Monopoly with Debt
Updated: Jun 23, 2021
Created by the McPhail family to play with WEquil School classmates.
Teaching kids about investing and debt can be hard...unless its while playing a game! This post outlines a few modifications to Monopoly to incorporate borrowing, lending, and interest rates. We think you will enjoy this version as much or more than the original and learn a lot more about credit markets along the way!
Monopoly is one of the world's most famous board games...but it's rules for "property trading" are more reflective of medieval Europe than a modern free market economy. For every four commercial real estate transactions, only 1 is purchased entirely with cash. Monopoly ignores the commercial debt market which, in the United States, surpassed $3.21 trillion in 2018.
Its a fun game, but arbitrary restrictions on when players can buy property (you have to land on it) and the inability to borrow makes it a poor tool for teaching kids about investing and how to handle debt responsibly. For every three American homeowners, two have a mortgage. Learning to manage debt responsibly is an important part of life for many.
This is the motivation behind, "Monopoly With Debt", which starts with the rules of Monopoly and applies seven new rules.
1) Borrowing ... Any game about real estate development needs leverage. You can borrow up to the mortgaged value of your property and half the cost of your houses/hotels. In the event of player default, property must be sold to the bank to cover debts before any property is transferred to another player.