Family Finances: Start ‘Em While They’re Young with Games

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Welcome to my Wednesday Education B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blog where I am opening up a conversation around family finances and strategies to discuss money in each household. Last week, I reviewed how children’s books can help families start the discussion about finances.  We took an inside look at Suze Orman’s children’s book, “The Adventures of Billy & Penny,” which showed us the value of a penny and how we can save up to buy the things we really want, or have money in savings for things we might need. This week, I am going to provide tips on how games can be used to help families open up communication around how money works and games that will help improve skills in all areas of finances. 

Play a Variety of Family Games Involving Money

Games are an engaging way to have all members of the family discuss money and other finance skills. Playing games involving money can be a fun and safe way for families to talk about money strategies such as savings, earnings, setting financial goals, paying bills, staying out of debt, investing, budgeting, and working with the right resources to make money work for your family. 

Family Game Night

Plan or dedicate at least one day a week to engage in a family game night. Have different levels of money games where everyone in your family can participate. For more advanced games, partner up the family members. Below are the top five money games I use at home and in the classroom followed by some other math strategy games that can further number concepts, values, counting, patterns, and computation skills. 

Top 5 Money Games to Play with Family

  1. Cashflow by Robert Kyosaki 
    1. Teaches a realistic way to get out of the money rat race
    2. Identify assets and liabilities
    3. Financial management
    4. Business deals
    5. Investing strategies
    6. Has computer version called, Cashflow 101
  1. Monopoly Classic by Hasbro
    1. Classic money board game that is a staple in most households
    2. Great starting tool for teaching about real estate
    3. Buy, sell, trade skills
    4. Has several versions that can be more engaging for different players: electronic banking good for younger ones still learning counting skills, Horseopoly for those horse lovers, and even Star Wars themed Monopoly. Last time I checked Google, there were 1,144 different versions, enough for any Monopoly enthusiast. There’s even a “make-your-own-opoly!”
  1. The Game of L.I.F.E. by Hasbro 
    1. Another classic board game found in most homes
    2. Interactive game that simulates a person’s travels through life
    3. Life skills (college, retirement, jobs, marriage, and children)
    4. The most recent version includes pets! There are a little over twenty different LIFE board games and about ten LIFE video games
  1. PayDay Classic by Hasbro
    1. Fun, simple, and quick family money game
    2. Earning and saving skills
    3. Bills and expenses
    4. Money management skills with one payday a month
    5. Not many changes, only one updated edition in 1994 since the release in 1975
  1. Poker Game w/Chips & Deck of Cards 
    1. Poker has three main classifications: draw, stud, and community
    2. There are several variations (approximately 10)
    3. Bankroll management
    4. Risk vs reward
    5. Timing
    6. Reading others 
    7. Poker is widely available in homes, casinos, world tournaments, and digital versions on apps, game consoles, and online games. 

Ten Other Math Strategy Games to do at Home

  1. A cash register (this was a very popular toy/tool in the classroom) can be used during Family Game Night
  1. Solitaire card games (individual math strategy)
  1. Sudoku (individual puzzle game)
  1. Dice games – Yahtzee & Farkle
  1. Dominos – There are about a dozen different games
  1. Chess – Comes in board game and digital versions
  1. Rummikub – Comes in board game and card game
  1. Online math games – Prodigy is #1 in the classrooms
  1. Financial/Money – FamZoo family financial app for all ages
  1. Arcade or console games 

Family game nights and individual math games can provide a fun way to teach your family about finances. There are several other money/math board games and digital games available. What are some of your family’s favorite money games?

Thank you for reading,

Dr. Jaime Brainerd, Ed.D.

About the Author

Dr. Brainerd

Hello, I am Dr. Jaime Brainerd Ed.D., a lifelong learner, beauty consultant, author, financial specialist, artist, traveler, health enthusiast, and self care advocate. Please follow my website for my B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blogs.

3 thoughts on “Family Finances: Start ‘Em While They’re Young with Games

  1. Monopoly has always been our family’s favorite. I mentioned in a previous comment how Lia loves to put any money she finds in her bank. I just noticed the other day, she came up to me and said she had a “coin” not money, I asked her how much she had and she told me a nickel. She’s learning the different values now.

  2. Monopoly is perfect for teaching kids about money.Money management is a life skill which is a must learn for all kids.

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