best money games for kids

Review of Best Money Games for Kids

Looking for the best money games for kids? I’ve personally reviewed dozens of fun money games and financial literacy board games for beginners, and am talking about my favorites below.

I set out to find the best money games for kids by reaching out to dozens of retailers and asking them to send what they’ve got.

And you know what I found? There’re quite a few golden nuggets out there that will teach your kids about money in a fun way — working with money games.

Let’s look at the criteria I used when coming up with this list before we dive into it.

Fun Money Board Games – Criteria for Making this Best Money Games for Kids List

Wondering how I chose which money games for kids to include? I’m glad you asked!

Well, first off, I had to physically play with the money game. I mean, how else would I know if it was any good or not? You can only glean so much information off of a website.

While playing with these games, I specifically was looking for the following things:

  1. Fun Factor: My brand, Money Prodigy, is ALL ABOUT putting fun + money education in the same sentence. So, this was a huge factor for me. Was the game actually something a child would have fun playing with or without their family?
  2. Educational Factor: Is there at least one money lesson to be had from playing the game, or is the game merely a fake storefront for money education?
  3. Ability to Learn Solid Money Lessons (without Total Overwhelm): I wanted there to be several core money lessons, but without overwhelming someone. I mean, I’m of the impression that it’s better to master 1-2 money skills at a time, and then move onto others. So, the best money games for kids were ones where you could focus on a small number of money skills at a time. And then another round of the game? You might pick up on something else.

And let me tell you, not every game I reviewed made the cut into this blog post.

Pssst: Do you have a money game for kids and would like me to test it out for possible inclusion in this post? Get in touch through my contact form.

FYI: these are in no particular order, but I have categorized them roughly by the money lessons they focus on.

Category #1: Coin Counting Games for Kids + Money Math Games

Included here are money games geared towards teaching kids how to count, and how to complete money math problems.

Best Money Games for Kids #1: Money Bags – A Crazy Coin Counting Game

Suggested Age Range: 7+ years
Players: 2-4 players

The coin money included in this game is pretty lifelike! I like that a lot – it even sounds a bit like change when you drop it. I’m sure you can use it in other places as well, such as with a cash register, or playing store.

While the player with the most money at the end wins, this game is really not about accumulating money. The actual money lesson here is how to count coins and make change.

This game really tests their knowledge of being able to count/make change because on many spins, you have to take money from the bank without using a certain coin. For example, you might have earned $0.40, but you need to be paid out without using any nickels.

Periodically, a player will land on the Change it Up! Space, which means they need to exchange their coins of lesser values in for coins of greater value.

Best Money Games for Kids #2: Quick Pix Money

Suggested Age Range: 7+ years
Players: 2-6

If you’re getting tired of UNO or Go Fish for card games, then check out this one – not only is it fun and as fast-paced as your kids are ready for, but it also teaches coin recognition and money math!

There are two separate decks – an “Answer” deck and a “Problem” deck. Each player receives 5 cards from the “Answer” deck, and a Problem card is turned over every turn. Players race to be the first one to put an Answer to the Problem. An example is a Problem card has an image of 4 quarters on it. The first person to put their $1 Answer on top of it takes the card. The winner is the first person to win five matched sets by correctly (and quickly) placing the right answer onto the problem card.

Of course, multiple players may have the right answer at the same time, so the quickest person to identify + place their correct answer card down will win the match!

Best Money Games for Kids #3: The Price is Right

Suggested Age Range: Whole family can get involved in some way
Players: 2+

Looking for free money games for kids?

Okay, okay – technically this one is a free group date created by The Dating Divas. But you know what? I think it would work perfectly for kids/family group date as well!

You’ll probably find it funny to see how much your kid thinks common household items cost at the store. What are they going to guess for a bottle of Advil? How about a can of Campbell’s Chicken Soup?

Each player gets their own card, and must estimate how much they think each product costs on the card. Then, you head on out to Walmart, Target, or do online shopping to find the actual products and record the real price. See who was closest, without going over!

What a fun way to add a little awareness into your kid’s lives about the cost of items they use every day. And you know what else? This could double as a great way to keep the kids engaged (re: occupied) during your next grocery store outing.

Now THAT will make the other shoppers turn and look when they hear the screaming!

Category #2: Learning to Save Money/Budget Games

This collection of money games for kids includes teaching core lessons of how to save money and how to budget money.

Best Money Games for Kids #4: Act Your Wage! Board Game

Suggested Age Range: 10 years+
Players: 2-4 players

What makes this game very interesting: not only is each player given a life persona that dictates the resources they've got throughout the play, but also everyone starts off in debt.

