One of the best ways to teach kids about finance, money and life skills is by playing Monopoly. There are so many money and life lessons in this game: It teaches kids how to strategize, plan ahead, do math, negotiate with others, deal with winning or losing circumstances and control their emotions!
Oh yeah, I almost forgot the best part: It’s fun!
Playing monopoly with your children will help them understand a few highly important concepts that are essential for their financial literacy – and their lives.
“Becoming wealthy is like playing Monopoly, the person who manages to accumulate the most assets, wins the game!”
If you think Monopoly is a game of luck, think again. It’s only luck if you don’t play smart! As with life itself, this game is about both, luck and strategy! While a player can choose to bet on his or her luck alone, adding some strategy to complement your luck is the best way to gain dominance in the game.
Never ever believe teaching money to your kids has to be boring! I understand that while most educational materials on these topics are considered “boring” for adults: Monopoly is a game and it’s meant to be played and enjoyed with fun!
Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
Ready to get lucky?
What does Monopoly teach You about Money?
What do you think you learned playing monopoly?
I would argue the first lesson, and one of the most important lessons of personal finance at all, is that life is like playing Monopoly, with one important difference: When playing the game, everyone knows you have to invest in order to become wealthy and win the game. However, in real life most people are simply moving around the board and wait to be passing “Go” – it’s also called living paycheck to paycheck. The lesson is: In real life like in the game, if you fail to start investing, you will most likely lose the game. Only as investor will you have the chance to win!
Learn this key lesson and apply it for your own life now!
Second – investing or buying properties means unlocking more potential future income sources, but do neither keep too much nor too little cash on hand, while you got to get started investing, cash can help you take advantage of opportunities when they arise.
In one thing Monopoly is vastly different from normal life: There’s no hiding how much money everyone has at any given moment; everybody will always know what others possess (yep, nothing like real life).
That brings us to the third lesson for adults: You behave differently when dealing with others when you know they are wealthy or poor, powerful or not! In general, people do act differently around those who are (or appear) wealthier than them. This can be translated to a great lesson about the advantages of stealth wealth, dressing with a suit or behaving in any specific way in real life!
“Monopoly, destroying friendships since 1903.”
Think about it.
Monopoly is a game of emotions, financial literacy and life skills. And those are the three things that should be taught to our children from a very young age!
I love monopoly because it helps my kids learn about money, build financial habits and become financially literate – all while having fun with their dad!
Think about how you felt when you lost at Monopoly the first time! In my case, I hated losing at the game so much, I needed to play it again very soon. That’s the great thing with this: You can play monopoly over and over again, it will always be slightly different even if you keep playing it with the same people.
From round to round, everyone learns and grows along though!
What Skills does Monopoly teach kids?
Monopoly is not only fun but it’s highly educational. Having kids play monopoly will help them understand quite a few money concepts while having fun.
In my view, this board game has no losers, everyone playing it with the right attitude and mindset will be a winner!
A winner of more financial literacy.
- strategizing, if you want to win, you got to have a plan and a strategy, and you got to stick to it
- taking responsibility for your own [money] decisions, spend and invest wisely or feel the consequences
- delaying gratification
- the importance of budgeting and keeping the right cash buffer aside, emergency fund: sometimes cash is king! always keep the right cash amount on hand so you can take advantage of opportunities when they arise
- if you keep too little cash, you will lose: keep an emergency fund
- if you just sit on cash only, you will lose as well: don’t hold too much cash!
- managing debt, and accumulating more of it can become a financial trap
- borrowing from people you know, you play with, impacts relationships
- negotiation: you can play a shit game but still win if you know how to negotiate well; for getting better at this, kids will have to learn how to think from the others point of view and connect the dots, a super valuable skill – if you manage to master the art of negotiation, you’ll have a super power to navigate your life from getting paid more, buying a home/ car at a better price or convince your boss/ clients to pay you more
- landlord/ renter relationship, they might get curious about becoming a landlord in real life
- math skills, counting money, transacting money
- the importance of investing vs. just drawing a salary
- ability to control their emotions (winning or losing)
- be patient, build resilience and self-discipline – marshmallow test yourself
- it’s not always the one with the most expensive properties that will win the game (shiny object syndrome) – buy low, sell high
- diversify – you got to build the right mix of properties but don’t overdiversify
- sometimes you just got to have the necessary luck, life is full of surprises
- living within your means and gradually expanding your investment portfolio is the best strategy
As you can see, there are so many important life lessons that monopoly can teach you and your kids.
Did I forget anything above? Let me know in the comments below please!
You’ll be surprised how much they already know, and if you think they might “know” certain things wrongly, it’s the best time to change that, now!
Give it a try and start playing monopoly with your kids today!
You’ll be surprised how many skills they will pick up along the way. A win-win for everyone involved!
Hey, chances are you’re no longer a child but believe you could also learn some new stuff while playing, right? Just do it, invite your friends over and play a few rounds Monopoly, maybe with wine and pizza?
Make teaching financial literacy a pillar of your family life.
Whatever you teach your kid, you also teach your kids kid!
It’s culture, it’s gonna get paid forward.
What can I do as a Parent to make the Learning Process easier for my Kids?
Play once or twice with them, explain to them what’s happening on the playfield, then slowly withdraw yourself and let them play independently.
Let one of the kids be the banker. It helps to learn how to supervise, engage, use and build mathematical skills.
Just let them play on their own and see what happens.
Let them experience the ups and downs and be ready to jump in to explain why certain outcomes have happened. In case they ask you, make suggestions about how to improve their strategy.
Let them go through the trial-and-error process by themselves so they can learn from it instead of you telling all of your monopoly wisdom without allowing your child to experience things for him/herself first hand.
I like to teach my kids financial literacy. I also like to play games and have fun with them. Monopoly is a great way to do both at the same time. All players start from the same point, having the same amount of cash and the same chances to win the gam
While it surely also has some flaws and is not 100% comparable with reality, isn’t it amazing how kids can unknowingly get exposed to and “learn” all the above things from a board game?
Monopoly is not just fun for kids! Why not invite your friends over and play a round or two with them? Adults also need to learn invaluable life skills such as financial literacy, negotiation skills, how to control your emotions while playing the game and much more.
“I’d like to think that money wouldn’t change me, but when I’m winning Monopoly, I’m turning into a horrible person!”a friend
I sincerely hope you had some fun and maybe even one or another “aha-moments” reading the above, if you did, pls don’t keep this blog post all to yourself, share it with your friends and family.
Don’t let the fun stop here, check out my blog series “Financial Excursions” to enrich your childrens lives! There are many other board games that can teach kids similar and other skills, one of them would be “The Game of Life”.
Ditch the TV, and re-ignite family night with the get-together amusement of a Hasbro game.
Party it up, and surprise guests at your next event with laugh-out-loud game.
If you don’t have one at home, buy it right here (affiliate link, support Financial Imagineer).
Are you ready to play monopoly now?
Play it on the board as in real life.
Let’s do this!!! You got this!!!
Own it all.