learn things’ like Trivial Pursuit teaches, or ‘combine random themes’ (Cards Against Humanity), or push the mind to ‘think faster’ (Charades), or ‘consider thought-provoking questions’ that might not normally be asked (How Game Are You?™ Couples Edition). Whatever the purpose of the game is, questions and answers create the outcome and so the better the question often the better the outcome.

Questions are also a great personal skill which everyone should develop, so question games motivate you to play more of these, give ideas and first-hand skills on asking good questions, demonstrate different question types and even give examples. Whatever position or occupation you may find yourself in, there are appropriate questions you should also ask to get the clearest pictures of things, or about people, and these can be used in conversation, building rapport, developing a relationship or gamified just for fun and connection. Games are fun ways to learn these skills and have fun with your friends at the same time.

To get you started, here there are some game examples that all use questions in different ways:

Twenty Questions [original question game]

This is a spoken parlor game designed in the early 1900’s which encourages deductive reasoning and creativity through questions. It originated in the United States and was played widely, escalating to popularity during the late 1940s when it became the format for a successful weekly radio quiz program.

In this deductive question game, one player is chosen to be the answerer. That person chooses a subject (object) but does not reveal this to the others. All other players are questioners. They each take turns asking a question which can be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No.” In variants of the game, multiple state answers may be included such as the answer “Maybe.” The answerer answers each question in turn. Sample questions could be: “Is it bigger than a breadbox?” or “Can I put it in my mouth?” Lying is not allowed in the game. If a questioner guesses the correct answer, that questioner wins and becomes the answerer for the next round. If 20 questions are asked without a correct guess, then the answerer has stumped the questioners and gets to be the answerer for another round.

How Game Are You? Couples Intimacy Edition

The theme here is different to most, being focused on ‘Real Life Conversation’ questions. There is a mixture of trivia for ice-breakers, personal questions, relationship questions and physical intimacy topics that are all designed to get a couple talking, sharing and learning about each other. The game asks the questions so no one feels like they’re being grilled and questions range from very light to quite deep. The end result is giving 150 questions done for you, and through this you learn more about your relationship and develop skills and thoughts to keep moving your relationship upwards.

Suitable for one couple, two against each other or just close open-minded friends.

Hasbro Gaming Trivial Pursuit Game: Classic Edition

The Classic Edition of this Trivial Pursuit Game is the same original gameplay (Fact question and answer) , only updated but still with a 1980’s retro appearance! Featuring classic gameplay and game board, this game contains 2,400 questions in 6 categories: Geography, Entertainment, History, Art and Literature, Science and Nature, and Sports and Leisure. Players move around the board answering Trivia questions on each topic for points along the board.

Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare uses questions as facts and challenges. Be the first player to get rid of all Truth or Dare cards in your hand. Answer pop culture trivia questions correctly in order to force your opponent to tell the truth. If you answer the question incorrectly, you will be subjected to an outrageous dare. To win the game, you might have to lick another player’s arm, run around the block howling like a coyote, or stand on your head? Play Truth or Dare to find out how far you will go to win!

Never Have I Ever

Questions here are designed to tease out information you might not normally share or have considered e.g “Never Have I Ever… put gum under a table” and the respondent has to admit yes or no. Often it’s incorporated as a drinking game too. The questions add a degree of challenge and discovery between the players, but it can also be a bit confronting so it must be played by open-minded and sometimes thick-skinned people.

Cards Against Humanity

Questions in this game are used to create outrageous combinations. A question is asked with a blank and you play cards you have with answers. Sometimes the questioner chooses the funniest answer, other times the most inappropriate, or sometimes the one least likely to offend. This is more a party game and probably not a single sensible answer or learning would come, but it can be fun and gets people laughing.

Prices are in US$ and available form Amazon.com

Saving Money Game

A saving money game can help set you up for saving and then investing success. When money is tight, often the first step os to just look for even more ways to save money. It is important to follow the basics like prioritizing debt paydown first, putting 10% of all money aside for this or saving, living more frugally etc., but often the missing link is your money mindset, and a saving money game is the perfect way to break the pattern of barely getting by financially to the abundance path. It is so important to make saving money a priority and create a plan that sits well with you, but also take away the emotional shackles.

