187 – Games and Finance with First Move Financial – The Family Gamers Podcast

First Move Financial - Financial planning for all stages of life. What's your first move?

Episode 187

Games and Finance with First Move Financial

Our guest today is Donnie Carpenter, who also happens to run First Move Financial.

First Move Financial is our sponsor for The Family Gamers Podcast. You don’t need a lot of investments to come get financial advice!

This seemed like the right time to have Donnie on the show, since the COVID-19 crisis means not only that families are spending more time together, but also that finances may be tight, even with the promised stimulus checks.

But first, let’s talk about what we’ve been playing!

What We’ve Been Playing

Wingspan (on Tabletopia) – “we picked a game we all knew… at the halfway point, we all paused it…” (A good choice for parents playing games remotely!)

Both Andrew and Anitra have gone back to using BoardGameArena. Trouble logging on? You can always log on with a premium membership – $24 for the year, or $4/month ongoing. If you’ve been playing games, check out our Family Gamers group – open to any member of BoardGameArena (premium or free).

Adventure Games: The Dungeon – our kids got the same ending we did. We also had to remind them that no team member “dies”; instead your teammates have to share their hearts with you. (Our review)

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – maybe we’re really bad at it, but we’ve lost book 2 several times now.

Crazy Tower – from Synapse Games / Luma. A polyomino tower-building game. Try to sabotage your opponents so the tower will fall on someone else’s turn.

Tussie Mussie – from Button Shy. Want a copy and don’t want to wait for shipping? Find it on PNP Arcade and get a copy you can print yourself for $3!

Mini Rails – from MoaIdeas (now available from Tasty Minstrel Games!)

Abandon All Artichokes – from Gamewright. Deck de-construction.

MetroX – also from Gamewright. Flip-and-write to build a metro-rail system. Tight restrictions and an interesting map.

(Our older kids played a ton of Dice Throne.)

The Grimm Forest – Druid City Games – not a great game to play with a five-year-old, but we did play according to the rules and had fun.

Piratatak – from DJECO

Star Wars Armada – from Fantasy Flight Games (this is an “upgradeable” game where you can buy new ships)

Paranormal Detectives – from Lucky Duck Games

SNAP Review – Fairy Season

Nick and Izzy tell us about this creative trick-taking game. Stash the most fairies for your goblin chief to make a wicked fairy-dust brew!

Find the transcript and more pictures in the SNAP review.

Talking to Donnie About Finances

So, by now you’ve heard about the stimulus bill that passed. 2 TRILLION DOLLARS – that’s 2 million millions!

Technically, the stimulus checks are an advance on your 2020 taxes. But whether or not you get the check is based on your 2019 tax filing (or 2018 if you haven’t filed this year yet). Your 2020 taxes will determine whether or not you should have gotten a check.

How to decide what to do with stimulus money? BUDGET. You have time to plan! Save it if your job might be affected by an extended shut down (example: pilots still have work now, but may have a shut down later). Spend it on necessities if you need to. But if you don’t NEED this money, decide how much will be “fun money” (we recommend no more than 10%).

Yes, fun money is important!

For the rest, figure out the priorities – perhaps refill savings or return to “normal” savings for college or retirement. This won’t stimulate the economy, but it will put your family on a more solid footing for the future.

Budgeting is super important, and don’t be afraid to let your children in to the conversation so they know what’s going on.

Andrew recommends turning “budget night” into an ice-cream date between you and your spouse. It’s really important to talk about money openly with your family, especially in stressful times like these. Your kids know if you’re worried about money, but won’t understand how much is a lot or a little unless you talk to them.

Donnie’s book recommendation will help guide you to have these conversations with your kids: The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber.

Why a Budget is Important

Budgeting is knowing where your dollars WILL go. Even more important if your income is suddenly reduced (or eliminated).

“Everyone has a budget, some people just don’t know what it is.”

Our whole economy is changing right now and will look very different in 6 months.

Learn how you *actually* spend (don’t decide to cold-turkey quit your daily Starbucks habit!), and then take control of how you *want* to spend.


Mint (free, ad-supported, from Intuit) – does well TRACKING spending, not such a great job of planning.

You Need a Budget (also known as YNAB – NOT free, around $7/month) – entire focus is planning. What are you going to do with each and every dollar? Also has great educational tools. Not free, but provides a lot for your money.

Every Dollar – like YNAB but no auto-pull of data from your bank. You’ll have to put everything in manually.

Even an Excel spreadsheet can work. A budget is a tool to provide boundaries; no matter what you use, it won’t stop you from making poor decisions.

Financial Concepts in Boardgames

LIFE – an RPG about real life. Kids want to know what it’s like to have a job and earn money – aspirational. Maybe not a great game to teach financial concepts, though.

Mini Rails – (mentioned above) shows how stock can jump up and down, influenced from many directions.

Tulip Bubble – another one from Moa Ideas. Random card flips move the prices of the tulips. Game always ends in a market crash. You know it will happen, so you can try to prepare for it.

Going Going Gone – from Stronghold Games – Throw cubes into cups as fast as possible. Then auctioneer covers up the cups. You can see that some things are worth a lot to OTHER people. Participate in the frenzy and then see where everyone is when the dust settles.

Find Donnie Online:

www.firstmovefinancial.com/familygamers – Learn more about Donnie, his company, and schedule a 15-minute phone call!

Find Us Online:

Facebook: @familygamersaa and thefamilygamers.com/community
Twitter (X): @familygamersaa
Threads: @familygamersaa
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or join the Family Tabletop Community on Discord! thefamilygamers.com/discord

Or, for the most direct method, email us! andrew@thefamilygamers.com and anitra@thefamilygamers.com.

Check out our new Family Gamers and Play Games with Your Kids merchandise – T-shirts, hoodies, and mugs – at thefamilygamers.com/merch.

PLEASE don’t forget to subscribe to the show, tell your friends about the show, and leave us a review at Apple Podcast or whatever your podcast subscription source is. We’re also on Amazon Music, TuneIn, and Spotify.

The Family Gamers is sponsored by First Move Financial. Go to FirstMoveFinancial.com/familygamers to learn how the team at First Move Financial can help you pile up the victory points.

First Move Financial - Financial planning for all stages of life. What's your first move?