Wednesday, July 17, 2013

11 Board Games that Teach Money Skills

If you have kids, you have probably been asked to play a board game with them at some point.  Board games can provide an evening of family entertainment and can also initiate discussions of financial concepts in a relevant manner for kids.  Here are eleven great board games that incorporate basic financial topics.

1.  Monopoly - No list of board games would be complete without Monopoly, the world's most popular and best selling board game.  Buy & sell real estate, collect rents and rush to pass Go so that you can get your $200.

2.  Life - Another classic game!  Your goal in "Life" is to avoid bad luck and makes some money.  Along the way you can earn bonuses by doing good deeds and helping your community.  You win by retiring with the most money.

3.  Payday - A personal favorite of mine from childhood!  The Payday game board is set up like a monthly calendar and you must get through the month to get to your payday.  The month is full of financial bonuses, such as winning the lottery, and financial pitfalls, such as extra bills or bad investments.  You play as many months as you like and whoever has the most money at the end, wins the game.

4.  Careers - Another one of my fond childhood memories.  In Careers, you choose your own personal success formula (Fame, Fortune or Happiness) and then select the combination of careers that are most likely to help you achieve your goals.

5.  Awesome Island  - An award winning game that introduces teens to all aspects of personal finance, including salary, investments, credit, debt and philanthropy.  

6.  Thrive Time - Great game for teens!  Teens have part time jobs and must make decisions about buying cars, paying for college, etc.  

7.  Wise Money - a family financial literacy board game.  The family learns about banking, investing, budgeting, payday, credit, and financial responsibility.  Players are faced with realistic scenarios and must show their financial knowledge to successfully move through the town.

8.  The Farming Game - Players plant crops and sell livestock as they try to turn their farm into a successful business.

9.  The Allowance Game - Players move around the board by doing chores to earn their allowance.  Then they can choose to spend it or save it.

10.  Money Bags - Players earn money by doing chores.  There is a spinner that tells them which coins can not be used to pay their allowance so they must determine how to make the change with the approved coins.  Great for learning coin recognition and counting change.

11.  Daytrader - Daytrader is a brand new board game coming out in the Fall, 2013.  According to their description, it brings you the "thrills and chills of investing in the stock market."   Players are learning to buy stock low and sell high, all while balancing job positions at companies, salary changes and the unexpected pitfalls of taxes or companies going out of business.  The winner of the game is the first person to successfully retire from their company.  Daytrader is designed for players ages 13 and up.  Daytrader is available for pre-order from

There are many more board games that can also teach the fundamentals of money management.  Please share your favorites in the comments below.

Updated July 17, 2013


  1. We're big fans of the Farming Game. Lots of good lessons in that one. It runs a little long, though, so after you read the rules it might make sense to use a house rule to shorten it. Payday is another favorite on the list. I'll have to try the others!

    1. If it weren't for customized, "family" rules, I would still be playing a game of monopoly!

      Payday was my absolute favorite game as a kid!