Your own financial psychology plays an over-riding part and it’s worth looking into beliefs you may have  that make saving/spending easy or hard? Many times people win major lottery prizes and within years are back to struggling because they didn’t look at their money patterns and so they ended up exactly where they emotionally thought they should be.

If in your formative years from parents or your own observations you decided that ‘Money is always hard to get’, or ‘Easy come easy go’, or ‘always forgoe todays temptations to create tomorrow’s treasures’, they will each support or hijack your money efforts. To be effective you need the right mental attitude, as well as the right physical skills. For this reason we created a Money Game to help uncover some of your beliefs, that of your partner or friends too, and become more confident in the fact that you are the master of your own money saving game of life and therefore your financial freedom, but it definitely needs a well considered understanding of your emotion part in the process, and after dealing with that, adding on the good physical saving (and investing) habits.

Here is an overview of the money saving game and also a summary on the key ways to save money on a tight budget:

1. Saving money game 

The ‘Couples Money Edition’ is a fun, educational and enjoyable way to learn, share and bring out topics to discuss well after the game is over.

You learn about money, get comfortable with the terminology no matter what your current level, understand you and your partner’s money patterns or biases and open ways to communicate further and make a meaningful change towards an easier and more fruitful financial future. There are over 150 cards and follow up tasks and it ends up a really fun way to learn and explore.

While this game is in final testing and manufacture, we recently launched our ‘Couples Intimacy Edition’ game to help couples communicate and learn about their relationship beliefs, and the Money Game will follow in the coming months.

You can get an early taste by adding your details to our early access form for How Game are You? Money Edition cards, or just subscribe for our updates and as soon as the full game is ready we’ll let you know and give you an early-bird discount.

Once you have your money mind sorted, the rest of these topics will be much easier to achieve and will be the result of focussed choice, rather than just vulnerable will-power.

2. Find a way to cut back on big expenses

Look at your overall budget. Like checking if your car payment is too much or finding a cheaper place to live that is still nice. These options may be the last steps you take as you look for ways to increase your savings and can help you save a good amount of money on your bills each month.

The lower you keep these costs, the easier it will be to stick to your budget. If you do decide to sell your car, be sure that you know how to handle it correctly and that you buy a reliable inexpensive car. 

3. Work on paying off your debt

High-interest debt, like credit cards, can eat up your monthly income. Taking steps to pay off your credit cards as quickly as possible will free up additional money in your budget and make it possible for you to do more things with your money. If you want to be more comfortable and save getting rid of your debt is an important step.

4. Look at your food bill

This is another good way to save money on a tight budget. Many of these changes will also benefit your waistline, though it may take a bit longer for you to prepare your food each day. The best thing you can do is to stop eating out.

If you are eating out every day, you can easily save more than $50 a week or even more if you are eating out at more great establishments. If you rarely eat out, you can save money by cutting the convenience foods and cooking your own food.

5. Change Your tselevision ervice

One of the easiest ways to find extra money to put towards saving money is to cancel your cable bill. You may want to cancel everything entirely, but if that does not appeal to you consider using Netflix or Hulu to get your television fix. The combined services cost about $16.00 a month, and you can put the extra savings in the bank each month.

6. Taking advantage of online deals

It is important to budget money for entertainment costs, but you can save money on these costs by taking advantage of online deals that you can get through Amazon Local, LivingSocial or Groupon.

The trick is to buy the ones that you know you will use and to stop once you have hit your limit for the month. You can score some great deals on everything but need to be careful that you do not end up spending more than you planned once you are there.

7. Switch to cash for your daily expenses

While it may not be practical to pay your rent or utility bills in cash, switching to cash for entertainment expenses and your grocery bill can help you cut back on your spending. It not only helps to have a hard limit on your spending but will also help you determine the best way to use the money that you do have since you will be prioritizing the money you spend shopping.

8. Cut every expense category a little bit

When you are on a tight budget, you may have already cut all the extra from the budget that you can manage. This would have no gym memberships, no cable television, and very little entertainment. But when you are just getting by, you still need to save money each month.

