The Simple Dollar Podcast #6: Games People Play

The sixth episode focuses on gaming, a surprisingly fun way to save money. Along the way, I highlight tons of my favorite games to play with others that maximize bang for the buck. Total time: 10:50.

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Episode Notes
Here are some additional notes that go alongside the comments in the podcast. Approximate times for the corresponding links and notes are listed.

0:00 – The theme song is a snippet of a Camper van Beethoven concert on October 25, 1986, shared via their very open taping policy. Listen to the concert in its entirety.
0:44 – We played Dominion multiple times, Ticket to Ride: Europe, and Torres (I think … I might be mixing it with the previous game night we had).
1:05 – Her family plays the card game 500, which is quite fun.
2:10 – Good card games with kids: slapjack, go fish, and war.
2:18 – Good card games with adults: bridge, gin, canasta, poker, spades, hearts, cribbage, pitch, euchre … a nearly infinite list.
2:44 – My family always plays four point pitch.
2:55 – Monopoly seems to never end – I played a game for more than twelve hours once. Even worse, many people seem to play it without the auction rule – when someone lands on a property and chooses not to buy it, it goes up for auction. Without that, the game really does never seem to end.
3:27 – Ticket to Ride is a great board game that revolves around connecting various cities to one another via train. You essentially play on a map of a continent, with major cities highlighted, and throughout the game you connect these cities. You only have a limited number of connections, though, and other players are trying to do the same thing (and thus sometimes block your connections). It’s incredibly fun.
3:39 – Puerto Rico is a board game in which you’re trying to build a successful Puerto Rican farm while competing against the other players for resources – workers, money, and space on ships to sell what your farm grows. It can be played in an hour and fits three or four people really well.
3:45 – Settlers of Catan is a board game where you’re simply trying to settle on an island by placing just a small handful of towns and roads. It’s really simple and incredibly fun – as I say on the podcast, we played our first copy until it looks…. grizzled is a good word for it.
4:20 – You want a great way to network with someone? Play a game with them. You’ll almost magically open up a bit during the game.
6:25 – I use Gamerz in Ames, Iowa for most of my video game trading.
6:55 – Yes, I know I “overlooked” the social aspect of XBox Live and many online RPGs, but unless you’re (a) willing to give a lot of time to it or (b) have a strong affinity for teenagers being “funny” by yelling racial epithets, I’d suggest skipping it.
8:35 – I turn walks outdoors into a scavenger hunt.
8:50 – Here are ten ways I save money golfing.
10:40 – A preview of next week’s topic.

One thing I’d like to do in a future episode is have an audio reader’s mailbag. If you have a microphone on your computer and can record an MP3 of a simple, short question you might have on personal finance, careers, pop culture, or anything else you’d like me to answer, record it as an MP3 and send it to me. Keep the total recording under 15 seconds, please. Also, if you use Skype, feel free to ask your question that way – my username is trenttsd.

Comments and suggestions welcome.

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