A staple of the board games family, Monopoly is more than just a fun pastime — it’s a tool for learning business strategies. Growing up, children can learn a lot about business savvy practices and responsible finances from the game about avoiding bankruptcy. These are some of the things you learn when you pass go and collect $200.
1. Keeping track of finances
Nothing puts a damper on your roll more than realizing all the money you have left consists of a few fives and ones. Monopoly forces players to practice responsible saving, aiming for that $200 salary and looking to build a sizeable chunk of change for investments.
Like in life, Monopoly teaches players to spend wisely, because the money isn’t guaranteed to keep on coming.
2. Knowing when to invest
Of course, you have to spend money to make money, and Monopoly encourages wise and timely investments. Players have to strategize what to buy — a low-cost property that will yield little rent or a pricey one that may yield more — and when to buy it.
Properties are only available to buy when you land on them, and while waiting might be more financially responsible in the short-term, Monopoly teaches players to plan ahead and see how spending now can result in a windfall later.
3. Arranging business deals
Game changing trades occur when you are polite, persuasive and show your opponents everything they have to gain by trading one or a set of properties for some of your properties or money. Thus, Monopoly also teaches the art of smooth business dealing.
4. Vigilance in business upkeep
Another aspect of responsible business behavior is monitoring your properties. According to Monopoly rules, if someone lands on your property and you do not collect rent before her or his turn ends, you cannot collect it at all.
This teaches players to pay attention to their assets and monitor their businesses, because a lapse of attention directly affects the contents of your savings.
5. Facing the reality of interest
Alas, even when you are a responsible businessperson, sometimes properties fail to return the profits you need, and to pay the rents of your opponents, sacrifices must be made.
In Monopoly, properties can be mortgaged and immediately supply the mortgager with a sum of money. However, this money doesn’t come free, because to get their money-making properties back, players have to pay 10 percent interest on their mortgages.
6. Knowing there’s an element of chance
As with everything in life, business is rife with good and bad luck. Whether it’s a roll of the dice that lands you in jail or an opponent landing on and purchasing the last property you needed to complete your monopoly, there are some aspects of business you simply cannot control.
Monopoly helps players learn how to accept the things they cannot control and then move forward to make the best of it. ◼︎