Find ways to save $5 to $10 per category in your budget and put that money toward your savings or emergency fund. You can often save another $5 per week at the grocery store by dropping one item from your list.

If you conserve fuel, you may be able to cut back on the amount you spend on gas each month. Adjust your thermostat so that you are not paying as much in heating and cooling costs.

SUMMARY.

So there you have it. Work on the mind first and discover your empowering and limiting money beliefs, then refocus that energy using the physical skills of money saving and investing. We wish you well on your journey and hope you’ve subscribed to get early access to the Money Game when it’s first available.

Benefits Of Board Games For Couples

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We all understand that playing with anything generally adds joy to life, be it by yourself or especially with friends or significant others. Here we will touch on the benefits of board games for couples. Board game playing brings life improving benefits to an individual and couples life. Here are some reasons a couple should play board games regularly:

It brings them closer and strengthens relationships.

  • Generally, a board games playing foundation is either co-operation or strategy/competition and played in either a large group or small. While men typically prefer strategy games and women prefer co-operation or learning games, choosing the right style for maximum and mutual enjoyment is important for the end result desired. A competitive couple might prefer a winner takes all approach or 6-hour mega battle, but we found a shortage of available couples games for men and women to play cooperatively, and that covered topics that strengthened the relationship, and hence 2 new games were created. ‘Couples Intimacy Edition’ was first and ‘Couples Money Edition’ follows to bring couples closer in their thinking, understanding and future.

It brings laughter and decreases stress.

  • Laughter is a ‘side effect’ of board game playing, and it’s one of the vital ingredients for creativity and an enjoyable learning experience. Also, laughing and having a good time in general helps to decrease stress, so that explains why studies have found that game board playing has the ability to reduce stress. According to an online survey, 53 percent of people play games for stress relief. A couple that laughs together stays together is an old adage and probably has some truth in it.

It’s person-to-person, not digital communication.

  • An amazing benefit of board games is that its face-to-face, physical personal and preferably uninterrupted. It’s a time to put away the digital, be totally focused together and enjoy the connection most couples crave and is easier to achieve without distractions, being present and being in your own ‘couple bubble’.

Couples game playing creates more happiness.

  • Playing board games triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural ‘feel-good’ chemical. These ‘happy hormones’ have the power to improve conscious and unconscious mind functions, leaving couples feeling cheerful, compassionate, loving and content.

Board games enhance creativity and self-confidence.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to display a creative side of someone’s personality in non-intrusive or arrogant way, which can be very beneficial for the ‘quiet types’. Board games can be an amazing tool for highlighting creativity, showing this side to your partner as a reminder of who you are, and sometimes creating solutions together within a game. Playing also helps an individual or couple to develop a stronger sense of creativity/individuality, that then leads to a greater self-esteem and the fulfilling feeling of being included and ‘noticed’.

Playing board game lowers blood pressure.

  • Along with reducing stress, laughing and increasing ‘happy hormones’, board games can be effective when focusing on maintaining blood pressure. It is believed that the release of endorphins causes muscles to relax and blood starts to circulate much more easily, which likely lowers blood pressure.

Long term board game playing may also help reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

  • Long term board game playing may also help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Adding different areas of the mind and different thinking skills to everyday life is a wonderful exercise for the brain and helps to keep the mind sharp and reduce long-term Alzheimer’s risk.

Revitalises your emotional and therefore physical relationship as a couple.

  • By connecting as a couple through a game, the emotional bond is often strengthened, more trust and closeness occurs, and this emotional intimacy often strengthens the ‘couple bond’ and can even end in more physical intimacy too. Wins all around.

Board games have definitely played a big role for couples in building their relationship. Not only that, it helps maintain mental health and improve social, problem solving and cognitive skills. It is also a stress reducer and most of all life skills as mentioned on this benefits of board games article.

So, where to from here?

Well it’s time to look for some couples games that suit your joint interests, personalities and available time. A great start is our ‘How Game Are You? Couple Intimacy Edition’ as its now available through our website, Amazon (US and AU) and Ebay (AU). The game is a great example of a fun and exciting board game to build connection for a couple. Questions focus around general knowledge, personal viewpoints, relationship questions and even some spicy questions if you want. Soon the ‘Money Edition’ will also be available to touch on joint finances, future growth together and all achieved in a fun and productive way.

