The three personal finance lessons I learned from Grand Theft Auto 4
Grand Theft Auto 4 has been shown in the news recently for the violence which is a part of the daily life in Liberty City, the game's fictional location. What you likely missed is that GTA IV also reinforces three life lessons about personal finance; save money, budget, and how to advance at work.
Unlike many other games the character you control has to save the money he makes for his numerous illegal deeds in order to be ready for a rainy day, or a lengthy police chase. Secondly, the article points out that in the game you cannot live beyond your means, even though you are taking part in illegal activities, you need to budget the proceeds, asking yourself, "What's more important, a taxi ride across town or saving up for body armor?"
Finally you can't move through life in the same position, but getting to the top can take time, and Niko Bellic, the star of GTA, has to work his way up through the ranks over time...not unlike how you started work in the mailroom.
I'm excited anytime I can take something related to personal finance away from a leisure activity and this is no exception. Since the game is rated mature, you definitely won't want to be using it to teach your 9 year old about the importance of budgeting. However, if you do let your teenager play this, you could easily use this article as a springboard to having a conversation about the importance of money with them.