www.playspent.org is a website simulation of practical life that I never experienced before. The website puts you in real life situations where you need to make wise decisions because you and your family may depend on these decisions. The simulation puts you in the role of a leading family member which is kind of exciting to do in my opinion. The fact that I am a student and depend on my parents to give me money for my studies and day to day life, I was not aware of how tough it might some time for my parents be to do all they are doing for me. I really enjoyed being a parent and a person earning money in the simulation. In this assignment, I have provided a detailed description on the experiences that I went through in the simulation and what type of impact it made on my emotions and behavior.
The main theme of the game is to put $1000m in your hands and ask you to go through practical decisions that you might need to make in a life where you have a family to serve. You have to find a job, travel to the job, take care of you and your family health and finances and be able to pay utilities. Knowing that over 14 million people are jobless gives you a boost to be motivate and get a job as soon as possible before you are among the unemployed and looking for social security help.
Which job to do?
The main theme of the simulation is to survive a month. During this month, you have to do all a person helping his family surviving has to do. I went through different job advertisements and finally made a decision that I will apply to the job as an office temp. The salary is not a lot, i.e. $9/hour which totals to $1440 before tax deduction. I did not like the tax part but then realized that the socio-economic prosperity of a country needs its citizens to pay a good amount of tax which ultimately helps these citizens back in different ways.
Insurance for health
The details provided by the simulator informed me that I have to get a health insurance because I was not covered. In fact, the Affordable Care Act requires you to arrange a health insurance. I did not want to spend money on health insurance but I was required by the law to choose a plan. Therefore, I selected the Bronze Plan, which was the most affordable. I felt me and my family to be safe now because at least we would not have to struggle with health facilities, give we already have financial and economic crisis.
Where to live
This is again a very practical decision to be made. If you live at 50 mile from the place where you live, you will have to pay $600 rent and also pay more than $150 in travel expenses. Living near to the workplace was really expensive and therefore, I selected to live far away from the workplace so that I can save some money for my family economics.
What to do with extra stuff?
My place is not a big place and therefore, I needed to ask a friend of mine to keep my extra stuff with him for a brief period of time till I can afford a bigger place. I could have sold the stuff at a yard sale but then, if I needed the same things again, I will have to pay a lot more for it that what I sold it for.
Calling in sick
I was feeling sick and therefore, I had to call in sick. The alarming thing was that I will not get paid for such a day off which I think I duly deserved. Another information that I got from the simulation was that I had during each year, 40 million people do not get paid when they call in sick. Is this justice? I do not think so. But then, what can I do as an ordinary citizen of a country. I guess the best thing is to live with it.
Poverty level in the country
When you have a good job that pays you a good amount of money, you can consider yourself to be above the relative poverty. But, earning around a thousand USDs and then paying taxes and other expenses, I do not think that you can consider yourself above the relative poverty when you are compared to the average citizens. I did start living some life, but it was not a standard one. I mean a life where you have to think harshly about decisions where you have or have not to pay for your kid’s lunch money is ridiculous.
Speaking about the overall experience, I was really disappointed about the inequality in the society where some people play with money while others cannot even afford simple life. I think that there is need for the whole society to think about the taxation system. The little percentage of people who earn billions and pay little percentage of taxation need to be made liable and responsible in my opinion.