Board Games and Banking: It’s Your Move

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Global sales of board games are heading for over $10 billion this year, and that’s on top of the millions of games already sitting on game shelves and being played on coffee tables, card tables, and everywhere else already.

Yes, people of all ages are playing games like Risk, Monopoly, and Clue in record numbers. But, increasingly, they’re buying Euro Style games like Settlers of Catan and Forbidden Island, or stacking Jenga blocks to the rafters. (Okay, maybe Jenga is more of a team puzzle than a board game, but still.)

Paying $50 for a game is basically a brilliant investment when it comes to entertainment value. Just ad drinks, snacks, and friends whenever you want, and you’re getting hundreds of hours of time together for that single purchase.

More than the bargain, though, people are gathering around these games for reasons that range from nostalgia to storytelling to relationship building. People love to get together to socialize over a good game where everyone is aiming for the same simple goal—winning. And, not coincidentally, many games feature the element of gathering money or other resources in order to win.

Playing by the Same Rules

The business of community banking has a lot in common with board games. First, there’s strategy. A banker needs to think strategically when it comes to investing time and energy into a portfolio of projects. You need to make the most out of whatever hand you’re dealt.

Banking requires excellent people skills, from building relationships, to negotiating, to creating alliances to help bring community initiatives to life. Just like in many board games, banking demands the ability to gather and use resources effectively, too.

And what about the need for game-winning skills like the ability to detect deception or to trust someone enough to collaborate toward a goal? These skills are just as much in demand at a community bank as they are at the game board. In fact, managing one’s finances can put a lot of these game-playing skills to work for real.

Playing for Keeps

Think back to the first time you played what is now your absolute favorite board game. Admit it, you were lost. Then your friends brought you along slowly, so you could learn the rules, gain confidence, and then became a real player.

Taking control of personal finances works the same way. The good news is that you’ve got some potential new friends at your community bank who would be happy to show you the ropes. It’s not unlikely that some of them already play some of the games you like to play, so they could even explain financial concepts in terms that will already make sense to you.

We started by talking about how $50 was a smart way to bank some major game time. That community bank won’t charge you a dime to come in and talk.

The Takeaway

When you start to compare what makes board games fun and what makes community banking meaningful, you can almost lose track of time. They have so much in common. For anyone who loves playing board games, it feels natural to start thinking about managing personal finances using similar skills you’d need in a good game of Catan. The same aspects that board games and community banking share—the need for risk awareness, cooperation, and often going for a win-win outcome—make looking into community banking a pretty reasonable next move.