Thursday, August 18, 2022

Monopoly as a personal finance game

Here's an online version of Monopoly from Free Web Arcade. I really like this version. It's pretty slimmed down and streamlined, which is to say there aren't a lot of bells and whistles here. There's not even any background music or sounds, which is fine by me - I just open up YouTube in another tab and listen to some of my favorite tunes while playing.

On the surface, it may appear that Monopoly is an awesome game when it comes to teaching entrepreneurship, and it is, right? After all, you're trying to build your own little real estate empire and send your competitors to bankruptcy court. It's a great game in business education. It's actually quite brilliant, a testament to the game's longevity and the high number of versions and spinoffs that were spawned by the original. This game has it all - buying and selling, risk, chance, opportunity, choice, negotiation and deal making, and so on.

But Monopoly is also wonderful at teaching us some things about personal finance, if we dig a little deeper. And certainly, a lot of these lessons and strategies carry over into business. There's a lot of overlap here. Let's explore the personal finance perspective in more detail with these questions designed to get you thinking a bit more and really starting to dig below the surface.

Discussion and Reflection Questions

When you play the game, do you find yourself buying every property you land on (if it's for sale), or do you play with a specific strategy in mind while trying to balance your expenses/investments and available resources?

Do you think the highest-costing investment opportunities always provide the best return on your money? The most consistent return? Why or why not? Put another way, when thinking about this question when it comes to your own real-life spending habits, do the big name brands always pay off? Are they always worth it? Do you always need all the bells and whistles when you buy a product? Are there alternatives that may still serve your needs while saving you a little (or a lot) of money?

How is purchasing an individual property in the game like taking the same risk as investing in only a single stock in real life? What are some ways you can lower this risk and increase your chances of return?

Think about all the negotiations you conduct during the game - all the times and ways you try to strike a deal with other players when trying to buy or sell properties. Focus on the process of negotiating. How can this valuable skill be used to help you in real, everyday life? There are countless examples we can draw from.

How do the risks of not having enough cash on hand during the game reflect not having enough cash on hand in real life? What are the risks involved? Can you think of any specific situations that may come up?

If you found this post helpful, you may also enjoy browsing our "Personal finance" category for our full catalog of posts, ideas, tips and strategies, resources, reflections, and more simulation games.

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