On Friday night we had my wife’s parents over for dinner and we decided to play The Game of Life before they went home. I hadn’t played The Game of Life for years, and so I needed a refresher on exactly how you play, and ultimately win the game. Anyway, on this occasion I decided that I would lead a different life to my actual real life.

I decided that I wouldn’t go to college and that I would try my hand at a trade. My wife not having done college education in real life, decided that getting a higher education was the way to go, and then my wife’s mother decided she also didn’t need college and joined me in the blue collar workforce.

As it turns out, the life of a blue collar worker isn’t all that bad, I ended up becoming an Athlete and earning 70K a year, while my mother in law scored a job as a Police Officer on $60K a year. My wife ended up with an Arts Degree for her $100K worth of student debt, and ended up earning $30K… Going to show that sometimes college really isn’t all that good of an option.

GameofLife Athlete

Right after landing jobs you are forced into marriage… Unlike in real life, this doesn’t cost you anything in the game, but it did put an end to my plans on being a swinging bachelor. Apparently renting also isn’t an option, as you are forced to buy a house, whether you have the money or not. Unfortunately for my wife, she not only had a giant student debt, but she randomly drew a fabulously expensive house, which she couldn’t afford. So she ended up getting into even more debt (around 200K in total). I decided I didn’t want to be a property mogul, and so I ended up getting this quality property:

GameofLife House


We all bought home insurance, which turned out to be a good thing considering that both my wife’s and my properties got flooded. I also managed to buy a lakeside cabin for $90K and have cosmetic surgery for another $100K. By the time it was all said and done we all sold our properties for a loss and the game was over. My mother in law won by a country mile, I came second and my wife ended up retiring with just over 300K after all her debts were paid back.


Lessons Learned

Obviously this is just a game, but it can be a good way to learn about the various different expenses and life events that can happen along the way. Some of the main things that I learned was:

  1. It doesn’t always pay to go to college
  2. Cosmetic surgery is rarely worth the money
  3. Property doesn’t always go up
  4. Retiring with debt can be crippling
  5. Investing in stocks doesn’t always pay off. My mother in law bought stock and only got paid once before she finished. Not a good investment.
  6. Insurance can be a life saver
  7. Life happens in a blink of an eye, and before you know it, you are on the retirement square with no where left to go.