Let’s Play Monopoly
By Vincent K. Harris, Guest blogger
Monopoly is not just a game; it is a blueprint of how your finances should be handled. As a child you knew the secrets to managing money. You applied the secrets to managing money daily as you played the game of Monopoly. Why did you grow up and stop playing Monopoly? Here are some things Monopoly taught you about money that you may have forgotten.
1. Your salary should be your initial source of income from passing “Go” not your permanent source of income.
When you began playing Monopoly, you understood that initially, all of your money came from your salary or passing “Go.” However, you knew, as you became more experienced, the goal was to find better and more efficient ways of acquiring money from the purchase of assets.
2. Your salary is used primarily to buy assets; secondarily to pay your bills. The cash flow from the assets pays the bills.
As in life, Monopoly required you to pay necessary living expenses (rent, mortgages, income taxes, etc.). Your primary purpose for collecting your salary was to purchase assets because you always knew the assets would pay you more than your salary.
3. Manage your cash flow and salary so you can take advantage of opportunities or respond to emergencies.
As you played Monopoly, you knew there were going to be times other players would get themselves into financial trouble, requiring the liquidation of their assets at great prices. You also knew there would be times unexpected expenses would require you to pay substantial amounts of money. Regardless of the circumstances, you knew you needed to have a surplus of money or a strong stream of cash flow to avoid the potential of bankruptcy or seize opportunities created by others’ mismanagement of assets.
4. Plan for the unexpected.
You knew, at any point in the game, you could land on someone’s property or draw a card (e.g. Chance or Community Chest) that could require you to pay money to an individual or an entity. When the unexpected is planned for, it is no longer unexpected.
5. Understand salaries are limited and they limit what you can do in life.
Regardless of how long you played Monopoly or how long it took to go around the board (5 rolls or 16 rolls), your salary for passing “Go” was limited to $200. The same can be said in life. Your salary is limited to what your employer feels you are worth. Without properly managing your salary, it limits the things you can do in life.
6. Over time, your salary should become less important or required.
Throughout the game of Monopoly, you continued to receive the $200 salary. During this same time frame, you were acquiring assets, so you became less and less dependent on your salary. Are you as dependent on your salary now, as you were when you began working?
7. To move forward in life you must take a chance.
Without rolling the dice in Monopoly, you could never move. You could minimize your risk by counting the spaces in front (2-12) and understanding the possibilities to develop a plan for it now. There was still the unknown because of the Chance cards, but you understood your risks and rewards.
8. There are multiple ways to make money.
When the casual observer looked at Monopoly, they only saw income from two sources – their salary from passing “Go” and the rent from real estate. Many failed to see other sources of money that had the potential to be created, including investments the players made (stocks sold, insurance products such as annuities matured, and dividends), profits from businesses (Railroads, Waterworks and Electric Company), deals the players negotiated amongst themselves that were within the rules of the game, money from proper tax planning (money from tax refund), money received from self-employment (received from services and 2nd prize in the beauty contest), and even the sale of properties to other players for profits because you were motivated.
9. You cannot and should not take advice from anyone who isn’t in the game.
Why do so many people take financial advice from broke friends, family members, and so-called financial specialists? In Monopoly, the rules state you cannot obtain advice from those that are not playing the game. The same is true in life. Never take advice from those who only observe the deals but never do the deals! Always ask your financial advisor, who is assisting you with your transactions, “Do you do deals like this?”
10. The goal is not to bankrupt others in Monopoly. The goal is to become the richest player.
You don’t have to hurt others to get ahead. Deals and money are plentiful and you never have to worry about either running out. Don’t be in competition with others; instead, be in competition with yourself to become the best “you” you can become.
- A formal education will make you a living while an informal education will make you a fortune.
- School teaches you what to think, your job teaches you not to think, mentors teach you how to think.
- We are trained not to think, thus we create problems we don’t know how to solve.
NOTE: The old saying goes like this, “A penny for your thoughts.” Maybe this explains why people don’t think more because they are only expecting a penny.
Vincent K. Harris is a bestselling author, speaker and financial strategist. Follow him on Twitter @VinceInspires
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