Order the game here or if you just want more information on the benefits of board games, here’s another article: Health Benefits Of Board Games

Talking With Your Partner About finances

Are you the sort that will either avoid the money topic, or talk about anything else before you consider talking with your partner about finances? Don’t worry, it’s very common but you pay the price long term.

Perhaps the reason is because money symbolizes different things to different people. Power, control, security, or love, for instance. Perhaps you know you need to change something but are just avoiding it, only to find out the problem usually grows over time.

Money issues are the driving force in most divorces. But you can live happy, financially speaking, if you work at not letting financial issues come between you and your partner.

Here are some tips for talking with your partner about finances:

  1. If your relationship is the priority, you’ll both have to be willing to negotiate. Share your feelings, experiences, and hopes about money. Discuss how you dealt with money with family and past relationships, what it meant to you when you were young. Volunteer your own feelings and it may encourage your partner to do the same. It’s about sharing and honesty, not about solutions at this stage.

  2. If you’ve always been independent, it may be hard for you to be managed financially. Be honest with yourself about how you feel. You may feel fear about risking your hard-earned money, or resentment if your partners spending habits are not good. You must be honest with yourself and know where you stand and be honest in talking with your partner about finances

  3. Its best to talk openly about a lack of trust and deal with it, or find solutions or set expectations together and then be happily proven wrong. This is a first conversation and it might take a few conversations or a few attempts over a year to test ideas but your relationship will be stronger once you learnt how to navigate the money issues, than be disappointed or harbour resentment.

  4. Don’t wait until a financial issue arises to raise the subject but find a good time to talk in a safe time for all parties. The goal is to have a calm, relaxed discussion when there’s no money issue at hand. It’s about disclosure, learning, developing a common understanding and workable goals, either 100% as a couple or individually contributing to a pool for the relationship and maybe managing the excess each other has personally.

  5. If you find it hard to talk about money; seek out a counselor to help you with your financial issues or of course play our new Money Game coming out soon. A financial counselor or a therapist or marriage counselor can often help or even start with a book on the topic that you both read or allocate one person to read, report back and agree to implement new strategies learnt if they are applicable to your circumstances as a couple.

Some options for merging finances for couples

  1. Discuss and develop a formal couples joint spending and savings goal and each put money into a joint card, then each partner manages their own personal spending money allocation in a separate account.

  1. Financial trust builds when you know where your money is going and are both working to it, given some personal spending flexibility as well. Keeping a budget is an investment in your future as a couple and generally ‘what gets measured gets attention’, and ‘what you focus on gets the most results’, so budgets and maybe a monthly review is sound advice.

  1. Designate one person as the bill payer, but the other person should be involved and should know what needs to be done and how to do it if needed, but one person takes responsibility so it gets done and save late fees too not know who paid or didn’t.

  1. Each of you should have at least one debit card in your own name to maintain a separate credit history. If one of you has a cash problem, or you divorce or your spouse dies, it will be difficult or impossible to get a mortgage, loan, or credit card without a solid history. Keep the joint card for everyday expenses and if you need to build one person’s history, transfer the joint money to the personal account and pay the bill straight away.

  1. Buy/borrow a book or do a mini course on personal finance management if you’re not sure. There are many good resources and the education is easier than you might think.

  1. Hold a meeting each month to go over your finances, see how you went, what can be improved, celebrate if you met you goals or over-chavied on them. Don’t be hard if you didn’t meet the goals, this is a learning experience and sometimes extra bills come up. Just learn and move on as a couple.

A key them above is taking time to know your numbers and allocate quality time in a safe (non-threatening) way, to start talking with your partner about finances. Also go on our list for early advice on the How Game Are You?™ Money Edition game. It’s sure to help develop more understanding, skills and there are some special couples questions included.

