Do your high school students ever feel like they're throwing their money out the window because they don't know how to manage their finances?
Help them learn how to save and grow their money with a wide range of financial literacy games!
Financial Literacy Resources
Money plays a huge role in our daily lives — and like Britney, we like it...and wish we had as much as she does!
Yet, even many adults don't know how to manage what they have or make it grow. So it's a priority to give youth the tools to be financially healthy.
Fortunately, there are free resources on budgeting, saving and investing, credit, borrowing, and more financial topics. Financial literacy games and other activities can help your students plan for college tuition, understand stocks, save to buy a car, or set long-term financial goals.
Explore content, simulations, games, lesson plans, and teacher guides below.
National Education Association: Tools for Teaching Financial Literacy
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Youth Financial Education
Financial Educators Association: Curriculum
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Money Smart for Young People
More Than Just a Game
Financial literacy games aren't just for fun! They provide students with opportunities to learn and grow as they:
succeed on a team or as an individual
make mistakes in a safe space
learn from what their peers are doing
demonstrate skills they don't get to show in other learning settings
get rapid feedback from other students, teachers, or electronic systems
But be mindful of how you use them.
Make real-life learning the objective
e.g. "What happens if you max out your credit card?"
Make the games low stakes
e.g. teams develop a product or service and make "Shark Tank" presentations so everyone can contribute ideas and play different roles
Consider a mix of problem solving, strategy, and knowledge development games to increase money management skills
Make winning the objective
e.g. "The student with the most money at the end wins!"
Make anyone feel like a "loser"
e.g. students face a scenario with only one solution to help the family pay their bills, and if the student doesn't figure it out, they fail
Stick to one type of game because some students may not have strengths in those areas (e.g. public speaking or leading a team), or some students may lose interest
Use games to engage students and help them learn new financial literacy information and skills.
Students respond to both low-tech and high-tech games.
Some might like playing with cards to learn investment concepts, and others might get immersed in playing the role of a parent managing family finances in a computer simulation.
Low-Tech/High-Tech Financial Literacy Games
Lesson plans and materials are included in the links below for these hands-on financial literacy games:
Saving and Investing Card Game
Teams are given scenarios to decide whether it's better to save or invest their money.
Teams are given cards with the names of financial services and products, and cards with the descriptions and the goal is to match them.
Students are given credit card scenarios and they're instructed to move to different parts of the room labeled "Do" or "Don't" based on how they advise the characters.
The class is divided in half with one team getting "Risk" cards and the other "Insurance" cards. Students walk around the room to find their match.
Scenario-Based Online Games
See below for links to free financial literacy games your students can play on their devices:
Students think through how to apply to college and make decisions to avoid debt.
Students are faced with real-life challenges and low-income wages, and must use critical thinking to make the money last.
Students must make budgeting decisions for a magician who is launching a new show, weighing short- and long-term gratification.
Students play the role of an Uber driver who needs to make $1,000 for a mortgage and raising kids.
Which activities can help your students learn to budget money? Select all that apply:
Bring financial literacy games and other activities to your classroom!
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