I’ve always loved playing Monopoly. Mostly because I always seem to win – hey, I’m ruthless when it comes to the game and I take no prisoners. But what’s really interesting about Monopoly is not just the fact that it’s a really fun game where you get to crush your friends’ dreams of owning Boardwalk and Park Place but also the fact that it teaches you about personal finance.

Trade Houses for Hotels and Get the Big Money

The first lesson I draw, which admittedly is not necessarily the lesson that many others would draw is that trading up is always a good strategy. That means that you can build wealth by always moving.

So you bought the cute little starter home in the burbs with the wife. That’s great – but if you want to build wealth, you need to keep trading up. Pay down some of the starter home mortgage and maybe buy yourself a bigger place when you’re earning more. Before you know it, you’re the owner of a much bigger place worth a whole lot more money.

Or maybe go ahead and buy multiple properties and be a real life Monopoly tycoon with your own rental properties all earning you serious green. Bottom line is, keep investing in your dreams until you win.

You Get What You Put Into Life

Probably the most important lesson of all in Monopoly is that you are responsible for your own success. Don’t go blaming your mom or Joe in accounting (we know – you think you’re so special because you crunch numbers. But you’re nothing Joe. Get over yourself) for your problems or your lack of success. You make your own luck.

In Monopoly, you start off just like everyone else – with fifteen hundred lousy bucks and then you need to find your own way to success. Making shrewd decisions along the way can mean the difference between success and failure in the game.

The same is true of life – you live and die by the decisions you make in life. Make a bad decision and it will cost you dearly. Be smart about it though and you’ll be the greedy pig holding all the moolah at the end of the game. Think carefully about decisions you make in life and you’ll always end up winning not only the game of Monopoly but also the game of life.

Life Isn’t Fair

You know what folks? Some of us do have more advantages than others in life. Life just isn’t fair and it sucks. But that’s the way it is – sometimes someone else gets breaks that you didn’t get. Maybe someone else is better looking or smarter or has the right color of skin (yes, it’s true – being born white does have privileges even if we hate to admit it).

Monopoly is pretty much the same as life – you roll the dice and end up in jail (and unlike going to real jail, you never did anything wrong when you go to Monopoly jail). Some people may throw a double and get to roll twice. It’s just the way things are.

Of course, there are times when you want to end up in jail – when everyone has the monopolies on the board and you’re broke. That’s kind of like when some poor homeless guy here in New York City says they hope to get back into jail because they get three squares and a place to sleep at least.

That’s also a life lesson to learn – if you ever get yourself in the position where you want to get thrown in jail, your life needs some serious changes. Really people – in life, you should never want to get thrown into jail.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, Monopoly is just a game. It’s fun and a great way to show Joe in accounting that he doesn’t know everything about numbers (suck it Joe – I’m the King of Monopoly). The game of life though is where you need to apply these lessons and actually spend some time getting stuff done. And in the game of life, there is only one game and one chance at it so make it count people.


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