Ways To Save Money

Talk about your objectives. If you are in a relationship or saving with friends, be open about what your plans are about ways to save money, explain you might need support, set joint goals or targets and plans to work together or at least get support for what you are wanting to achieve. The more support you have the better and many couples comment that money issues bind them or can break them apart and if you get stuck, play ‘How Game Are You- Couples Money Edition’ to get the conversation flowing.

Even if you are just living at home still, talk to your family about your goals, see if they have any tips, jobs you can do, support they can give or perhaps leeway on items in exchange for others.

General Savings Tips on Ways to Save Money

  1. Use the 24-hour rule. This rule helps avoid purchasing expensive or unnecessary items on impulse. Think over each nonessential purchase for at least 24 hours. This is particularly easy to do while shopping online, because you can add items to your cart or wish list and come back to them a day later.
  2. Establish your budget. Are you looking for an easy way to begin? On the rest day of a new month, get a receipt for everything you purchase. Stack the receipts into categories like restaurants, groceries, and personal care. At the end of the month you will be able to clearly see where your money is going.
  3. Aim for short-term savings goals. Make a goal such as setting aside $20 a week or month, rather than a longer-term savings goal. People save more successfully when they keep short-term goals in sight.
  4. Budget with cash and envelopes. If you have trouble with overspending, try the envelope budget system where you use a set amount of cash for most spending. And once the cash is gone, it’s gone.
  5. Save automatically. Setting up automatic savings is the easiest and most effective way to save, and it puts extra cash out of sight and out of mind. Have your employer deduct a certain amount from your paycheck and transfer it to a retirement or savings account every pay period. Ask your HR representative for more details about how to set this up. Or every month, have your bank or credit union transfer amount from your checking account to a savings or investment account.
  6. Calculate purchases by hours worked instead of cost. Take the amount of the item you’re considering purchasing and divide it by your hourly wage. If it’s a $50 pair of shoes and you make $10 an hour, ask yourself if those shoes are worth the long hours of work.
  7. Start saving for your retirement as early as possible. Few people get rich through their wages alone. It’s the miracle of compound interest, or earning interest on your interest over many years, that builds wealth. Because time is on their side, the youngest workers are in the best position to save for retirement.

Debt Savings Tips

  1. Start with a goal of reducing your credit card debt by just $1,000. That $1,000 debt reduction will probably save you $150- 200 a year in interest, and much more if you’re paying penalty rates of 20-30 percent.
  2. Pay off credit cards in full each month. The miles and cash-back are only valuable if you’re not falling into debt or paying interest.
  3. Pay all your bills on auto-pay. This ensures they are paid on time, in full to avoid late charges. As a bonus, some loan providers offer a small interest rate deduction if you enroll in auto-pay.
  4. Get free debt counseling. The most widely available help managing your debt is with a Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) counselor. CCCS’ network of non-profit counselors can work with you confidentially and judgement-free to help you develop a budget, figure out your options, and negotiate with creditors to repay your debts. Best of all, the 45-90minute counseling sessions are free of charge and come with no obligations.

Food Savings Tips

  1. Shop by unit price. Many grocery stores list a cost per unit of each item, such as the price per ounce or pound. Use these stickers when comparison shopping for the same product, just in a different size.
  2. Stick to water. It’s standard in the restaurant industry to mark up the cost of alcohol by three to ve times. So, an easy way to cut down on your restaurant spending without changing your habits too drastically is to skip the beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
  3. Brown bag your lunch. The reason you hear this tip so much is that it works! If buying lunch at work costs $5, but making lunch at home costs only $2.50, then in a year, you could afford to create a $500 emergency fund and still have money left over.
  4. Commit to eating out one fewer time each month. Save money without sacrificing your lifestyle by taking small steps to reduce your dining budget. Start off with reducing the amount you eat out by just once per month.

