Show Me the Future

Show Me the Future

Show Me the Future is a “financial literacy and life skills game” (from the About page) you can play for free. It says it’s designed for teenagers to help them learn about budgeting, career goals, the value of a college degree and more.

When you’re ready to play the game, first choose the version (small, medium, or large) you want, and then there’s a brief video intro. It will then ask you for a nickname, school name, and where you’re from. Next, choose your character. If you don’t like the character you get, click “Regenerate” until you have the occupation and marital status you want. Here are just two examples:

Then click “Continue” and you’re ready to make some decisions. The first is paying taxes, which is not actually a decision but an obligation. You’ll get some introductory texts explaining your choices (and obligations). Click on the X in the corner to close the introductions.

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The decisions you’ll have to make are about transportation, food, clothing, insurance, day care (if you have kids) and more. After you make each decision, you’ll have to write a check to pay for that choice, for yourself and for your spouse if you have one.

At the bottom of the screen you’ll see the decisions you’ve made in orange on the left. The green buttons on the right are to see your checkbook balance, your material value, and the list of past and future decisions,

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After you’ve made all your decisions, you’ll see a year in your life, with some unexpected expenses popping up:

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At the end of the year, you’ll see how you did. There are links to additional resources, from Mapping Your Future.

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The game is a rather blunt tool, but it’s a way to practice reading/vocabulary about this topic, and it’s a good discussion starter and something to help you think about your future.

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