Families, including mine, have been arguing over the Monopoly board for many years. In fact, it started way back in the early 1900s when it was known as The Landlord’s Game. Besides the hours of competitive fun with family and friends, Monopoly also teaches the average person a plethora of useful life lessons. I recently made a list of the life lessons that can be learned simply by playing the game – and now I am going to share that list with you.
There are, in fact, many life lessons, especially personal finance lessons, that Monopoly can teach. Let’s take a look at the 15 life lessons (that I have specifically picked out to share) so that you can make sense of them. Perhaps you have already learned a few life skills from Monopoly and just haven’t given it much thought. Let’s take a look and find out…
These are 15 life lessons you can learn by playing Monopoly:
1. Social interaction.
It can be tough learning how to interact socially with other people on a whim. For years, board games have been helping people to bond and socialize on a lighter level than just trying to make small talk. Monopoly teaches people to socialize and have fun with others even when there is competition and something to lose/win at play.
2. Patience and playing the long game.
There’s nothing quick about a game of Monopoly. In my house, games can go on for hours. Players looking for a quick way out will often find themselves losing. Those who apply some patience and apply their minds to be “in it for the long haul” often find themselves winning in the long run. This can teach players to be patient in everyday life matters and to not try to rush their way through things. If you play the long game, you often come out with a better outcome.
3. Be aware and wary of potential cheating.
Some Monopoly players will find a way to cheat and that can ruin the game for everyone. If they are very good at cheating, other players may not ever find out, but that leaves them on the losing end of the game. Because of this, players are wary and alert to possible cheating. It’s much the same in life. If you are completely blasé to what is happening around you, chances are that you will be cheated or ripped off.
By playing Monopoly, you can develop a more alert and aware approach and mindset, making you less of a viable target for cheaters.
4. Importance of saving early.
It’s never too early to start a savings fund – that is the truth. It’s the same in Monopoly. To win the game, you need to save some of your money instead of spending it all right away. As you learn that having some spare money can help you to win Monopoly, you can certainly learn to do the same in everyday life.
5. Diversifying your assets.
You cannot invest in just one property in Monopoly and expect to win. You need to buy as many properties as you can from each color group to increase your rental collections across the board. This teaches one the importance of building a diverse portfolio instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket. If you are investing in real life, this is a lesson that can spur you on to put your money into a diverse range of investments to increase your chances of a lucrative (and less risky) return on investment.
6. Investing in passive income-earning opportunities.
When playing Monopoly, you will quickly learn the value of passive income. Let’s take owning a hotel, for instance. As soon as a player lands on your square, you can charge the highest possible rent. It’s a fail-proof way to earn more money. You can apply this knowledge to your entrepreneurial projects in the future. Business opportunities that generate passive income are great opportunities to increase your wealth.
7. Living a frugal lifestyle.
If you spend, spend, and spend some more in Monopoly, you will soon be out of money, and you will either be out of the game or asking someone to bail you out financially. This is a valuable lesson in life about frugal living. Being frugal means that you spend only as much as you need to and always consider possible hiccups and financial expenses that may crop up in the future.
8. The value of negotiation.
Sometimes in a game of Monopoly, you can’t stay in the game unless you trade properties. This can take some negotiation. The more you play Monopoly and negotiate, the better your negotiation skills will become. These are skills you can and will use in your life in other areas.
9. Graceful and dignified handling of winning and losing.
Sometimes you spend hours playing Monopoly and lose. Sometimes you spend hours playing Monopoly and win. There’s really no telling how the game will end, but the simple fact is that you have to win and lose good-naturedly, or you will be considered someone who isn’t fun to play with. Learning to be graceful and dignified about wins and losses is something that can help you in other areas of your life.
10. Using data to take calculated risks.
Playing Monopoly is largely about taking chances. If you take chances without a bit of forethought while playing Monopoly, you will potentially lose. It’s much the same in real life. Taking chances can provide lucrative rewards if you do it right and your timing is strategic. When you learn how to calculate risks on the Monopoly board, you can apply the same logic and thought process to other areas of your life.
11. Action and consequence.
Monopoly very quickly teaches people about the consequences attached to actions. If you make the wrong move, you can lose a lot of money and even be out of the game. Because of this, players think through their actions, trades, and negotiations before going ahead with them. By doing so, they can minimize the potential negative consequences attached.
Considering the possible consequences that may result from certain actions is a great skill that you can apply to absolutely every facet of your personal and work life.
12. Perseverance and conscientiousness.
If you give up too easily in a game of Monopoly, you lose. In order to stay in the game until the end and actually win, you have to preserve and be conscientious. When doing so, the rewards are ever so sweet. It is these rewards that make a person start realizing that perseverance pays off in life, not just on the Monopoly board.
13. Cost considerations in everything you do.
Everything on the Monopoly board costs money. By playing the game, you can start to relate to absolutely everything coming at a cost that needs to be considered. This is the way of the world in real life, and by playing Monopoly, you can learn to consider the possible costs of everything in your life and account for them too.
14. Accepting help when it’s required.
There are certain times when playing Monopoly that other players have to help you out with some money, because you have run out and want to stay in the game. In order to continue playing, you have to accept help. It’s much the same in real life and if you learn how to accept help when needed while playing a game, it will make it easier to ask for help when it’s needed in real life.
While it is hard to ask for help, there is value in learning that a helping hand is very often essential.
15. Working towards the best, but preparing for the worst.
While playing Monopoly, you probably have the best intentions and expectations at play. That’s great, but you still need to have a bit of extra money set aside just in case something unexpected happens. Being prepared is essential in a game of Monopoly, but it is also essential in life.
If you learn to prepare for the worst while working towards the best while playing Monopoly, you can certainly apply the same work ethic to your regular life and benefit from it.
All Things Considered
You might be wincing at my list and wondering if hours sitting around the Monopoly board can really teach you all of these things, and the answer is yes! As an entrepreneur, I have been able to apply some of these life lessons to my business approach and mindset, and it has proven ever so helpful.
You probably didn’t think it was possible to learn quite so much just from one board game, did you? Well, it’s true! Monopoly is a family game that’s made for everyone of every background. If you haven’t started playing the game at family and social gatherings yet, now is the perfect time to start!