Game of Life teaches students about financial wellness


Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Presley DePugh.

The Game of Life in the Alumni Lounge, West Haven, April 5, 2023.

As soon as you walked into the Alumni Lounge yesterday, you immediately stepped foot into the Game of Life, which was given a spin by the university’s Financial Wellness Program for students to learn about financial wellness as part of their Spring Cashparency Series.
Tables surrounded the edges of the room, each with a different category for spending and earning money. The first stop was at the Career and Life Table, where you pick up a card with the title of one of the university’s colleges on it, which has a career and its monthly pay on the back. They would spin the wheel at the next table to determine their personal life, such as if they are married or have kids in the game.
Students also received a pamphlet where they would “budget” themselves throughout the game.
Vanessa Ort, who works in the Financial Aid Office and runs the Financial Wellness Program, said that the interactive event was “a fun way to get people thinking about money.” Ort also said that this event was an introduction to those inevitable discussions about money that students will have.
After receiving the necessary supplies, students walked around the room to different tables to practice their budgeting and talk to the staff running those tables. One of those tables included spending money on clothes and whether you wanted to buy them from a discount store, thrift shop, department store or designer clothing store, each having a different price.
Discussions took place at other tables centered around topics including student loans, entertainment and housing. The final table had a wheel to spin to win some prizes ranging from stickers to a university water bottle.
The prize table was run by Kaitlyn Naples, who works for the Office of Marketing and Communications along with serving on the Financial Literacy Committee. Naples said this event was a good opportunity to “get exposure out there to the students and show them the resources that are available to them on campus and show them the importance of learning about their financial wellness before they graduate and go out into the world.”
Not only were prizes at the end of the game, but also the chance to tally up your “spending” throughout the game. You would check how much you spent and whether you were able to save money, which gave students that hands-on experience on finances.
If you are interested in checking out other events in the Spring Cashparency Series, look at their calendar on MyCharger, and check out their Instagram @unewhavenfinwell to check out the Financial Wellness Program’s resources.