Guest post by marketing intern, Kate Markert
Kids are back in school, getting prepared for a future of success and security. But chances are, they aren’t getting the financial literacy education they need, which could greatly impact their future. According to a 2012 Treasury Department and Department of Education joint assessment, the average score of U.S. high school students on a financial literacy test was a failing score of 69%.
How can you help your kids? Add financial literacy into their daily lives, through games! Being a gamer myself, I am all for the “gamification” of personal finance. Especially when it comes to holding the attention of say, a five-year-old. When kids are actively engaged with and able to see the principles of money management in action, it empowers them to be the boss of their money down the road.
Here is a list of great financial literacy games for kids of different ages you can add to your family game night roster. (The age ranges listed are pulled from the recommendations on the products.) I haven't personally played these, but they might be worth checking out!
Ages 3-6: Financial Peace Junior
If you’re an “early bird gets the worm” type of parent, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Junior is a good place to start. It’s packed with lessons on working, saving, giving, and spending. Kids can track their progress on a dry erase board (and what kid doesn’t love those?). Financial Peace Junior has all the resources you need to teach your young kids to win with money, and includes a very handy parent guide.
Ages 4-12: KidsWealth Money Kit
Designed like a wallet or a purse, the KidsWealth Money Kit includes five separate wallets to help kids keep track of their savings, a pay day calendar, a calculator, and more. This kit teaches kids to save money and to appreciate and manage their savings. It’s super simple and comes with separate guides for parents and kids.
Ages 6 and up: Cashflow for Kids
Okay this is where it gets a bit more riveting for you—now that your kids are old enough, you can play some more complex games. Cashflow is a Monopoly-esque board game, proper paper money and all, that teaches children how to make money work for them. It’s a complete educational tool that comes with the book Rich Dad’s Guide to Raising Your Child’s I.Q.
Ages 10 and up: The Millionaire Maker Game
This game was actually designed by bestselling author and millionaire maker, Loral Langemeir. This game teaches kids and adults alike “real world application wealth-building skills as they live the life of an entrepreneur.” It’s advertised to make one a millionaire in 3-5 years. Let’s hope that’s true—just like in the real world, this game is an investment at $150 retail.
Ages 14 and up: Cashflow 101
Cashflow 101 was designed by investor, businessman, and self-help author Robert Kiyosaki (of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame) and is quite popular—there are thousands of Cashflow 101 game clubs around the world.
The board, which some compare to Monopoly, has two tracks: the "Rat Race," where you face shortages of cash, and the “Fast Track,” where the goal is to find investments to sink your excess cash into before you lose it. Among other things, players will learn to fill out financial statements and negotiate deals with other players.
If you've played any financial education games you recommend, add them to the comments!
Note from Kasasa: Although it's not a board game, you may have seen us or one of our providers mention MoneyIsland, which is a sister company of ours, and a great online financial literacy experience for kids. Click the linked name to be taken to the site to see if any Kasasa providers near you offer it!