Free Money Games Your Kids Will Love

Learning about personal finance doesn't have to be boring. In fact, some companies are taking personal finance education to a whole new level, with online games focused on making financial matters approachable for both kids and adults. Here's a roundup of a few sites you might want to check out with your kids.

FinancialSoccer.com

On this site, created by Visa (Stock Quote: V), players answer personal finance questions in order to score goals. You can pick your team, your level of play and your opponent for a "World Cup" match.

The game has three different levels of difficulty: one for children ages 11-14, one for teens 14-18 and one for 18 and up. The personal finance questions cover an extremely broad range of money issues, the more difficult dealing with bonds, yields and securities and the easier dealing with savings and checking accounts. Visa also provides plenty of materials for teens to study before they play.

Financial Football

Also run by Visa, Financial Football is an NFL version of the Financial Soccer game, just catered to a different sort of sports fan. I enjoyed the Financial Football game more than Financial Soccer because it has the types of questions that are asked are a bit more complex, although I did run into a glitch that forced me to restart the game. This is definitely a great education tool for a young football fanatic, despite any technical difficulties.

Bank or Bust

This game is one of the best budgeting games out there. Made by the Educational Broadcasting Corp., it combines real life decisions with fun choices. You begin by sorting expenses into categories like transportation and entertainment, an important budgeting tool for everyone. Next, you're asked to pick five habits out of 15 possible money-saving techniques; the goal is to pick the tricks that will help you save the most in the long-run. Finally, you spin a wheel that randomly puts you into possible saving or splurging scenarios. You make the choice and live with the consequences. As the game ends, you are able to see how much you've saved, and what car and house you would be able to afford if you kept up these saving habits. This isn't necessarily a game you'll play over and over again, but it is something that teaches skills, not just personal finance facts.

Moneytopia

This game, made by the Financial Industry Regulatroy Authority (FINRA), is definitely suited for your high school or college student. It's pretty long and involved, but it basically takes almost every financial decision you might have to make in your life and puts it into one game. The game has a steeper learning curve than the others, but it's pretty fun and very interesting. It throws real world situations at you too. There are people out there in the real world trying to scam you and this game reflects that too.

Mad Money

You can always count on PBS to make a great, educational game for kids, and they did just that with Mad Money. Similar to Bank or Bust in its concept, the player makes choices so that they can eventually save enough for a big purchase like a concert ticket or sneakers. The game is more simple than Bank or Bust and is better suited for younger kids - your tweens and teens won't be challenged enough.

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