8 Personal Finance Lessons Learned From Monopoly

Remember those cold winter nights when your family stayed up late and fought to bankrupt each other? Recall the number of times you cheered a little metal dog (or hat or thimble) to move around a square board quickly? Recollect regularly screaming “come on seven!” only to roll a six? Who knew that all that time you were really learning about personal finance? Well, Blueprint for Financial Prosperity now knows this was the case. He’s detailed eight personal finance lessons he learned from Monopoly.

Much of his learnings could be classified as personal finance 101, but lesson #2 is something you don’t hear about much in money management circles — the power of luck. Blueprint describes it as follows:

So you hit a few doubles and fly around the board, take advantage of it by snatching up as many properties as you can. In life, you’ll often catch lucky breaks, be sure you’re in a position to capitalize on those lucky breaks. Sometimes you’ll have an opportunity that requires a particular skill, try expanding your horizons beforehand and polishing up on those skills that are related to your current job but not necessarily applicable at the moment. You don’t need to become an expert but when the opportunity presents itself you can at least claim brief experience so that it can get you in the discussion.

Luck often plays a role in many areas that impact personal finances including career advancement, investing, health, disability, and more. One lucky break can turn a pauper into a wealthy person. One unlucky event can humble the rich in the blink of an eye. Yes, sometimes the difference between a major opportunity and a financial hit can be as small as rolling a six instead of a seven… and chance favors the prepared mind.

8 Personal Finance Lessons I Learned From Monopoly [Blueprint for Financial Prosperity]


(Photo: R80o (Mark Strozier))


Edit Your Comment

  1. enm4r says:

    Risk everything you own on a mansion (Boardwalk/Park place) and charge people to live in it?

  2. UpsetPanda says:

    More like buy a nice much-desired building and charge people to live in it….i.e. be a landlord. Investment properties have been a “trend” for ages. Those who were at the forefront and recognized the potential hopped on first and they’re reaping the benefits.

  3. SadSam says:

    I’ve seen the commercial for, and read an article bemoaning, the new money free Monopoly. Instead of learning about money kids will not learn to use a credit card. Ugh!

  4. Beerad says:

    Always be on the lookout for free parking.

  5. clodia says:

    Rather than wasting all of your investments and money on that one high-profile property, take a variety of properties than have less bling and more substance. You’re more likely to get ahead that way.

  6. gorckat says:

    Has anyone else seen and been horrified by the Life and Monopoly games using ‘credit cards’ instead of paper money?

    I think the Life ones are branded by Visa.

  7. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    @enm4r: People got to live somewhere. Why not earn a living on that?

  8. @SadSam & @gorckat: Do they rack up debt due to interest? At least it would be accurate if they’re making them pay high interest and late payment fees.

  9. B says:

    Lessons I learned from monopoly:
    * It’s better to be a dog than an iron
    * Don’t let your sister be the banker, she cheats.
    * If the game doesn’t devolve into a screaming match, you’re not trying hard enough.

  10. Starfury says:

    Things I’ve learned from Monopoly:

    1. Everyone has their own rules to play by. These rules are usually very different from the ones that come with the game.
    2. This game will always cause an argument and hard feelings. Always.

  11. timmus says:

    * Monopoly is better than the real world. Ownership is only 1 to 4 times your MONTHLY salary! What a deal! Thanks to the absence of that real estate racket, you have all that money left over for cocaine and hookers. And food and health insurance.

  12. JRuiz47 says:

    9. When you’re losing, flip the board and run away.

  13. ladycrumpet says:

    Re: “chance favors the prepared mind” – that’s a good observation. Luck, good or bad, will happen. But when it’s bad luck, having an emergency fund will come in handy. You can pay for the emergency expense without upending the rest of your finances.

  14. Lessons I learned from Monopoly:

    How to palm Monopoly money. So I could be the cheating sister banker.

  15. quagmire0 says:

    My wife hates playing me at Monopoly for the sole reason that she kicks my ass for 95% of the game only for me to win in the end. :D My trick? Don’t necessarily buy all the properties you land on, just go for a monopoly on one set first and then sink all your money into condos. Then watch as people have to mortgage themselves to survive! Just like real life!

    As far as the new Monopoly goes, it *would* be really useful if they did include things like interest and late payment penalties into the game. It would also better reflect our shift from cash to electronic – so I don’t see the big deal in the switch. I’ll still stick to the classic though, since I like rolling in the money. :D

  16. Mary says:

    @Starfury: “2. This game will always cause an argument and hard feelings. Always.”

    Monopoly is a game so wrought with tension that it is banned from our family game nights. No amount of fun that could be garnered from the game is worth the problems.

    Much better game for teaching financial lessons: Pay Day. I think it’s not been made in years though.

  17. Trai_Dep says:

    The problem with playing Monopoly is that people rarely want to live up to the side-deals they happily agreed to several turns ago – those halcyon days before my properties became stacked with hotels.

    And, if you’re the bank, playing with people too lazy to count, is it truly embezzlement?

    Anyone play Strip Monopoly while at summer camp? (Strip Monopoly with family just isn’t as much fun, for some reason)

  18. SadSam says:

    Direct from the Monopoly.com site re: new electronig banking version.

    Wheel and deal your way to a fortune even faster using debit cards instead of cash! All it takes is a card swipe for money to change hands. Now you can collect rent, buy properties and pay fines – with the touch of a button! It’s a new way to play the family classic that’s been brought up-to-date with modernized tokens (including a SegwayÃ’ personal transporter, an AltoidsÃ’ tin, space shuttle, flat-screen TV, baseball cap and a dog in handbag!), higher property values and locations based on your favorite landmarks!

  19. MercuryPDX says:

    @SadSam: We stopped playing the board game version because the “Do I have enough to pay rent or not? Let me count!” part s-l-o-w-s the game to a crawl.

    Monopoly Party on PS2 FTW. Everyone plays at the same time so you can literally fly through a game in about a half hour.