What I Learned from the Prosperity Game

I like to look at the way I think about money. I’ve learned, through the process of becoming debt free, that each dollar counts. I can make the choice of what I want to do with it, and those small decisions can change what I experience in life.

Recently I’ve been trying to learn more about what money means to me so I can take my life and business to the next level. I don’t need to be a millionaire, I want to be. But what would that look like?

I tried an exercise called the Prosperity Game. The goal of the exercise is to help you feel more prosperous.

My Prosperity Game

It starts on day one with $100 virtual dollars. You received this money and you must spend all of it on that day. You cannot give it away to friends and family. Each day the sum of money doubles, and you continue to play for 30 days.

Day one, write down exactly what you would do with $100. For instance, I bought a new mp3 player for $70 and spent $30 on mp3s. Day two write down what you would do with $200. Day three $400. Every day double the amount.

Find specific things to buy. When I wanted to buy a house, I looked up houses online and choose one to buy. I looked up vacations and found a retreat center in Arizona I would love to go to.

It was a lot of fun to figure out how to spend the money!

My choices included traveling, buying a new wardrobe, retreats, massages, even paying for a PhD. Daydreaming about the choices were fun too.

After day 13 ($409,600), the sums raced upward. Each day I was faced with what else to spend money on, but I felt like I had already bought everything I wanted.

When the sum reached twelve million dollars I bought another helicopter and another private island. I racked my brain to think of other ideas. I started become an angel investor, and started a non-profit.

Eventually, I became frustrated thinking of more ways to spend the virtual money. I stopped the exercise at Day 20 and $52 million.

What I Learned

I want experiences, knowledge and to give.

Even if I could have anything, I only really want a home, sturdy furniture, and reliable cars. The majority of my wants lie in the experience of life.

I want things money cannot buy. I want to speak in front of 2,000 people. I want to go with my husband and children to Spain for a month and experience the culture there. I want to learn every day.

I can do all of these things without a lot of money.

Letting my imagination run wild really drove home the fact that I don’t need a lot. I don’t need a home that has a library, an art studio and a six-car garage. Once my basic needs were met all I could do was get nicer stuff. A nicer TV will still show me the same content.

The Journey is the Fun Part.

I have always said, “I want to be a millionaire, not for the money, but for the woman I’ll become.” When life takes a lot of work it’s hard to be thankful. But it’s those experiences that make the journey. If it wasn’t a challenge, life wouldn’t be fun.

When I was younger I loved video games. One time I was playing the Sims and I thought the game would be better if I had more money. I didn’t want to do the work, so I found a cheat that would give me an unlimited amount of money.

I was excited. I bought everything I wanted. About 20 minutes later, I realized that the game wasn’t fun anymore because there was no challenge. There was no point.

Each person is different. What is important is finding out what deeply fulfills you. I highly recommend this exercise to really figure out what is important to you and to see how you manage large amounts of money. It’s a great learning experience plus it’s a ton of fun!

Are you willing to try the exercise?

 

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Hi I’m Jaime. Each and every week I bring you the top business advice from the people who know best.

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50 responses

  • Very interesting game to play. I think it is interesting that we find it’s not actually the million dollars we want but the journey. We don’t need a million dollars to have a wonderful life. We have a wonderful life now! But a million dollars is a good goal and the journey leading to that million will be a wonderful experience. Just remember the important things on the way there!

    • Since I was little I wanted to be a millionaire. (who doesn’t?) But once I looked into it deeper I realized I don’t need a million. I can lead a rich life without a ton of money. Then I realized that I can lead a rich life, and it’s still ok to have a goal of a million dollars. 🙂

      That’s why I started this blog. Thanks so much for reading it.

  • Nice post. I dream that I want to make €1m per year. But don’t know how I would spend it. We’re probably best served identifying the simple things in life that make us happy. If that leads to lots of money, so be it…

    • Thanks. Exactly, if you are happy first and then make a lot of money, rejoice! 🙂

  • Very insightful post! What you learned from the Prosperity and Sims games really summed everything up well. If we did have all the money we needed, there is a good chance that buying things would get old fast. “The fun is in the challenge” is something I will always keep in mind. Thanks!

    • Thanks Chris! I appreciate you reading my blog. 🙂

  • Okay, maybe I’m weird, but that exercise shows me that I want way more than I’ll ever earn. I too enjoy experiences over stuff, but experiences cost a lot too (if one of our 7 day cruises costs $2000, I can only imagine what some of the longer trips I would love to take would cost).

