When it comes to teaching kids and teens about money, nothing beats a game of Monopoly. And the best way to keep things interesting? Try these variations on the official rules:
Get Paid to Park. Officially, the “Free Parking” square on the Monopoly® board doesn’t count for anything. Up the ante by adding $1,000 from the bank before the game begins. Anytime a player lands on this square, they can claim the money and the bank replenishes the supply.
Another twist on this is to pay your bills to the center of the board, on top of the cash that the bank puts in. Any money that you don’t owe to another player, or to the bank for property or house purchases, can go into the center of the board. This variation makes the game much more interesting. Sometimes players land on Free Parking and scoop up a couple of thousand dollars’ worth of luxury and income taxes and the cash that players pay in as directed by Chance and Community Chest cards.
The Choo Choo Train. Whenever a player lands on a railroad, they may choose to move his or her token to any other railroad square, helping them move closer to a valuable property.
Brother Can You Spare a Dime? Add personal loans to the game. If someone needs money, another player may provide a loan at any agreed upon rate or fee.
The “No Auctions” Variation. Some players are too impatient to auction off properties that aren’t wanted or are beyond their budgets. Instead of having an auction, the player who landed on the property that is for sale throws the deed into the middle of the board. The first player who lands on the Free Parking square gets any deeds in this spot.
No One-Dollar Bills. The one downside of Monopoly is the time it can take to finish the game. To speed things up a bit, don’t use one-dollar bills. Counting and making change only slows the game down. Instead, round up or down for every bill. When the initial $1500 in cash is given to each player at the beginning of the game, keep all of the one-dollar bills in the bank. Round up or down for every bill – including rent and mortgage prices.
Example: if the bill is $23 or $24, round up to $25. If the bill is $22 or $21, round down to $20. This way, the game will go a little faster because nobody is fumbling with one-dollar bills.
These are just a few ideas. See if your family can come up with new ideas and create a highly-customized, extremely-fun version of this ever-popular board game.