Monopoly as a example of how to manage your money.

Learning how to manage your finances is never easy — and it’s not particularly interesting either. Unfortunately, it’s pretty important that we learn key money strategies, especially as young adults.

Learning about the value of money won’t happen overnight, and it can sometimes take years for this realization to sink in and for good habits to form.

But there’s an alternative way to better understand money: games. Games that center around finances as the main goal or theme — or ones in which you use real money — are a great way to learn about the importance of money.

Here are four games that will really help you understand the value of money:

Monopoly

One of the best-loved board games out there — and one that is sure to cause some of the biggest arguments that a family can face — Monopoly is great for understanding more about the value of money.

Monopoly offers plenty of opportunities to learn about money management, teaching players the impact of financial choices and situations.

Each player has their own account and chooses how to spend their money around the board — whether it’s saving resources, making investments, building properties, or selling real estate to free up cash flow.

As well as teaching players basic financial math skills and the importance of managing cash flow, Monopoly also teaches valuable lessons about real estate — something we could all do with learning more about.

And of course, it’s not all happily-ever-afters either; Monopoly teaches us about financial difficulties too, such as taxes and emergencies, as well as the consequences for poor financial management (like going bankrupt and ending up in jail).

The Sims

The Sims took the world by storm in the early 2000s, but what can this life simulation video game teach us about the value of money?

Well, it turns out a lot. If you’re not familiar with the concept of The Sims, the premise is that you create virtual people called “Sims,” and then build homes and lives for them.

Just like in real life, your Sims can have jobs and earn money — and you can choose how this happens, as well as how they spend their virtual dollars. The Sims 4 gives you plenty of ways to make money, from climbing the corporate ladder to becoming a vet to starting up a business. You just need to decide which career your Sim pursues, the skills they learn along the way, and the hours they dedicate to their job.

It’s a virtual way of teaching you the value of money in the real world. The same rules apply: you have to put time and effort in, and the reward is cash flow that you get to spend however you want.

Football Manager

If you’re into football, then Football Manager (also known as Worldwide Soccer Manager)  is both fun and will really help you to understand the value of money.

Football Manager is all about managing your own football club — and as we know, money comes into play in a big way in football. The game teaches you how to manage your money for the benefit of the club: buying and selling players, developing your team’s tactics, investing in training and trying to win games — all while meeting the expectations of others (the fans and chairman/owners).

It’s a great way of learning about the value of assets and budgeting; players are worth money, and sometimes you need to sell a valuable asset to bring greater value to the team.

Poker

Poker is one of the most popular games in the world. And it’s not just fun — the skills you use and learn while playing poker can also be applied to the “real” world too.

You can play poker for free, but the most popular card rooms do it for real money. The best lesson you can learn from poker is to budget accordingly; after all, this is real money and you should never put more at risk than you can afford to lose. The same logic could be applied to any number of real-life financial decisions, like exceeding your available balance.

Poker also teaches you all about risk management. There’s an element of risk in every game of poker which you’re never going to eliminate completely, no matter how much you learn about the game.

However, you can manage these risks. Card counting tricks aren’t going to help you cheat the system (read this article from OnlineCasinos.co.uk on how to count cards in poker to find out more), but you can make informed decisions using patience and restraint.

You can definitely apply this methodology to real life; it’s vital to manage your finances well and understand when a risk is calculated and will pay off, and when it will be detrimental to your bank balance.

Learning about the value of money doesn’t have to be boring or difficult. These four games will help to teach you about the importance of money management in a fun and accessible way.

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