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    "My thanks to Chris and Damon for their nice work on my house. They worked hard, got things done in the time they had predicted, and were polite and professional. Their work was very good- the living room ceiling looks fabulous, as there was quite a bit of water damage before. I am very pleased with the results, exactly what I wanted. Thanks so much."

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  • Living on $1000/month…Through A Game

    [caption id="attachment_3915" align="alignleft" width="413" caption="Spent"]game[/caption]


    The game Spent lets people see what it's like to live on $1000 a month. Living paycheck to paycheck, making tough financial decisions and not living the life you wish you could. Ann Carrns of The New York Times discusses more in her article.

    Could you live on $1,000 a month? An 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. The game debuted early this year and has been played more than 1.7 million times, says Janet Northern, director of communications for McKinney. But we here at Bucks somehow missed it, and we thought it was worthy of note because it’s so compelling.  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. If you choose the temp job — which I did — it has you take a typing test (which, to my dismay, I failed).

    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?

    Many people give up on the eighth or ninth day of choices, and are dismayed to find that the only way they can live on the allotted funds is to make decisions they wouldn’t ordinarily make — like being dishonest, says Jenny Nicholson, a 33-year-old McKinney copywriter who came up with the initial idea for Spent.

    Read more at The New York Times

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