    Plus, if you can donate to anyone but friends and family, there’s just not such a thing as too much…I can name off 20 charities that I’d love to fully fund right this second (my top five are Meals on Wheels, Houston SPCA, Pughearts, Alzheimer’s research, and cancer research).

    I understand the overall point. I’m living the overall point. We are very happy with what we have and what we do with what we have. BUT, I would definitely not be the sad story example if I won the lottery tomorrow…

    • That might be the reason why. You are so happy right now, all of those fun experiences are the icing on the cake. Instead of it BEING the cake.

      That’s also the reason why I still have a goal to be a millionaire, because why not?

  • Ah, I think I remember that game from some Law of Attraction book – maybe Abraham Hicks? I know how you feel. Once you have enough and your options seem fairly unlimited, you realize that you don’t really value a lot of the stuff that you always thought you would once you got to that point.

    At this point in my life, I just want to have TIME more than anything. Time to pursue stuff that I’m interested in without having to earn a single penny in doing it.

    • I think you are right, though I can’t for the life of me remember where I got it. (I was trying to post a link to it but couldn’t find it)

      I think you summed up with word freedom. 🙂 I agree completely.

  • Jaime,

    You are an inspiration to many! You have discovered the essence of having the right attitude about money and wealth (two very different things). Thank you for teaching others what you have learned through your own experience.

    • Thanks so much Daniel. You made my day. 🙂

  • Jaime, How clever-I love the game. I already have the life that I want….. and I am always going for greater challenges-that’s what makes things fun! Wonderful writing, Barb

    • Thanks so much Barb. It’s so cool to already have the life you want? (That’s probably why you are teaching others through a blog too!)

  • I know what I want: experiences and knowledge. After a little house somewhere, that’s about it. I wouldn’t really know what to spend thousands of dollars on a day or even millions. Clothes, tv’s , video games, and cars don’t inspire me. Instead, I’d prefer to travel to exotic places, go white water rafting, visit family, hike the Grand Canyon again, go camping every other weekend, write children’s books, figure out how to increase the reading and math proficiency levels in our education system. Thanks for making me think about this, I’m doing many of these things now.
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..Rent Across the Nation =-.

    • You’re welcome. I had the same realization. Those things that you want to do sound so attainable and/or you must be doing them now. It’s a great thing to be living the life you would choose if you could choose anything. 🙂

  • Yeah, I always say that I want to become a millionaire not because I want a lot of stuff, but because it’s a nice goal to have.

    It’ll take a lot of work, saving, investing, and diligence. If it happens, I’ll be able to look back at all the steps and decisions I made with joy and a sense of accomplishment.

    • I agree. If you put too much weight in it, that’s not good! I like how you said, it’s a nice goal to have. That’s it. It shouldn’t be much more than that. 🙂

  • I’ve also played the prosperity game a couple of times now and came to the same realizations you have. I LOVE your quote… “I want to become a millionaire, not for the money, but for the woman I’ll become.” That sums my thoughts up brilliantly! I had become bored with the game this 2nd time around, but think I’m going to start all over again just to get the creative juices flowing again. We’ll see what new abundance starts flowing this way again!

    Blessings to you,

    Joy

    • Thank you Joy! Have fun with it and I would love to hear what happens with it. 🙂

  • This is fantastic idea. I think I will do the same.

  • Interesting game. I’m playing now and have learned a lot about myself in just 3 days!

  • Hi all! Where do I get the Prosperity Game? 🙂 I can’t find a link to it?

  • Hi, Jaime!

    This part of your post brought me to tears:
    “I want things money cannot buy. I want to speak in front of 2,000 people. I want to go with my husband and children to Spain for a month and experience the culture there. I want to learn everyday.”

    …I suppose because I can relate. I want the same thing too and you made perfect sense in what you said here. Thank you so much for sharing the information about the Prosperity Game. I’ll go and try it then maybe I’ll come back here and share with you how I did. 🙂

    I have only recently joined the blogging world, by the way. My blog is six days young. Please feel free to stop by anytime and leave a comment: http://mylaupshaw.com/blogging/oh-my-blog

    • thanks so much for your comment. My blog is only 10 months old, but I know SO much more now than I did before. Good luck! I would love to have you comment or email about how your game went too. 🙂

  • Wow – I’m new to Eventual Millionaire, but I’ll be paying attention from now on! This post is great. I played the prosperity game once and had a lot of fun, but like you, I gave up after about 15 days.

