Financial Literacy Board Games

Make financial literacy fun with these top-rated board games—both old and new.

Childhood is a great time to begin learning about money. In fact, it’s the best time.

But finding a way to teach financial literacy to children can be challenging. Topics might seem too advanced, and it’s tough to make them relevant when a child might not even have an allowance yet. Even harder? Making the lessons engaging enough that kids will want to learn.

A great solution is to use games to teach the core concepts of financial literacy.

In today’s digital era, there’s no lack of apps and online lessons to teach personal finance. But if you want something a little more, shall we say, material, board games might be just what you’re looking for.

There are a number of classic finance-related board games that teach money-management skills. (Remember saving up your Monopoly money to buy Park Place?) Plus, there’s a whole crop of new games dedicated to personal finance topics.

Here are the top board games—both classic and new—to teach essential financial literacy skills to a range of ages.

Financial literacy board games

1. CASHFLOW

Created by renowned entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki, the author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” CASHFLOW encourages players to escape the rat race of a 9 to 5 job by acquiring stocks, investing, and building up passive income.

Cost

Originally called Cashflow 101, the new edition, CASHFLOW, has an updated board, playing cards, professions, and includes an exclusive strategy guide all for $80. A free digital version of the game is offered on Kiyosaki’s website with sign-up. A supplementary bundle, Cashflow 202, covers more advanced investments and can be purchased separately for $60.

Ages

CASHFLOW can be played with two to six players. It’s suitable for players 14 years and older.

Financial Literacy Skills

Players will learn a lot about their personal financial style and how it compares to their opponents. Are you a risk taker with investing or do you play it safe? Either way, you’ll sharpen your financial literacy skills by practicing saving, investing, and making money.

  • Investing
  • Accounting
  • Technical investment techniques pertaining to stocks, business, and real estate
2. Money Bags

A product of Learning Resources, the Money Bags coin value board game offers the chance for young children to practice collecting, counting, and exchanging realistic-looking money. Players who earn more money than their opponents are crowned the winner!

Cost

Money Bags is available for $20.

Ages

Best for two to four players. Money Bags recommends that players are at least 7 years old, although reviewers have used the game with children as young as 4. Just be sure to monitor younger children as the game pieces pose a choking hazard.

Financial Literacy Skills

Math is a crucial component of early childhood development, and Money Bags encourages algebraic thinking in children. It also teaches money management with its realistic dollar bills and cents.

  • Identifying bills and coins
  • Counting
  • Combining amounts
  • Critical thinking
3. The Game of Life

Created nearly 160 years ago by Milton Bradley, The Game of Life is a board game staple that continues to educate and entertain families by replicating the unpredictable twists and turns of life.

Cost

There are several editions of the Game of Life, but the classic one costs about $20. The newer Electronic Banking edition sells for $25 and combines classic tabletop gameplay with an interactive digital card system.

Ages

This board game is ideal for two to six players, ages 8 and older.

Financial Literacy Skills

Experiencing life’s milestones, players will balance chance and choice when deciding on college, career, salary, marriage, children, and homeownership. Making critical financial moves during gameplay greatly impacts the outcome of each player’s net worth at retirement.

  • Effects of education and career choice on income
  • Financial consequences of losing a job, having children, and getting sued
  • Car and mortgage payments
  • Taxes
  • Debt
4. Payday

Made by Parker Brothers, Payday was launched in 1975. The game board resembles a calendar and allows players to earn a wage at the end of the month after accumulating bills and expenses. To win, you must prove your budgeting skills and save as much money as possible by the game’s end.

Cost

Another board game with several iterations, Payday retails for about $20. For an extra challenge, try Big Payday, a $50 customizable version that allows you to add events and change the number of days in the month.

Ages

This board game is best suited for two to four players, ages 8 and up.

Financial Literacy Skills

Payday simulates money management by asking players to allocate their monthly paycheck in order to meet monthly expenses, all while creating a savings fund.

  • The difference between income and expenses
  • Budgeting
  • Paying bills and loans
  • Creating an emergency fund
5. Monopoly

Did you know that Monopoly was originally intended to teach about income inequality? Before the famous board game was sold to Parker Brothers, it was called the Landlord’s Game and was created by Lizzie Magie, an artist, writer, feminist, and inventor. Monopoly continues to enchant by allowing players to buy, sell, and dream their way to wealth.

Cost

There are several iterations of this classic board game, but Monopoly costs about $20. Families might enjoy the updated Ultimate Banking edition for $25, which includes bank cards and a card reader for cashless transactions.

Ages

Monopoly typically includes two to eight game pieces for players. It’s well-suited for group play with a minimum age requirement of 8 years old.

Financial Literacy Skills

The premise of Monopoly is to amass properties and then build homes and hotels in order to charge unlucky players who visit your real estate holdings. The winner has the best money management skills determined by the highest net worth of property and cash.

  • Managing money
  • Balancing income, saving, and investing
  • Financial transactions and negotiations
  • Real estate
  • Taxes

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What board games have you found to be the most effective at teaching financial literacy? Share with us over on Twitter at @OppUniversity!