Life Hacks

5 Games to Play with Kids To Enhance Money Management Skills

July 27, 2021

With over 30 states currently ordering or recommending that schools remain closed through the rest of the academic year, it’s likely that you’re having to find new ways to entertain your children at home while also focusing on distance learning.

If you and your children have already completed a few DIY projects and played all of the new Nintendo Switch games, then it might be time to work in a few financial lessons as part of their stay-at-home education. 

While research has shown that children develop their money habits by the age of 7, there is still a lot of time to instill great financial values and practices as they grow into teenagers and adults. And, what better way to teach them about money management than by playing games that make it all fun?

1. Monopoly

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When you think about board games for teaching money management, Monopoly is probably the first one that comes to mind. It’s one of the best games for teaching kids about mortgage payments, rent, budgeting, and unforeseen expenses. Kids will have to learn how to budget their money in order to pay for unexpected expenses such as taxes and community payments. And, they’ll be able to receive a pretty nice introduction to how mortgage payments work. And, the best part is that there are so many different versions of Monopoly available nowadays that you’re sure to find one that suits your kids’ tastes.

2. Cashflow 101 for Kids

Cashflow 101 for Kids
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Cashflow 101 is actually a great investing game for adults, but they make a Cashflow 1010 for Kids that’s perfect for teaching little ones about money management and investing, too. The game comes from the author of the famous book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, so you know it’s backed by quality principles and experience. Play this game with your kids to teach them about cash flow principles and help them develop the confidence to make their own investing and real estate decisions. The kid’s version is especially fun as it features cartoon rats who are all looking to “exit the rat race.”

3. The Game of Life

The Game of Life
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Like Monopoly, the Game of Life has long been a staple in many households’ board game closet for years. In fact, it’s been around for over 150 years, making it one of the oldest educational board games out there. It’s a little bit easier for children to understand than Monopoly, with a built-in fun factor due to the ability to choose a career, earn a salary and experience fun life events such as having children. It’s a great option for parents hoping to teach their kids about making career choices, loan payments, and the effects of certain life decisions such as having children or overspending.

4. PayDay

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It’s payday! Or, at least it can be if you want to play PayDay the board game. This is easily one of the best budgeting board games for children to play. The idea is simple; you move around a 31-day calendar board while navigating certain events such as loan payments, bills, unexpected expenses and sometimes even cash windfalls. Your kids will have to think hard about how to budget their paycheck until the end of the month, making it perfect for those who need some help with the basics of budgeting. If this is a bit too advanced for your younger children, try having them play The Allowance Game instead.

5. The Millionaire Maker Game

The Millionaire Maker Game
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The Millionaire Maker Game comes from Loral Langemeier, a successful business owner and consummate entrepreneur who has years of financial planning experience under her belt. She created the Millionaire Maker board game to teach families about money in a healthy, informative and fun way. As a player, you’re thrown into the world and life of an entrepreneur and given 90 minutes to make the best business and strategic decisions possible. The goal? To end up with the highest net-worth at the end of the game, ensuring it’s good for competitive youngsters who want to out-earn their siblings.

Learning About Financial Health Through Spending

Once you’ve taught your children about money management, it’ll be time to put those skills to work. Allowing your children to budget and financial plan in real life is an important aspect of allowing them to grow into financially healthy individuals.

Give them a budget to work with and allow them to take part in the family’s financial planning processes where it’s suitable for their age. If you’ve got teens at home during the lockdown, for example, let them plan the family’s grocery budget. Or, let younger children manage an entire lockdown allowance.

As you’re teaching them about money management skills, be open and honest about your own spending and budgeting. Find new ways to get them engaged in the process of money management while making it fun. 

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