7 Money Lessons From Monopoly

Monopoly is by far the best board game available; well, at least it is for me. Monopoly is not just a game, it can teach you important life long lessons regarding money. Over the years of playing I have learned a few valuable lessons from the game – here are some of them.


1 Cash is King
It’s great to buy properties and own as many as you can, but what happens when you have to pay taxes or rent to others? Having cash is crucial to be successful in monopoly; similar analogy can be applied to real life. Emergency funds are a must for everyone, they help pay for unexpected medical bills, car repairs, taxes and so on. Without an emergency fund you are left vulnerable.

2 Luck is Part of the Game
Luck is just part of the game as it is part of real life, one player may have a few doubles and fly across the board picking up properties while you barley get to purchase anything. You have to learn to live with it; you cannot control everything in life. The best strategy is to stay positive and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.

3 It’s all about Relationships
Are you hard to deal with? Do you make fair deals? Do other players hate you or like you? Half the game is about building good relationships with other players, if you hold one of their property hostage chances are they will do the same to you. In real life it’s all about whom you know and what type of relationship you have with them, if you are social and welcoming person chances are you can be fairly successful – merely through the connections that you’ve built.

4 Strike While the Iron is Hot
Sometimes luck may be on your side and you may roll a few doubles, this is when you have to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. Be ready to make a few purchases and improve your situation. Sometimes in life you may have a short-lived hot streak where you can make dramatic improvements in your life, you have to be prepared to take advantage of them.

5 Negotiation Skills
The game is all about negotiating and making deals, if you are too soft you will be taken advantage of and if you are too harsh nobody will make deals with you. Using proper negotiation skills are vital in this game. In real life we negotiate most of our lives; we negotiate with parents, with employers, business partners, banks, kids and so on. We spend most of our lives negotiating deals; hence you have to learn to be an efficient negotiator to get to where you want to be.

6 Improvements
If you just buy the properties and do no build on them you will not succeed in the game, you constantly have to reinvest in your properties and improve your position in order to move ahead. In life, you constantly have to improve your balance sheet, by increasing your assets and reducing your debt. You have to improve your financial position and reinvest to reach your goals.

7 Risk is a Must
In the game you must take risks, if you don’t take risks you will not win. Life, too, is about taking risks. Investing in companies or a business to increase your wealth requires you to take risks. No Risk, no Reward.

What my Twitter Followers have learned?

@Matt_SF Monopoly lessons – keeping an emergency fund is vital to survival! [Stead Fast Finance]

@amabaie I learned that it takes a long time to make a fortune. Like, almost all day! [The Happy Guy Marketing]

@moneyfunk That I’d make a mediocre realtor, at best. And my son would be wealthier than me. [Money Funk]

@SuburbanDollar quality over quantity. One ok monopoly beats having half of every other monopoly. [Suburban Dollar]

@FMFblog Better to be lucky than smart. 😉 [Free Money Finance]

@GoBankingRates That once I own multiple hotels I’m allowed to laugh in my brothers face. [Go Banking Rates]

@MyMoneyMinute Don’t play AGAINST your wife unless you want a fight! Goes for money OR Monopoly! LOL [My Money Minute]

@clarifinancial Don’t always buy the first thing you land on. Owning your corner is more important than broadcasting your resources. [Clarifinancial]

@BudgetsAreSexy Going to jail – bad. Winning beauty competiton – good! [Budgets Are Sexy]

@BSimple Keep them coming!! [Simple Financial Lifestyle]

@EvolutionWealth it’s all about liquidity (cash baby) and yes money will buy your way out of jail. Oh yeah, you can never avoid taxes. [Evolution of Wealth]

@sohallor Buy Boardwalk then pay a luxury tax 1 roll later is a life lesson. [ING Direct]

@prosperousfool How about life lessons? I learned that it isn’t over just because you had a few bad rolls. [Realm of Prosperity]

@InvestorJunkieIn Monopoly if the banker never goes bankrupt. If it runs out of money it can always print more. Just as in real life. [Investor Junkie]

What lessons have you learned from playing monopoly? Any other games have taught you important life lessons?

13 Responses to 7 Money Lessons From Monopoly

  1. I like the Cash is King lesson, kinda scares me though now that they have Monopoly with Electronic banking. Just seems to be teaching the kids to swipe their plastic early in life.

  2. There is some great ones in there – right, cash is king (especially when you need to pay taxes or fall into someone’s hotel property) – and quality over quantity – we all avoid the purple but buy the red and greens. 😉

    As for Kyle, I think our monetary system will soon be all electronic in no time. While I don’t like to teach my kids about swiping (credit card) plastic, I think it will be the wave of the future (debit cards/electronic transactions).

  3. That was a tun post, Ray! You know, I keep a “Get Out of Jail Free” card in my wallet in case I ever get thrown in the hoosegow.

    Do I expect it will work? No.

    But maybe my jailer will spot me a break and not put me in a cell the size of a small walk-in closet with some big ol’ bubba who is looking for love in all the wrong places. (Er, if you know what I mean.)


    Len Penzo dot Com

  4. What a great post!

    So many people’s first exposure to finances can be rooted to Monopoly including mine. I have to agree to an earlier poster that it’s scary that now they offer an electronic banking version.

    Life was another good one too for trying to manage money, but they too have gone the plastic route : (

  5. Great post – I’d also add “Having a Plan” is key also. You don’t want to just buy up every property you land on. You want to target your properties, negotiate hard on the ones you’re going after and easier on the other ones. Know which blocks you want to dominate and which ones you’re OK with letting go!

  6. It’s amazing how many real-life lessons you can pull out of an old board game. And I agree with you Kyle, not only does it teach kids to swipe that plastic from an early age, it apparently eliminates the need for any basic math skills. I also like to be reminded every now and again that sometimes you have no other choice but to take a risk. If there are any Star Trek fans out there, I have a post on what Star Trek can teach us about our finances at Dollarcommentary.com

  7. I grew up with Monopoly.

    It taught me a lot about cash flow…..

    I’ve got $1000. Do I put motels up on Tennessee, St. John, and New York or do I save it for paying off the competition as I take the approach to Boardwalk and Park Place…What to do, what to do…..


  8. So true, especially the part about taking risks. If you don’t take any risks in live you never grow. Life is about overcoming challenges and actually taking action.

  9. Great article! I haven’t played Monopoly in years but loved it as a kid. I like the part about Cash is King – I never thought about it until now but there aren’t any mortgage lenders in Monopoly. Can you imagine how long it would take if there banks in the game?

  10. Good read!

    Now where is the article about what we can learn about Battleship and diversification (don’t crowd everything together?:))

  11. Guys, there are banks in the game. You can turn over your cards to borrow against your assets, unless the UK version is different from yours, which I don’t believe it is.

    The winning strategy in my experience is to do this while everyone toddles around the board sweetly trying to get all the blues, to then strategically bring your properties back into the game by paying back the bank. From memory you don’t even pay interest (but you don’t benefit if someone lands on a mortgaged card – again, from memory).

    I would certainly not recommend those lessons for real life though 😉

    Thanks for taking me back down memory lane!

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