Life lessons learned in money with Monopoly

Life lessons learned in money with Monopoly

Most parents will have heard it all before. Give your kids a money box and pocket money and teach them how to save for toys and holidays. That’s all great, but money in the real world is used for a lot more things than a new pair of Nikes or the latest Dance Dance Revolution game. The real world is ultimately about much less exciting things like rent and bills and insurance payments. So why not combine a bit of old-fashioned family fun with a few life lessons?

The teacher: Monopoly

Once the fights over who gets to be the dog are done, Monopoly can be a good-time tutor. Buying and selling property, paying Community Tax, saving for when you have to post bail to get out of jail – yes, many of the important lessons in life can be learned by a few rounds of the board game people have been playing for the past 80 years.

Lesson one: It’s all mine

Some kids will buy everything they land on, building houses and scoffing as their siblings go broke paying extortionate rents. Yes, you may have a future property mogul on your hands or a kid who can’t fathom why you need to keep some cash in reserve. Lesson learned: if you’ve parked a hotel on Park Lane and the kids go bankrupt when they land on it and can’t cough up the rent, they’ll learn the value of always having cash saved up for when the unexpected happens.

Lesson two: Secret squirrel

On the other hand, they may choose not to buy anything, instead keeping a pile of notes under their knee where they believe no one else can see it well enough to guess how much is in their stash. This is fine except when they suddenly land on a string of high-price properties owned by the rest of the family, have huge outlays and no money coming in. Lesson learned: you need to have some kind of regular income even if you choose to make it a fairly modest one. Old Kent Road, anyone?

Lesson three: Easy does it

If, after the tenth game of Monopoly, your kids are buying conservatively, saving some money, winning some, losing others, they've probably learned what most of us already know (even if we don’t always practice it). You need to diversify your interests – a little property here, some cash there, maybe a utility company if you’re looking for a serious investment. Lesson learned: if don’t put all your eggs in one basket, chickens, and everything should work out fine.

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