How A Board Game Inspired Me To Begin Building Wealth Through Real Estate


Throughout the entire month of April on the LOE site we will be discussing MONEY! How to spend it, save it, invest it and more!


Believe it or not, a board game is what motivated me to start investing in real estate. My husband and I sat around a table and played a game with fake money and plastic figurines that set off a chain reaction of events that led us to real estate. The game is called Cash Flow and it changed our lives forever.

Fast forward to today and we own a four-unit apartment building, a duplex, two single-family homes and a condo.

Before playing Cash Flow we never in a million years thought we’d be Real Estate Investors!

The concept of the game is to get out of the “Rat Race” of life and to do that, your Passive Income has to be greater than your expenses.

The “Rat Race” is different for everyone.

It could mean:

  • No longer living paycheck to paycheck

  • Getting out of the bondage of consumer debt

  • Having an ample emergency fund

  • Retiring early

For us, leaving the "Rat Race" means reaching financial freedom, (our money working for us rather than having to work for our money). 

It is important to define what your rat race is, and define what financial freedom looks like for YOU.

In the game Cash Flow, there were a few ways to increase your passive income, but the one that stuck with us was investing in Real Estate.


Let’s take a look at what Passive income is and break it down.

Passive income is income earned from a source that does not require you to be fully present to earn.

So, for instance, if you work full time for the government, but you also make money selling ebooks, any money you earn from your ebook sales would be considered passive income.


You don’t have to depend on Real Estate investment exclusively to build wealth, but it is a known fact that most millionaires have some Real Estate in their portfolio.

Here are 4 reasons why I love Real Estate as a vehicle to building long-lasting wealth.

Owning a property means you own an ASSET

An asset is property owned by a person or company that holds value. Owning assets is what moves the needle on having a positive net worth! If you buy a home, you own something that you can sell!


If you own the home you live in- the home can appreciate over time, increasing your equity. If you own a rental property, not only do you own an asset that is building equity, you are can also generate passive income with the rental income.

Cash Flow

When it comes to building wealth with Real Estate- Cash Flow is King! I’m sure you realize by now that I’m kinda obsessed with cash flow and I’m not just talking about the game. I’m talking about real-life cash flow. Cash flow from rental property provides steady income that builds over time. That’s one of the perks of owning rental property- the cash flow is typically consistent!


You can pass on the property to your children or heirs. Your heirs can inherit a property that does not have a mortgage and/or inherit a property that is generating passive income. That is the key to generational wealth! Leaving your heirs something of value that they did not have to work for.

One of my favorite things about generational wealth is the wealth of knowledge that you can pass on. Just by virtue of your family and friends seeing you own property, manage your finances and build wealth you are giving them a great example. Many people aren’t good stewards of their finances because they never had an example of what it looks like!


If you are reading this article, chances are, you’re like me- you haven’t hit the lottery and you are still working on becoming a millionaire. If that’s the case, then you have to get creative when it comes to building wealth.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Leverage what you have.

  2. Think outside of the box.

Thinking outside of the box means you have to go against status quo and do things that others are not willing to do to achieve your goals. Some may call it “sacrifice” but I think that word can have such a bad connotation. We will just call it “thinking outside of the box”.

Thinking outside of the box means you have to go against status quo and do things that others are not willing to do to achieve your goals.

My husband and I downsized to a one-car household. Not only do we only have one car it's an old, used car. Is this our ideal vehicle? No. But rest assured it was a strategic move to get one step closer to our goals. One of the things we did to get closer to our crossover point was to sell one of our cars. We went from being a two-car household to one. It eliminated one car insurance payment, cut down on maintenance costs AND we used the cash from the car sale to go towards our next investment.

Do I think everyone should downgrade and downsize their vehicles? No. But, I do know that to build wealth starting from scratch you have to make radical changes.

If you’re wondering how you can get started, here are three things you can do TODAY:

  • Define what financial freedom means to you.

  • Set your goals.

  • Think of outside of the box.

Financial Freedom IS within reach.


written by kendra barnes

Kendra is an Economist by day and Real Estate Investor by night who is on a mission to change the perception of what a Real Estate Investor is "supposed to" look like. Visit her website.

BusinessAlisha Byrd