*womp, womp*. 

Players choose a “Life” card, and three “Debt” cards to begin the game. For my round, I was given the following:

  • $6,000 in student loan debt
  • $6,000 in student loan debt
  • $5,000 in business loan debt

Yikes! That's $17,000 in debt to start, which feels slightly overwhelming.

Pssst: However, it didn't feel as overwhelming as when I had my college exit interview with the financial aid department and found out I had around $36,000 in debt (all paid off, finally, in September 2010). 

And the “Life” I was given by this game was an engineer who makes $106,000/year, and is married with three kids. My paycheck is $4,100, our mortgage is $1,700, our utilities are $600 (that seems really high!), and our food cost is $500 (that seems a bit low for five kids).

Continuing to follow along with Dave's Total Money Makeover Plan (a great read, by the way – here's my own experience following parts of that plan in real life), each player is given $1,000 for their Emergency Fund, and an initial paycheck amount.

Then, it's up to each player to decide how to distribute their money obtained throughout the game between each of their envelopes (budget categories, such as Food, Utilities, and Mortgage/Rent). Along the way, players can also land on spaces where they'll have to pick a “Save”, “Give”, or “Dave Says” card (these are full of Dave-nuggets and “Stupid Taxes”) and they must follow what are on them.

The first person to pay off all their debts and yell “I'm Debt Free!” wins the game.

Best Money Games for Kids #5: The Allowance Game

Suggested Age Range: 5 – 11 years
Players: 2-4 players
Each child can play their own banker in this game, or you can choose one banker to do the transactions. Speaking of banking…I like how this game has your child earn interest on the money that they keep in the bank!

Allowance is $3.00 (each time you pass the “Home” space), and there are ample opportunities for your child to both earn more each turn — doing things like opening up a lemonade stand, washing the car, etc. — and ways for them to spend their money (like at the mall).

Ways to earn money and to spend it are very kid-friendly, meaning there's no real-world budgeting here. For example, receiving money for a birthday, receiving $1.00 for an improved report card, getting $1.00 for losing a tooth, or having to pay a $0.60 library fine, or literally losing $1.50 of your money. However, this means your younger child will be able to really relate to the options on the board.

The goal is for them to work their way around the board and earn enough money to get to $20. That's how you win!

Best Money Games for Kids #6: Cash Crunch Junior

Suggested Age Range: 5-12 years
Players: 1-4 players

This is a game created by a former Business Studies teacher, and you can tell he has experience working with kids by what he chose to include.

Like the game's scenarios that teach budgeting and saving money in a way that's very tailored to kid’s actual lives, and not to adult’s lives. For example, instead of “Expenses” cards that have bills kids can’t relate to very well – say paying electricity, or gym membership fees – it includes kid-level bills, such as getting docked your allowance pay because you didn’t pick up your room, and forgetting your lunch at home so having to buy one from the school cafeteria.

You should know that the board part of this game is made out of cloth. Still very educational, but I didn’t want you to be surprised that it’s not like a typical board game!

Best Money Games for Kids #7: Moneywise Kids

Suggested Age Range: 6-12 years
Players: 2 players

This is an award-winning Money Math Game that teaches kids money math as well as that bills are monthly through two different games:

  • Game 1 – Bill Maker: Each player takes a turn rolling the dice and collecting money (sounds nice so far, right?). During your turn, you then need to trade up your money to the highest denomination you can get. So, for example, if you have five $1-bills, then you can trade it in for a $5-bill. With two $5-bills, you trade them into the banker for a shiny $10-bill. The winner is the first person to work all the way up to a $100 bill first.
  • Game 2 – Bill Breaker: There are 6 markers that each player needs to purchase, with each marker being a bill of some sort (such as “A Place to Live,” “Something to Wear,” and “Medical Care,”) PLUS put $100 into your savings. The first person to do so, wins.

Bonus: Check out the back of your boards for concrete ways to make real-world connections to the monthly bills discussed in the Bill Breaker game.

Best Money Games for Kids #8: Budget – Real World Math

Suggested Age Range: 9 years+
Players: 2-4

Budget is a game all about, well, budgeting! Except this is budgeting with a twist — players have to determine how much they think they'll need to cover their budgetary expenses each time they pass Payday. And players who are accurate with their budget “predictions”, will actually earn a budget bonus.

