spent

Could you live on $1,000 a month?

I know I would love to try!

A new online game called Spent lets you see what it’s like to make the tough choices necessary to get by on that amount of income.

The interactive game was developed by a team at McKinney, a national advertising agency based in Durham, N.C., as a pro-bono effort to raise awareness of Urban Ministries, a local emergency services outfit seeing heavy demand in the tough economy.

Spent challenges users to experience what it is like –- and what tradeoffs must be made — to get by on $1,000 a month.

[quote]Spent has been played more than 1.7 million times, says Janet Northern, director of communications for McKinney.[/quote]

The game Spent cleverly makes use of actual economic data and links to social media to get its point across.

The game — it’s more of an exercise, really — first allows you to apply for different jobs at different rates of pay, like a waiter at a restaurant or a temporary typist.

Next, it poses a series of choices and lists the accompanying cost for each one, plus its respective impact on your cash. If you’re lucky enough to get a job as a waitress, for instance, ($2 and change an hour, plus tips), but drop a stack of plates and break them, do you fess up and pay for the damage or hide the evidence to avoid busting your budget?

It sounds like an interesting game and I wanted to pose the question out to our readers – could you live on $1,000 per month?

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