    What I want isn’t money. I want to know what it feels like to not need money. I wonder how it would feel to buy what we need and pay the bills without a second thought. My DL is such a good man, but carries the worry of responsibility all the time – I wonder how he would be if he wasn’t bent by this need for provision. I wonder how we’d ALL be….

  • I doubt I would enjoy this game. I have been poor so long that I can’t think of any things I would want above a decent home. (On my income I’ve been living for years in rented rooms, sharing homes with drunks, druggies, and bums…and I hate it more than I can articulate. Being poor and living with drunks, druggies, and bums means you NEVER can have peace, quiet, or solitude.)

    I’d put it all into building assets and a business, but then I’m no fun.

  • That’s a tough game. After a few mil in the bank, I’d just want to spend all my time doing stuff that doesn’t pay well, like building crooked furniture because I can’t read instructions, and use the bank money for living expenses.

    I’d give the rest away, but would want to hire someone to handle all that. 🙂

  • Prosperity is the category of strange success which all people want to achieve!

  • I AM THE 1%

    Money affords all the things you say it cannot! You have no idea what doors wealth opens up for you…it’s almost sickening.

    When you have money, opportunities open up for you. It’s only because of money that you can even have the opportunity to speak in front of thousands of people,  have a nice house, enrichen the lives of your family, go to Spain, and learn.

    To say that you can do that without money is quite inaccurate. Very inaccurate if you’re honest with yourself. You can learn a damn thing if you’re trying to make ends meet.

    But you’ll only understand that when you become wealthy. 😉

  • Found you on GRS.
    I also had that experience with the Sims game. That amused me.
    Nice article. I’m definitely going to try the prosperity game.

  • If anyone is curious, the Prosperity Game is a process originally described in the book “Ask and it is Given” by Esther and Jerry Hicks (Abraham-Hicks). The best book ever written, in my opinion, with 21 other processes in there to boot. I love this game, and I too found that after a certain amount of money I started feeling very generous! It’s amazing the philanthropist I turned out to be (in my imagination at least, so far). Once in the millions I also started getting into buying pricey artwork from online auctions. It’s a really fun game if you get into it! It’s good to be playful and not be too serious about it, and just have fun. 

  • The game sounds like what I do when I dream about my lottery ticket being the jackpot winner! It also reminds me of a movie (I think Tom Hanks starred in it) about a guy that would inherit billions if he could spend a certain amount before a certain time. Everything he tried to get rid of that money resulted in more money back to him!

  • Hi Jaime,

    You know I just signed up on Prosperity Game. I heard it from a fellow blogger and so I thought what the heck, why not sign up and see what will I learn from playing this. But thank you for giving us a nice description of how it was played.

    Like you, it doesn’t take a lot of money to make me money. So long as my house is paid off. I have a reliable car. I can travel from time to time. Eat good nutrition. Stay healthy. Be with my family. And be able to help my family when they need money (I understand that this game you cannot give money to your friends or family)…but that’s what I would really like to do. That when my family (say a sister) is short of money and that I wouldn’t feel helpless that I couldn’t help her because the money we make is barely enough just for our intermediate family. Anyhoo….found you thru google search, just FYI.

    Angela

    • I know- thankfully it’s just a game and in real life we can help the people we love!! 🙂

  • CORRECTION:

    it doesn’t take a lot of money to make me money = SHOULD SAY “it doesn’t take a lot of money to make me HAPPY”

  • The prosperity game is awesome I repeat it every other month, (I should do it every month). Have since 2010, tons of amazing exp. from doing that.

  • I don’t think I have a problem with knowing how to spend the money. I am very versatile and creative. I can go from one point to another (extreme situations) and make the best of them. I can also come up with a lot of creative solutions. Besides, if this game is to prepare us to be able to handle lots of money, rich people do not necessarily spend money EVERY single day, nor do they deliberately think on ways to do it, so I don’t stress about it too much, either. If they did, I think they would all be all stressed out and die of heart attacks, LOL.

  • The problem with this game (I played it too a couple times but quit fairly early due to lack of satisfaction with it) is that you don’t actually have the experience of what you bought hence you can’t learn from it, not really. Even if you pretend you went on a 10 day cruise, it’s not the same as actually going. If you were to really go, life would open up to you in all kinds of interesting new ways. With the game, you’re stuck at home. Same with buying a pair of shoes and a whole new wardrobe. In the game, you don’t get to actually wear them and experience life that way. This is why I find your conclusions a bit questionable. If you really had all that money and really got to have the experiences, who knows where you’d be and how you’d end up living your life. And who you would become.

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