Featuring: Interview with Paul Vasey, the President & Founder of Cash Crunch Games
Why did you decide to create Cash Crunch Games?
I decided to create CashCrunch as a way to break the disconnect between math and money. I found that people naturally struggled with money as they associated it with math. I also realized through my own learning styles and teaching, that if a conversation and experience were created, people will naturally feel more confident to apply what they have experienced and talk about it. By creating a game, they had something to talk about which meant a conversation. Which meant breaking the disconnect and myth around money. We use money every day and are expected to be experts, but very little is taught on what the value of that money is and how to make a smarter decision.
Why is it so important to learn about money at a young age? What benefits does this knowledge provide?
Money is used at every age. The same principles apply regardless of age. The rules are – You cannot spend what you don’t have. You cannot spend the same dollar twice. If you save a little first and make smarter spending decisions with the rest, you will have the understanding of how savings works and how important money habits are. The sooner you learn about money, the sooner you can make smarter decisions about money.
In your opinion, do the youth of today have more of an interest towards the financial industry in comparison to the past?
Difficult question. There are certainly buzz words right now and a movement towards teaching financial literacy. But in previous generations, cash was king and you only spent what you had. Which meant you had to be more savvy with your spending. You were physically handing money over which registered with what you were spending. I don’t believe that it is as easy to track money when you are using cards. Money is far more accessible today with the introduction of credit cards, prepaid cards and store cards. It is just a different way of spending money and unfortunately an easier way to get into debt.
What plans does Cash Crunch Games have for the years to come?
We plan on adding more money games for all ages and stages in people’s lives. We will be offering financial literacy courses, creating more resources and becoming a place where students can learn many of the life skills required to succeed. Ultimately, we become a movement in itself that helps people improve not only their money habits but other life skills too.
What is Cash Crunch Games' Vision Statement?
We help to improve learning and enable conversations about money and other life skills in a fun and non intimidating way.
A common belief pertaining to finance is that one must be good with numbers to succeed. What is your opinion on this statement? Will students who struggle with math also struggle with finance?
This is the biggest misconception with money. If you can add, subtract, multiply or divide – these 4 basic functions, you can succeed with your finances. It is all about confidence. You use money every day. You handle money every day. Can you count the amount of money in your hand? Can you hand over the correct amount of money to the cashier when buying a candy bar? Can you check your change? Can you make up $3.89 in bills and coins? Math is all about rules. If you understand the rules, you can do the math. If you understand how the denominations of money work, you can work with money.