Home Savings Tips

  1. Weatherproof your home. Caulk holes and cracks that let warm air escape in the winter and cold air escape in the summer. Your local hardware store has materials, and quite possibly useful advice, about inexpensively stopping unwanted heat or cooling loss.
  2. Cut laundry detergent and dryer sheet use in half. The laundry detergent sold today is usually highly concentrated and powerful. Use the smallest suggested amount, and often you can use less than what’s on the bottle and still get clean clothes. In many cases, using less actually washes more effectively because there’s no leftover soap in your clothes. And tearing your dryer sheets in half gives the same result for half the price.
  3. Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. For every 10-degree reduction in temperature, you can save up to 5 percent on water heating costs.
  4. Comparison shop for homeowner’s insurance. Before renewing your existing homeowner’s insurance policy each year, check out the rates of competing companies.
  5. Refinance your mortgage. Explore if you have the option to refinance your mortgage to a lower interest rate. On a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, lowering the rate from 7 percent to 6.5 percent can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges over the life of the loan. And, you will accumulate home equity more rapidly, thus increasing your ability to cover large emergency expenditures.

Transportation Savings Tips

  1. Comparison shop for auto insurance. Before renewing your existing auto insurance policy each year, check out the rates of competing companies.
  2. Check multiple sites for low airfares. Don’t rely on a single airline search engine to show you all inexpensive fares. Some discount carriers do not allow their flights to be listed in these third-party searches, so you need to check their websites.

Entertainment Savings Tips

  1. Take advantage of your library. More and more libraries are offering e-books, so you don’t even need to visit in person. Many libraries are also part of an Intra-library loan system where you can borrow anything you want, but that they don’t have, for a minimal shipping charge. Just ask. And some libraries allow you to borrow things like tools and sewing machines.

If you need any help in starting a discussion about ways to save money, we’d like to invite to get an early access to our How Game are You? Money Edition cards, a suite of game cards that promote real-life conversations around money. To receive sample cards and be advised of the launch dates, pricing, etc., just add your details to the form at the very bottom of this page.

SOURCE: https://americasaves.org/

Tips Who Likes The Idea Of Being Richer

Here are 11 great tips for those who likes the idea of being richer. These money-making lessons are shared so younger generations, who don’t have money-mentor parents, can be given some easy-to-read and understand guidance. So here they are:

Great Tips For People Who Likes The Idea Of Being Richer:

  1. Work out what bank, building society or credit union you want to work with.
  2. Create a plan to build wealth. Our plan was to buy the worst house in the best street in an up-and-coming suburb, then renovate it, learning to do a lot of the work ourselves. We then would sell it, capital gains tax-free and trade up to a better house, which was again the worst house in the best street. Of course, the “best street” was a goal and wasn’t always achievable but we went for ‘OK to improving’ streets and the strategy worked.
  3. Make sure your super is in a good performing fund and that you aren’t paying more than 1% a year. If you ignore this advice and have an expensive and poor performing fund over 40 years of work, you could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars from your nest egg when you retire.
  4. Put your spending life under the money microscope. It’s called doing a budget. This is where you find out where your money is going.
  5. After you see where you’re spending your money, promise yourself that you’ll GST yourself! This is step two. Put a 10% tax on your spending, so if you spent $50,000 a year, your goal would be to cut that by $5,000!
  6. Now you’ve got the money, decide how you’ll grow this $5,000. If you did this, say at age 25 and worked for 40 years and invested this $5,000, getting say a 9% gain after tax, your first $5,000 saved would roll over, doubling every 8 years until at age 65, when it would be $160,000! And if you found $5,000 every year of your working life, you’d be a multi-millionaire when you stopped work. How? It’s called compound interest and your 9.5% compulsory super will give you a million but your $5,000 a year strategy makes you above average compared to most Australians.
  7. Learn about the stock market and easy investment products called exchange traded funds (ETFs). It pays to become comfortable about stocks. Exchange traded funds can be bought on the stock market. They have lots of stocks piled into one product. An ETF called IOZ has the top 200 companies on the Australian stock market in one buyable ‘stock’. You could sign up with an online broker and buy some units and when you were driving home from work, if you heard that “the stock market was up 2% today”, you’d be 2% richer! It pays to learn about stocks.
  8. Look after your stuff. We waste money by not repairing shoes, painting the house, servicing the car and even looking after our body, so we’re fit and brimming with positivity and someone every employer wants to employ.
  9. Invest in yourself. Don’t be afraid to go to a personal trainer or do courses to make you smarter, richer and even more relaxed about life. There’s a great book called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill that makes the simple case that you can think yourself into a space where you make better decisions — and the payoff is more success and more money.
  10. Hang out with great, positive and success-oriented people. If you’re in business, find a great accountant. If you’re too busy to do your own financial planning, find a trustworthy adviser and learn from him or her. Join groups, go to conferences like those put on by Tony Robbins, read books on self-improvement and biographies of highly successful people.
  11. Write down how you’ll boost your income, either from being the best employee in the country or via starting a business. This will be a work-in-progress effort, but you must see what the future path will be. You need to SWOT yourself to know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Then you need to get in your strength zone and make your weaknesses irrelevant over time. These lessons will help you do it. You’re like a brand in the economy and you must make yourself distinctive, competitive, competent and attractive. If you do that, you will achieve a lot.

