Most adults will gladly tell you that they wish they’d received more education on managing money when they were in school. Creating and following a plan for saving and spending, having short, medium, and long-term financial goals, and knowing how to budget, are crucial “adulting” skills that many grown-ups wish they did better. Put your students on the path to success with these money math games. Each one helps students understand a different facet of planning their financial futures in an engaging, easy-to-use way.

1. “It’s in the Budget!”

Photo of the It's in the Budget money math game

Game Overview:

Nikki needs to save $140 in 10 weeks. It’s up to your students to help her figure out how to do it in time! Can they create a plan that helps her reach her goal while still being able to afford some necessary expenses?

Money Math Skills/Concepts Covered:

Goal setting, Budgeting, Income, Expenses

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2. “But I Really Want It!”

Photo of "But I Really Want It!" money math game

Game Overview:

Marcus is getting ready to graduate high school and head to culinary school. He has a lot of things he wants to buy before he goes and a few things he needs. It’s up to your students to figure out which of his purchases is a want and which ones he really needs. While there are no “math problems” in this math game, it does introduce students to an important skill when dealing with money. By understanding the difference between “wants” and “needs” students will be more capable of creating budgets, making savings plans, and understanding how to make long-term savings goals.

Money Math Skills/Concepts Covered:

Decision making, Wants versus needs

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3. “Plan Your Party”

Photo of the "Plan Your Party" game

Game Overview:

Nikki, Marcus, and their sister, April, have each contributed $25 to pay for a surprise 30th-anniversary party for their parents. Will they be able to afford the food, drinks, decorations, and gifts needed to make the party a success? To do so, they’ll need to be savvy planners and shoppers. In other words, they’ll need your students’ help!

Money Math Skills/Concepts Covered:

Decision making, Wants versus needs, Budgeting, Comparison shopping

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4. “How Interesting!”

Photograph of the "How Interesting!" game

Game Overview:

How much you will actually end up paying for something you purchase using a credit card or a bank loan is one of the most important financial lessons we can teach our students. In this activity, students are given the opportunity to see just how much more they’ll pay based on different annual percentage rates.

Money Math Skills/Concepts Covered:

Decision making, Credit, Interest, Annual percentage rates

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5. “Is it Covered?”

Photo of the "Is it Covered?" money math game

Game Overview:

Buying a car might be the biggest purchase our students have ever considered making. After spending so much money, many young people may be tempted to skip buying insurance right away in a misguided attempt to save some money. This simulation asks them to “roll the dice” and take their chances driving uninsured. Some may end up having spent less than they would have spent on insurance for the year. Far more, however, will find out just how expensive driving while uninsured can be.

Money Math Skills/Concepts Covered:

Decision making, Insurance, Payments, Liability

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6. “When Prices Rise”

Photo of Money Math Game - When Prices Rise

Game Overview:

Nikki has a long-term goal — buying a home. She’s has an amount she thinks she will be able to spend on housing each month, but she just learned about inflation and is nervous. Will it be enough? This game asks students to learn about inflation — what it is, how it effects your spending power, and how to calculate it. Your students will help Nikki figure out if she can afford to become a home-owner of if inflation is going to make it too expensive.

Money Math Skills/Concepts Covered:

Inflation, Decision making, Budgeting

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Looking for even more money math games?

Check out the resources, activities, lessons, games, and more over at Money Confident Kids.

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