Monopoly was definitely one of my favorite board games growing up. I loved playing with my kids too. What other board game would a financial advisor want to play, right?
Boy, did we fight and argue with this game (not as much as miniature golf, though)!
What I didn't realize at the time, even during the heated board battles, was that the game was teaching my kids various money lessons.
Here's what they learned from Monopoly:
1. Monopoly teaches us budgeting. It's a really simple, visual lesson. When you look down and you start to run low on that pretty pastel play money, you know you're in trouble. Monopoly's budgeting lesson goes farther. It requires you to wait and decide on buying or not buying every property you land on. So if you want a different property you have to wait and hold on to your cash. So don't spend too fast!
2. Monopoly teaches investing. How else do you acquire all the orange or blue properties? The lesson is subtle but effective. Are you going to try to own all the utilities, railroads or just expensive properties? Investing is about patience too, the game does a very good job teaching this virtue. Don't forget it teaches diversification too. You must have a blend of different types of investments to eventually "win".
3. Monopoly teaches us about taxes. Oh, yes my tax challenged friends out there. There's that dreaded luxury tax just when you thought it was safe to draw another card. Then there's the income tax in the game. I wish the current income tax was just 10 percent or $200!
4. Monopoly teaches you how to deal with financial setbacks. We all have some type of money problem at some point in our lives. Monopoly gets you ready for those. From being short on cash to waiting on people to pay you. You'll have to figure out how to deal with the not so good times.
5. Monopoly teaches capitalism. What could be more capitalistic that trying to be a Monopoly tycoon and bankrupt every friend or family member in the process? But seriously, it teaches aspects of banking, taxes, investment, real estate, investment income, stock ownership just to name a few.
Above all else, Monopoly taught my family that there is a certain degree of luck or chance in life. Not everything goes your way every time. However, you must be alert and ready when opportunity presents itself. So, Monopoly taught money and life lessons in it's own fun way.
What did Monopoly teach you about money and life?
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This blog post is part of the 'FinEd for Parents' blog series, curated by the editors of HuffPost Financial Education to provide parents with expert advice and tips for managing family finances and raising money-savvy kids. To see all the other posts in the series, click here.