To those tips who likes the idea of being richer, you must desire success and then do what’s needed to achieve it. That makes all the difference. Money is like applause from an audience. If you get your act together, the money will follow, like the clapping a great performer receives. If you need any help in starting a discussion about money, we’d like to invite to get an early access to our How Game are You? Money Edition cards, a suite of game cards that promote real-life conversations around money. To receive sample cards and be advised of the launch dates, pricing, etc., just add your details to the form at the very bottom of this page.

SOURCE:  11 money lessons for the young and cashless

How To Resolve Money Issues In A Relationship

It’s undeniable that arguing about money issues in a relationship is emotionally and mentally draining. If only couples didn’t have to worry about money, they probably wouldn’t need to resolve money issues in a relationship or read articles like this one. But, here we are and it affects nearly all couples at some stage.

Money issues, even in a loving marriage, is as real as it is complicated. As strange as it may sound, the core problem is not so much about money as this could be solved by applying mathematical equations to arrive at a solution. The truth is, money issues are often a reflection of other underlying problems like trust, mindset, beliefs, bad habits and lack of communication between the couple.

In today’s article, we explain how married couples can prevent money from putting a strain on their relationship.

6 Tips to Resolve Money Issues in a Relationship

  • Discuss your current financial status with your partner.

Knowing how you and your partner are tracking financially leads to the next crucial step in resolving and preventing any financial issues. Conversations around money can be uncomfortable especially if we are dealing with overspending, debts, alimony, and other issues. Understanding where you are and where you’re going is the right step towards resolving any money issues.

Experts also agree that new couples should avoid withholding any information that may surprise their partners in the future. Make sure to bring up any financial obligations like debt, credit scores, child support and divorce settlements with your partner as soon as possible.

  • Find the right time to discuss money.

The goal here is to ensure that both of you are calm and open-minded when discussing any money-related issues. Check your calendars and see if you can find the best time to sit down and talk. If you are concerned about your partner’s financial decisions or money habits, then this would be the perfect time to speak up.

The worst time is when there’s an unexpected and avoidable bill that comes in, a rash purchase or a clash over spending occurs and one partner blows up because they are ambushed or angry. This is not the time for meaningful discussions, so best to talk about them early on.

  • Agree on general spending limits and budget.

To ensure that you don’t go beyond your budget, agree on spending limits and rules. For example, you and your partner can agree on a certain amount to spend (say, $80) without informing the other. Beyond that, then it’s better to inform your partner in advance before purchasing anything.

This has been said before but we’ll say it again—you will never go wrong with keeping a budget. A budget allows you to track your income and expenses on a regular basis. There are tons of budget spreadsheet you can find on the web or if you find it more convenient, download a budget app like Mint to help you track your spending, find high-yield savings options and run credit score. Find whatever works for both of you and one that you will find useful.

  • Know your partner’s perspective about money.

Most of the arguments between spouses may seem, on the surface, about money but the reality of it is that it is not. Clashes in personalities and mindsets can often lead to conflict. The problem is not that they can’t afford a certain lifestyle, it could be that one person is brought up in a conservative background and resents the fact that the other partner spends excessively.

It’s very important that you understand how your spouse sees money or how they were raised around it. What values did their parents teach about money? Were they lavish spenders or thrifty? Did their family discuss about money? What is your partner’s thought on your finances? Answers to these questions can help you better understand how your partner treats money.

