Personal Finance

5 Games That Will Teach Your Kids About Money & Real Estate

Expertise: Commercial Real Estate, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, Business Management, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Mortgages & Creative Financing
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There is little sense in building up a big portfolio or nest egg to leave as an inheritance unless we also teach our kids how to handle money and manage real estate investments. Then, the next generation can turn a little into a lot more.

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One of the best ways to do this is through games with lessons. While we might like to download all of our money and real estate knowledge to them in a few hardcore sessions over dinner—or at every moment we get with them—that can be tough. A lot of it can be over their heads. Also, it may not be the most fun way they enjoy spending their time with us.

Every age can bring new opportunities to teach them in a way that fits their cognitive abilities and that is relatable. Whether they are five or 15 or 25, games can be a great way to achieve this in a passive, entertaining way.

Here are five worth trying out.

5 Games That Will Teach Your Kids About Money & Real Estate

1. Monopoly

Monopoly now has a wide variety of themes. So, no matter what your kids are into, there is probably a version of Monopoly they can get excited about.

This game is great for introducing them to real estate in a really passive way, as well as teaching some basic principles—like you don’t want to go to jail! It will also introduce kids to some general rules, strategic location choices, and more.

Take a look at this post for some of the great takeaways all investors can gain from playing Monopoly.

Related: Game of Homes: 9 Lessons of Wealth & Real Estate from Game of Thrones

Monopoly also now has a card game version. It’s easy to take with you on vacations.

This one really teaches you the importance of cash reserves when buying rental property. Your kids will also quickly learn that sometimes cash alone becomes ineffective, and you need investments to win the game.

monopoly-lessons

2. Chess

Chess is probably the most classic mental game, and it has plenty of benefits. It again shows the need to know the rules and roles of different pieces, how to best utilize the different pieces to play to strengths, when to be bold and move forward—and when to be defensive.

It helps with creative thinking, a willingness to try new things, the development of long-term strategy, and the ability to think several moves ahead of the competition. Backgammon, checkers, and Chinese checkers are reasonable alternatives if you prefer.

3. Cashflow 101

This is one of the original real estate games. It’s probably one of the most famous among real estate investors and was created by Robert Kiyosaki. But you don’t have to be a fan of the Rich Dad Poor Dad author to play.

It pits players against the markets and elements, and it introduces them to a variety of investments that can be used to escape the rat race.

An alternative to this is Dave Ramsey’s Act Your Wage. This board game by the ultra-conservative money advisor aims to help players learn how to get and stay out of debt.

4. Fortnite

If you aren’t familiar with this game yet, you might be living under a rock. It was one of the most popular video games in recent years.

For all those parents who are still against video games, consider this:

  • There are now video game scholarships to college.
  • This career path can pay well.
  • Players can participate in professional competitions.

The big lesson offered by Fortnite is budgeting. It is one of those smart but bothersome games that drives your kids to constantly beg you for real money to buy virtual items. Every day, there is something new and exciting they just have to have.

Unless you are really going to give them money to own every costume and accessory that comes out, use it as a teaching tool. Give them a real allowance each week. Have them hand you over real cash out of that stash if they really want to spend it on the game.

You’ll probably notice a quick difference in how careful they are with their money when they have to spend their own, not yours.

Related: Let the Games Begin: How to Use Gamification to Tackle Ambitious Goals

The teamwork element is also helpful. Players learn how to collaborate with friends and other players in different cities. You might even be surprised at how siblings of different ages can actually connect around this game, or you as a parent can develop your teamwork with your kids.

5. Pokemon Go

While Pokemon Go might be “so 2016” to some people, it is still very popular. It took the whole world by storm, after all—everywhere you went, there were kids, teens, adults, and families playing it.

The game offers great lessons in branding and gamification. For the youngest real estate entrepreneurs in your family, it can be a fabulous way to get them excited about walking outdoors and exploring new destinations.

Take them to new neighborhoods to hunt Pokemon. Talk about the streets and houses on your way. Maybe add in a side game to see who can spot the most for sale and for rent signs. Tip them for any good leads you get on for sale by owner properties.

Conclusion

If teaching your kids good money management keeps you up at night, or you are just passionate about teaching them some real estate investing skills, these games might help. They can be a lot of fun and help you build their skills in a way they will actually enjoy.

Just be sure to take a moment to enjoy the quality time and keep it fun.

Do you agree with these selections? What are your favorite games you play with your kids that you feel offer valuable life lessons?

Comment below!

Sterling is an multifamily investor specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling w...
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    Thomas Phelan
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I agree the author’s suggested Game will help a child enter the real world. I also suggest that their youngsters, as they approach college age, experience certain summer jobs: 1. Sell cars 2. Work in a Phone room taking inbound calls) 3. Work in a Telemarketing room making outbound calls And they should see the following films: 1. Tin Men (Danny Devito, Richard Dreyfus etc.) 2. Used Cars (Kurt Russel, Jack Warden etc.) 3. Glencary Glenclose (Alec Baldwin, Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon etc.) This will effectively remove any Rose Colored Glasses and replace it with a keen sense that you must be sharp to survive.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Start them young!
    Marilou Ancheta from Clovis, California
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    As a mom of 8 and 1, I like the idea that you get to teach your kids about money and savings and investment at their young age. Thank you for sharing!
    Alicia H. Rental Property Investor from Oreland, Pennsylvania
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Very timely article as I’ve been thinking of ways to do this for my kids. Thanks for writing this article!
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Anytime. Glad you found it valuable!
    Ryan P. from DMV
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Good article, thanks for posting. My oldest is 12 and along with her younger sisters I take opportunities to talk to them about money, investing, education and saving. Plus my oldest (then 11) had to work 40 hours a week for a month this summer to earn money for something she really wanted. She didn’t like it and it “ruined her summer,” but she definitely has a grasp as to how much one has to work to buy something, and has a basic understanding of if something is “a need or a want?” Item. Good times!
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thank you for the sharing the experience, Ryan! Did she end up buying what she worked for?
    Avegail Tizon from Union County/Middlesex County, NJ
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I’ve never heard about Act Your Wage! Adding to my Christmas list. Thanks for sharing, Sterling! These are great ideas to spend quality time with my nieces and nephews.
    Sharita Wilson Rental Property Investor from Atlanta, GA
    Replied 9 months ago
    I completely agree. We really enjoy playing Monopoly. I recently ordered Cashflow 101 and can’t wait to play. I never thought about Fortnite in this light but I think budgeting is great lesson to be taken from it.
    Ron Gantt Investor from Chino Hills, CA
    Replied 9 months ago
    I love this article. Train a child in the way they should go and when they are old they won’t depart from it.
    R.J. Petrillo Rental Property Investor
    Replied 9 months ago
    I'd like to add "Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale". It's a cutesy anime style'd game where you run an item shop in an adventuring town. The locals and travelers come in to purchase wares. Players are expected to keep an inventory, set prices that drive profit, understand the ebbs and flows of needs and somewhat the logistics of the supply chain, while also paying off their loan every month. My SO isn't really as interested or involved in business or money things, but man does she love this game - and it gave her an understanding of some basic concepts.