Monopoly Electronic Banking & Credit Cards: Terrible for Kids

OK, so over the weekend, me and some friends got bored and wanted to play Monopoly, but nobody had the game up here at college, so we decided to go out and try the new Monopoly Electronic Banking Edition.

It’s pretty cool – you put the credit card in, and the calculator senses a bump on the card (each card’s bump is different & some have 2), and it keeps track of how much money you have.  It makes the game go a whole lot faster.

But, we had been discussing (before we bought it) how terrible this is for kids.  The game is marketed for ages 8 & up.  After we bought it, this fact became apparent – this game is terrible for kids, and pretty much everybody who stopped by to see what we’re playing made a comment along those lines.

Now, let me explain why:

  • Monopoly used to teach kids counting and stuff – not with a calculator.
  • The even bigger problem: we’re teaching kids to use credit cards at age 8 (of course you can’t spend more money than you have in Monopoly).  And here’s why that’s a bad idea: most adults don’t know how to use a credit card properly.  Rule #1 of a credit card: never use it to buy something that you couldn’t buy with cash.  If you don’t have the money to pay for it in cash, don’t pay for it with a credit card.  Rule #2: ALWAYS pay the credit card balance off every month – then you don’t get charged interest.

It’s the fact that adults can’t use their money wisely that’s put us into this economic mess.

  • People are going around buying houses that they NEVER should have bought for way more than they’re worth.  Just because you can afford the down payment doesn’t mean that you will be able to make the monthly payments.
  • The banks are giving mortgages to people that they never should have, and now they too are losing money.  Banks are actually not wanting to foreclose on homes because they know that they won’t be able to resell them and make a profit.
  • How many people actually have budgets?  If you don’t have even a basic budget, unless you’re loaded, you’re going to find yourself in a financial mess that you 1) weren’t planning to get into and 2) have no clue how to get out of. 
  • Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are terrible ideas – that’s what’s getting people into these messes.  Mortgage companies advertise these things, and then people who normally wouldn’t qualify for a fixed rate mortgage (FRT) are qualifying for an ARM and just getting slaughtered financially.
  • Cars – people are buying cars with dollar down payments or even no down payments, but that only means that they’ll have to pay MORE in interest later – people just see original costs and don’t factor any of this in.

If adults can’t even manage their finances correctly (the Stock Market Crash of 1929 – Hoover was absolutely right in not bailing them out – the government isn’t here to help people who make stupid financial decisions, it’s not the government’s job.  If you screw up your checkbook, the government is not here to balance it), then we shouldn’t be teaching 8 year-olds to use credit cards.

I really am scared of what’s going to happen when my generation is going around buying houses and in charge of financial institutions – with some of the spending and loaning principles that are going on now, I am terrified of the worse things that could come in the future.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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52 Responses to “Monopoly Electronic Banking & Credit Cards: Terrible for Kids”

  1. Dave Says:

    I agree. But I’ll point out one good? fact. The people who will be in charge of banks and the like will have only be hired if they understand how money works. (btw, that means they’ll know how to exploit the stupid people).

    Is that a good thing? I don’t know. But there it is.

  2. inkslwc Says:

    Credit unions – they’re the way to go. Why put your money in a for profit company when you could put it into a non-profit organization run by you?

  3. Why the Economic Stimulus Package Was a Terrible Idea « Republican Ranting Says:

    […] And here’s why it’s dangerous: As Senator Hagel said, “we have … overmortgaged … and abused credit.  And what does this act do?  Raises limits on mortgages dealing with approved credit.  But here’s the problem (as I addressed in this post: […]

  4. its a game Says:

    its a game , this doesnt cause credit problems, its irresponsible people. its wrong to blame a game for these problems.

    btw …. are you in debt, because anyone who rants this much must be.

    ***** stop passing the blame*****

  5. inkslwc Says:

    OK …
    1) I never said it CAUSED credit card problems. I said it shows kids a bad example.
    2) No, I’m not in debt.

  6. jenny Says:

    i feel the same. i think that if they should have to use credit cards in the game it should at least teach kids how to not get maxed out. also i think that even if there are credit cards they should change it to credit cards and money, so the kid is learning how to count and or use money. also they will learn how to use a credit card the right way.

  7. James Edwards Says:

    You make some good points, Monopoly used to teach basic skills as you said – counting, sound borrowing and money management skills. Limited though it is, it was a good grounding.

    I read a report of a 12 year old getting a bank card, then spending until it stopped working. All fine and dandy, except the bank had expressly gone against the parents wishes and the money that had been spent was her education fund! Ironic.

    Perhaps are unaware that that banks are the only industry which effectively allow them NOT to put money where their mouth is.

    Politics aside, Ron Paul has been speaking common sense, along similar lines to your article here. The difference is he discovered the ‘smoke and mirrors’ trick in the 50’s and 60’s – and has been trying to educate the Congress and the People ever since!

    Basically a bank takes in $100 dollars of gold, then lends out…$900 to customers and records $1,000 on it’s books – as assets. Yet they still only have the original $100 deposit in the vault!

    If that were a warehouse with 100 house bricks, you still have a hundred, regardless of how many promises you make. If you promise things you don’t have, outside of banking, that is called fraud.

    Right now there is a problem and the response should not be to dilute an already weak currency by issuing more notes. The notes should be coming back in – but not at the rate of the 1930’s – which caused the depression.

    We do have a bubble at present, but the data isn’t available directly anymore.

    Is this summer bubble just a result of inexperienced staff handling the ship?

    Back in 1928 (and before that in 1907) a similar thing occurred. Big dive in the banking sector, followed by big buy ups and a seeming rise.

    This year is in danger of the same thing happening. Don’t let the Olympics distract you, the price of oil will rise before the year end.

    This is despite political veribage from the politicians and quangos that make up the central banks.

    Theoretically if Fannie and Freddie do go under, the ‘posession is nine tenths of the law’ rule would apply to around half of all US mortgage holders…

    Credit cards are useful for automatic travel insurance though 8 year old are not eligible unless the card is their parents.


  8. Justine Tobin Says:

    HI Double R – Regarding your second point, that it is crazy for kids to get a credit card because most adults don’t know how to use them…..

    That is why I write a blog about Parents Teaching Kids about Money. Kids are not taught how to use credit cards and their parents just ignore the topic, hoping it will go away. But eventually, their kids will grow up and use a credit card, and probably do so poorly.

    So my blog is helping parents teach kids about money, including how to use a credit card. Personally, I think it takes several years of practice to get it right, and who better to teach someone than the parent.

    Check out my blog at

    Justine Tobin

  9. inkslwc Says:

    I actually read your blog post when I got the trackback notice, and in principle, I agree with you, but if parents aren’t actually teaching their kids correct principles, giving them a credit card or debit card won’t help.

    In this Monopoly game, there’s no fiscal principles involved.

  10. Justine Tobin Says:

    Yes, lack of fiscal principles is an issue. That’s why parents need to teach them to their kids. Correct principles is one thing. ANY principles is another.

    Justine Tobin

  11. bluhawaiiaccd Says:

    everyone should chill out, it’s just a game why take it so serious. Have fun.

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