Board Games You Can Use to Teach Children About Money

When you get right down to it, money has two basic uses. It can be employed to make more money, or it can be used solely to acquire goods and services. Here’s the thing, though: If you use money to make more money, you’ll always have cash for goods and services.

Helping children learn this lesson at an early age greatly improves the nature of their relationship with their finances. Moreover, educators agree learning is most effective when it’s combined with fun. These board games you can use to teach children about money will make doing so much easier to accomplish.

Yes, there are many online games and apps designed for this purpose as well, but they tend to be solitary in nature. The beauty of the classic board game is the entire family can play together, making it a social event as well as an educational opportunity cloaked in fun.


This classic has been around since the early days of the 20th century. Originally patented as The Landlord’s Game, Monopoly is primarily focused around real estate transactions, but it also involves budgeting, investing and using money strategically. Kids are introduced to idea of paying taxes, too. While the goal of the game is to bankrupt your competition and gain monopoly status, it also imparts the lesson that managing your money wisely is how you win the game.

The Game of Life

Another long-lived “pastime,” The Game of Life debuted in 1960. As its name implies, playing it touches upon circumstances children will experience as they progress in life. The game covers getting a secondary education, selecting a career path, choosing a life partner, becoming a parent and, of course, handling money. To win, a player must set aside a nest egg and retire — both of which can be accomplished more readily with a sound education and well-reasoned investments.

Pay Day

Dating back to the 1970s, Pay Day helps children understand how to use money wisely. Lessons imparted include the fundamentals of budgeting as well as engaging in entrepreneurial activities. Newer versions include windfall situations such as sweepstakes, lotteries, casino nights and jackpots, which can make winning easier. Meanwhile, early versions of the game have insurance and savings options that are missing from later versions. Not sure what this says about modern attitudes but do your kids a favor and scour eBay for older versions of the game.

Act Your Wage!

Noted debt guru Dave Ramsey came up with Act Your Wage to help children learn to see debt freedom as a desirable outcome. Players win by saving a $1,000 emergency fund, budgeting using the envelope system and paying off debt using the snowball effect.

About the only thing missing from the game’s debt eradication scenario is the option to contract a debt negotiation firm like Freedom Debt Relief to help make overwhelming debts more manageable.

Charge Large

Also designed to teach the benefits of living debt free, this game acknowledges the fact that certain uses of credit can be both beneficial and necessary. Simply put, Charge Large teaches children how to use debt wisely. Players begin with a cache of gold, an entry-level credit card and cash. They must upgrade that basic card to a black one, accumulate $2,500 in cash and achieve debt freedom.

Using board games like these to teach children about money is far better than letting them grow up to learn the hard way — with no guidance. Plus, these games present an opportunity for the entire family to spend fun time together, even as you impart valuable life lessons.

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