PlaySpent.org is a web portal developed to enhance learning about practical life and the social and economic condition where citizens of a country live and function. We were assigned to try the system and enhance our knowledge about the inequality that exists in the society and experience this inequality from a practical perspective. Thought, it was a simple assignment, there is a need to make critical decisions because it involves getting through a month with a family, job, and other issues that are part of most of the citizens.
Playing the game
The initial prompt of the website is about urban Ministries of Durhan serving 6000 people every year. I have to prove that I am not the one of these 6000 and can survive without the Ministries help. I accepted the challenge and entered the game where I was told that I have lost my job and home and have only $1000 left.
The first challenge
The first challenge is to find a job. Out of the three jobs available, only one has fixed hours while the other two jobs have working hours that vary. I would like to have working hours that I know of exactly so that I can do other planning or find another part time job with the job that I am already employed in. I, therefore, went on and selected the 2nd shift job at the warehouse. The job seems to be tough as the second prompt is to stay healthy because the lifting and repetitive packaging can be brutal on the body. After taxes, the salary is $1224 which seems reasonable.
Part of the first challenge is to acquire an insurance. The child is covered by the state but not me. I think that the silver plan would be good for me. It is $268/month. The result of the decision is that the coverage is good but it is a bit costly which is the cost I have to pay I guess to protect my health.
Another part of the first challenge is to find a reasonable place to live in. considering the travel and rent costs, there is an approximate $100 difference between the nearest and most distant place. Looking at the hazards of the public transport system, I think the best idea is to live at the nearest place which will cost total $855. The balance now is $145.
A bit extra cash
The apartment is too small for my stuff according to the prompt. There are three things I can do. Spend an extra $45 for a storage unit. Have a yard sale or ask a friend to store it. I need a bit of extra cash and a yard sale seems the most appropriate option which got me an extra $150 in cash taking the balance to $295.
Little needs of the life
I have realized that for poor people, buying an ice cream for their children could prove to involve a big deal decision making. What I did was I made the decision of buying ice cream for my kid and his friend because it is not worth saving $5 and making your kid embarrassed in front of their friend.
Electricity and gas bills were due which totaled to $225. I think that paying these bills is better than leaving them unpaid and then paying the penalties for them.
Many more decisions
Broken window: I opted to buy some plastic and cover the broken window because I do not think I can afford legal bills for legal help nor can I replace the window with only $65 in my pocket.
Visiting a friend’s marriage: I did not go to the marriage because I cannot afford it at this time. I will later send him a gift once I have some money.
Internet for some extra cash: I become one of the 44 % poor people who go to a public library for internet. This is how I think I will make some money if possible.
Credit card bill: I selected to ignore it this time because if I pay the credit card bill, I will be left with very little money till the next pay day. Ignoring credit card bill will certainly damage my credit history.
Joining a union: On the parking lot, I was approached to join a union which I gladly did because it must be for a good cause. As a result, I was fired because my manager found out about it. This is an illegal activity but it happens often according to the next prompt.
The remaining game
Because I lost the job, I did not survive for a longer time because it seems money is everything and you need a constant flow of money to keep your life running. I did opt to join a course that will enhance my job expectancy but was not left with a lot of money to buy food and other daily life usage products. Being a poor person is really hard because you have to spend the little money you have wisely and still end up in trouble because you are unlawfully fired from the job and no one seems to be helping. I seem to be living under absolute and relative poverty because I don’t seem to find enough money for my life.