My sister and I were talking over the phone the other day, and she was giving me lessons about personal finance. Why, you may ask. Well, at my age, that is one thing I fail at, organizing my personal finances.
She was telling me how she learned so much about personal finance after buying a house several years ago, one that she and her husband have just finished paying off! She told me that she and her husband made sure they saved enough money to cover the mortgage because the last thing they wanted was for the property to fall into foreclosure.
She said that if worse came to worst and they found themselves on the brink of foreclosure, they would have resorted to refinancing to prevent their home from repossession. Having no outstanding loans, I admit I didn’t know what refinancing meant. And I guess it’s the writer in me, but I had to research the refinancing and how it ties up to personal finance to understand it better. Here’s what I discovered.
Refinancing Your Home’s Mortgage
If you decide to refinance your home mortgage loan, you will replace the existing loan with a more favorable one. Applying for a home mortgage refinance loan is one of the best options for homeowners like you who want to save on interest while enjoying other advantages.
A mortgage refinance loan is a great way to enjoy lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and longer repayment periods. It also allows you to switch from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate and vice versa and consolidate your debt.
Now, if you decide to refinance your home mortgage, there are some things you need to know about. First, there are expenditures involved with refinancing—lender’s mortgage insurance, handling fees, application fees, settlement fees, early breakout fees, valuation fees, discharge fees, and government registration fees.
However, if you’re still unsure whether refinancing is a good idea because of the costs involved, you would do well to use a home mortgage refinancing calculator. You have probably heard of it before.
A mortgage calculator helps you determine how much interest rate you can save if you refinance your mortgage. Moreover, you can try different scenarios to give you an overview of what benefits you can get in various cases. You only need to enter basic information such as your mortgage’s current appraised value, new loan term, loan rate, and closing costs, and that’s it.
A Different Type of Mortgage Calculator
Because I wanted to see how a mortgage calculator works, I set about scouring the Internet. I was surprised that several good companies offer mortgage refinance calculators to interested homeowners. And while others charge fees for their mortgage calculators, others are free to use.
Of course, my frugal part won, so I concentrated on finding the free ones. And what do you know, I found an online mortgage calculator that doesn’t only offer the service I was looking for. There was a page on the website with free games!
If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you know how much I love playing online games, especially simulation games. See, as a writer by trade, writer’s block comes with the territory. One way I deal with it is by playing online games.
It sounds weird, but I have proven its effectiveness, so I have included it in my list of ways to beat writer’s block. The games on this mortgage calculator website are different, though, since the crux of the games is personal finance. Even young children would enjoy playing with them; best of all, they teach kids of all ages financial literacy!
In today’s fast-paced world, financial literacy has become increasingly important, more so if you want to improve your personal finance. Being equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to manage money wisely can profoundly impact our lives, regardless of age. However, when you factor children into the equation, learning about personal finance becomes dull and tedious.
What young kid would want to sit down and learn about cash flow, mutual funds, credit scores, investing, and more? Probably no one, right? If you try to sit your kid down and talk to him about personal finance, he might scoff at the idea, thinking he is too young to even think about it.
Yet, thanks to the collection of captivating money games on the mortgage calculator website I discovered, learning about personal finance has become more straightforward and fun, too!
Games on the Site
The Mortgage Calculator website has different game categories, so there’s plenty to choose from. Moreover, even adults like me would have fun playing the numerous games they have. When browsing the site, I had my eyes trained on at least four categories—money games, grocery simulation games, restaurant simulation games, and software development games.
My interest in software development games wasn’t merely for myself but for my nephew, an incoming senior high school student. The game description explicitly stated, and I quote, “STEM games teaching children about coding logic [and] how software is made and tested, along with an idle clicker game focused on building successful startup businesses.” The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) strand is one of the strands he is looking into, along with HUMMS.
As you might have guessed, I tried most of the games on the site. After all, it was my “downtime,” and I was in a bind trying to tie some loose points in my article. Here are the games I tried:
As the name suggests, in Tap Supermarket, you practically tap on display racks, shipping pallets, the checkout line, and others to restock, purchase new racks (for expansion), and check customers out. You can use in-game earnings (profits) to expand your product line and buy new racks. In the picture below, you can see how my “supermarket” looked at the start of my game.
The lower left part of the screen shows that my store has a one-star rating and $6,415 in earnings. At the top left, you’ll see a shipping pallet with a dollar sign, which means I can purchase it once I have enough money (like the other racks with the same sign). The green circles on some shelves indicate they need restocking. Tapping on them would refill the shelves and check out the customers in the queue at the checkout counter.
In this second picture, you’ll notice that my earnings have increased to $14,000. My profits would have been higher, but I had to add a third shipping pallet and several other display racks.
I love cooking games, so I had fun playing this next game—Burger Shop. It’s a timed 10-stage restaurant simulation game. If you’re familiar with Cooking Fever or Diner Dash, this game has a similar feel since you must precisely serve each customer’s order.
As you can see above, I must serve ten customers with 2:46 left. The only ingredients I can use for their orders are the buns, burger patties, tomatoes, onions, and cheese since all other ingredients/items are still locked. Additional toppings and sides unlocked as I progressed into the game.
To serve each customer, I must first tap on the tray in the screen’s lower-left corner before tapping each ingredient based precisely on the customer’s order. For instance, the middle customer’s thought bubble indicates he wants buns, lettuce, and cucumber in that order. Each order is built from the bottom up.
In the frame above, the number of customers has increased to 20. The bar at the top of each thought bubble indicates a customer’s patience level. Once the bar reaches full, the customer will leave without getting his order or paying for it.
Other games in Mortgage Calculator’s repository are worth trying. I will come back this weekend to play more.
My parting shot? Improving your financial literacy doesn’t have to be a mundane task. This website’s vast array of online money games has made learning about personal finance more engaging, interactive, and fun.
By immersing yourself in these games, you will learn so much about personal finance while enjoying the process. These games provide valuable lessons on budgeting, investing, saving, and making informed financial decisions. So why wait? Start playing these games today and embark on a journey to a brighter financial future!