  • Allow yourselves some space.

Some spouses may find it too restrictive when they constantly have to defend every purchase they make that their spouses do not approve of. This is why we recommend that each spouse have their own budget for optional items of their choice.

This can be a discretionary fund item on your family’s budget that each partner can spend however they want without having to report to each other. It gives each spouse a little bit of freedom while staying mindful to their budget.

  • If everything doesn’t work, get some help.

If money fights are a regular occurrence in your marriage–one that can blow up anytime soon, you might want to get some help from a third-party expert to help stay you on track. Some couples may find it beneficial to enlist a financial planner to guide them in sorting out their financial problems. There is no shame in asking for help if you think this will be your last resort to bringing harmony and respect back to your marriage.

Resolving Money Issues through Communication

Relationship experts agree that in order to have a healthy marriage, spouses should share a common ground–similar values, mindset, habits, and attitudes–not only pertaining to money but for every aspect of their marriage.

That sounds good on paper, doesn’t it? But it is possible to share a common ground between you and your partner. What matters is that you both have a common vision of what you want to achieve and how you manage your finances, without restricting each other’s freedom.

When conflicts arise, partners should be able to keep the communication lines open for a healthy discussion to take place. If you need any help in starting a discussion about money with your partner, we’d like to invite to get an early access to our How Game are You? Money Edition cards, a suite of game cards that promote real-life conversations around money for couples. To receive sample cards and be advised of the launch dates, pricing, etc., just add your details to the form at the very bottom of this page. 

 

Health Benefits Of Board Games

Playing board games entertain and brings people together through competitive and cooperative gameplay. However, board games offer a lot more than just entertainment.

Here’s the top health benefits of board games from Health Fitness Revolution:

  • Have fun and feel good. One of the effects of playing board games is laughter and it has be found out that this increases endorphins. This chemical in our body is known to elevate the feeling of happiness
  • Family time. Nowadays spending an uninterrupted time with your family may be quite impossible given the different schedules each family member has. Yet playing board games after a family dinner is one excellent way to get together and strengthen your family bond.
  • Memory formation and cognitive skills. The areas of the brain that are responsible for complex thought and memory formation are the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. These parts most benefits when playing board games.o get together and strengthen your family bond.
  • Reduces risks for mental diseases.Playing board games keeps your mind engaged by exercising it and building it stronger. It’s good to note that stronger brain has lower risks of cognitive decline.
  • Lowers blood pressure. As playing board games effects to laughing and endorphins. This things can help lower or maintain blood pressure.
  • Speed up your response. In a study at the University of Toronto, they found out that students who regularly played video games were far quicker in locating than those who don’t. Get yourself into board games and sometime soon, you’ll be able to find those hard-to-find car keys without searching the whole house.
  • Reduce stress. According to an online survey by RealNetworks, Inc., 64% of the respondents said they play games to unwind and relax. 53% play to relieve stress.
  • Grows your immune system. Research shows that negative thoughts and feelings can reduce the ability to fight disease whilst positive thoughts and feelings. The enjoyment and laughter you get from playing board games prevents effects with the chemicals being released by the body.
  • Child development. Playing board games help children develop their logic and reasoning skills, improve critical thinking and boost spatial reasoning. The ability to concentrate and focus for a longer period of time is also developed with just playing board games.
  • Therapy treatment. Most types of board games require players to use fine motor skills to pick up or move pieces which are actions that both involves coordination and dexterity. And have been found out that can really be helpful when added to occupational therapy treatments.

Games like Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble and Viticulture to name a few provide real life information and knowledge in a gamified way. We’ve used this thinking with our new How Game Are You? editions so that people learn from their own responses from each others view points. Also gain more understanding on the topic and get to enhance their lives going forward through having these ‘Real Life Conversations’ that are often never had. Its knowledge, interaction, understanding and skills to carry forward.

The first 2 games are around ‘Couples and Money’ and ‘Couples and Intimacy’. How Game Are You? Couples Intimacy Edition is now available through our website, Amazon (US and AU) and Ebay (AU). You can order your own copy of the game now and be one of the first to receive it.

Further perspectives/ benefits