How Monopoly taught me to save

I love the game Monopoly. I haven’t played it in a few years, but I remember partaking in frequent games as a child. I normally picked the boat as my piece, and I was always the banker. I relished counting out all the money to be distributed to the players – five $1s, five $5s, five $10s, six $20s, two $50s, two $100s, and two $500s. (I did most of that from memory, except I forgot the $5s and the $500s. Wikipedia tells me that there are different initial cash distributions now, who knew!)

Monopoly Boat pieceSailing my way to Go. Or sometimes to jail, depending on my luck.

My strategy involved buying whatever I landed on. As soon as I could starting buildings homes, I would. I don’t think we ever played using the auction rules, so I can’t comment on that process. And, in terms of saving, anytime I passed Go, or came into some big money, I hid it under the board.

This saving strategy often served me well. If I needed to make a big purchase, like hotels on Pacific Avenue (in the green family of properties), then under the board I went to gather my savings. Since I was usually the banker, this typically invoked shrieks of “You’re cheating!”, to which I would insist that I was not, since where was the fun in winning by cheating? (I was the type of kid who never used cheat codes in video games. I never got any satisfaction from getting a ton of free money in SimCity, for example, to build up my town – I needed to earn it first for the spending part to feel good.)

Thinking back on my Monopoly strategy of saving money, it’s similar to how I (and many others) save money now. We put it somewhere where we can’t see it, or where it’s hard to touch. Take my piggy bank savings – I can’t see how much is inside, but I can tell it’s getting full by how heavy it is. There’s also my TFSA fund – I won’t transfer money in and out of that account, since that will make the tracking process for tax purposes a pain in my ass. Once it goes in, it stays in, unless a real emergency arises. Or even my RRSP account – no way I’m touching that money, since that will be an even BIGGER pain in my ass when it comes to taxes.

Money Rabbit blogged about the money lessons her mother taught her as a child, such as saving half of her weekly allowance in tupperware containers. There must be more examples (positive and negative) out there, I just haven’t been reading PF blogs long enough to know of more stories off the top of my head.

Do you have any stories of how a childhood game/event/lesson impacted your current financial habits?

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