But if there's not enough money in the budget they set aside to pay for everything before next payday? Then there's no budget bonus (I like how players can adjust their budgets every payday and essentially learn how to predict their expense needs better!).

The first player to reach $6,000 in net worth, wins.

Players start with $2,500 each, and a player can land on the following types of spaces: purchase options, earnings, or expenses.

FYI: this game touches on investing, as well. It gives players the ability to purchase investment options (Savings Bonds and Stocks), when they land on option spaces. Saving Bond owners will collect interest, and holders of stock will collect dividends, benefit from stock splits, and might even lose money when they have to sell shares that have fallen below the cost at which they purchased. Also, real world math (aside from the budgeting part) includes players figuring out probabilities of landing on certain spaces on the board.

Note: you'll need additional setup to play this game — it comes with a “Financial Record” sheet that you'll need to make a photocopy of for each round of play.

Category #3: Fun Financial Games to Learn Investing

Dying to teach your kid how to invest (but maybe not so confident on how to do so, or how to start)? Here are some board games to help, for both younger aged and older aged kids.

Best Money Games for Kids #9: CA$HFLOW for Kids

Suggested Age Range: 6+ years
2-6 players

If you’ve ever read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad book (an eye-opener, that’s for sure), then you’ll probably be excited to know he’s got a game that will teach your child some of those Rich Dad things.

Namely, to put as much money as you can towards building assets, and as least as possible towards creating continuous liabilities. Also, create passive income streams that exceed your expenses (first by a little, then by a lot!).

This game sets out to teach your younger children the relationship between their balance sheet, and their income statement. What that boils down to is this: you want to make sure your assets + passive income is greater than your liabilities + expenses.

I love how each player gets their own Financial Statement sheet in this game (that includes a side for the balance sheet, and a side for the income statement). Cards are divided up into three piles: assets, liabilities, and sunshine cards.

Just an example of a decision your child gets to make: to pay $500 cash for a video game system upfront, or to charge it and pay $100/month.

One kid gets to be banker, just like in Monopoly, and everyone starts the game out with $3,000. The winner is the first person to create passive income that is greater than their expenses.

Best Money Games for Kids #10: Bulls and Bears: The Game of Booms and Busts

Suggested Age Range: 13+ years
Players: 2-6

Is your child interested in the stock market? Perhaps Monopoly is a bit below their experience level?

This game takes stock market investing to a whole other level.

It’s so robust – think the complexity of Monopoly, but with the goal of teaching investing –that you might want to have your child review the free online guidebook provided by game-maker to get their investing sea-legs.

Some really interesting + priceless lessons built into this game:

  • Importance of Diversification: Player’s portfolios are assessed periodically by banks to make sure they’re diversified.
  • Current Events’ Influence on the Market: Stock purchase decisions are based on how they think the market will react to different news flashes (talk about great prep for investing in the real world!).
  • How to Calculate Net Worth: Having the players calculate their net worth (sum of all cash and investments minus any mortgage or other debts owed).
  • 3 Key Investments to Make for Long-Term Financial Security: Goal of the game is to acquire a net worth of $200,000 while owning these three key assets – a retirement plan, a home, and health/property insurance.

Category #4: Entrepreneurial Money Games

Finally, let’s discuss money games that help teach kids to become entrepreneurs.

Best Money Games for Kids #11: Lemonade Stand – Math Game

Suggested Age Range: 6+ years
Players: 2-4 players

This game touches on some entrepreneurial/business money lessons, such as that you can’t just open up a lemonade stand and expect to make money.

There are capital costs to start a lemonade stand in this game, just like in real business. Each player starts out with a $20 loan from the bank, and must pay $2 for their lemonade stand!

The goal of the game is to finish with the most money, but this is after each player pays back their $20 loan + $5 in interest.

Cards drawn throughout the game include a Grocery Store Card (dictates the cost of your supplies), My Selling Price (dictates what you can sell the lemonade for), etc.

Location (such as “sports field” and “neighborhood” also get chosen – how many cups of lemonade you can sell depends on where you’re located for that turn. Makes sense, right?

I think this would make an excellent supplement to a real-world lemonade stand you and your family set up. You can take the lessons learned in this game, and then apply them to your lemonade stand business plan to hopefully make more money!

Family game night ideas for kids that are also educational games? Yes, please! I came across this list of best money games for kids to play. Looking forward to trying something new! | best money games for kids | math family night | money activity | money math games | learning money for kids | money teaching | educational games | #moneygamesforkids #moneyactivity #moneymathgames #learningmoney #forkids #moneyteaching #educationalgames |

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