My frugal friend Amy recently bought me a present. She found the Milton Bradley Bargain Hunter Board Game at a thrift store and thought of me! (Awesome!)
As many of you know, I love games… and so I was excited to try this “new” game. I say “new” because it was produced in the early 1980s!
The premise is this: You have $1,000 to get your apartment set up (furniture, appliances, etc). You make your way around the board, shopping in the various stores, paying bills, getting windfalls, earning money on pay day, etc. The goal of the game is to be the first to purchase all 19 items on your shopping list and still have money left over. The various stores have different prices, so you have to decide whether to buy right away or wait for a better deal.
The game is pretty interesting. My husband’s strategy was to purchase his items on credit (there’s even a cute little credit card machine that tells you if you’re “approved” or not) and then pay it back when he could… And just like in real life, that strategy failed miserably. He had a lot of stuff, but no money and a lot of debt… I’m glad that’s not his real life strategy!
We played the game with our friends Mike and Ellie, and it was also interesting to see how different people approach money. For example, Mike was very conservative in his spending. While he had a lot of money, he didn’t have very much stuff. While he was happy with that, he wasn’t anywhere near winning the game. I think it kind of shows that while you should be smart with your money (i.e. don’t get into debt), you should be willing to take some risks, too.
Ellie actually won the game…. she had the best strategy: shop for the best deals and only buy things when she could afford them. Slow and steady wins this game, much like the real world!
I was neck-and-neck with Ellie the whole game. We had the same strategy (which is probably why we’re good friends!)
It surprised me how often we chose to live paycheck to paycheck during this game. In real life, this would have made me miserable… Mike, on the other hand, probably would have been happiest… if he could be content having only an armchair and a blender!
Bargain Hunter was a lot of fun, although it takes a while to play. I’m still thrilled that my friend Amy was able to find this game for a thrift store bargain price of $1.25! I just wish she didn’t live in North Carolina so we could play it together!