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Top 10 Video Games That Teach Kids About Money

Updated: Jan 27

As an educator passionate about equipping kids with essential life skills, I've always been on the lookout for innovative ways to teach personal finance. Surprisingly, video games, often seen just as entertainment, can be fantastic tools for this purpose. They offer engaging, interactive environments where kids can learn about money management, economic principles, and more. In this blog post, I'll share my top 10 video game picks that are not only fun but also educational when it comes to teaching kids about digital finance.

We've also put together a deep dive into why digital tools are the future of teaching kids financial literacy. Check that out if you want to learn more about using games and apps to teach your kids about finance!


Table of Contents


kids playing video games while learning about personal finance

Why Video Games are Effective for Teaching Finance to Kids

Engaging and Interactive Learning

  • Video games are naturally engaging, making financial concepts more interesting.

  • Interactive gameplay helps kids learn through direct experience.

Real-World Financial Concepts

  • Games often include elements like resource management and budgeting.

  • Virtual economies in games mirror real-world financial scenarios.

Developing Critical Thinking

  • Encourage strategic planning and decision-making.

  • Foster understanding of financial consequences.

Connecting with Digital Natives

  • Common ground for parents and educators to discuss money with kids.

  • Relatable medium for the digital-native generation.

In this article, we will explore top video games that blend fun with financial learning, showing how they can be valuable tools in teaching kids about digital finance.

Animal Crossing teaches kids about finance

Game Overview

"Animal Crossing: New Horizons" is a delightful simulation game where players live on a deserted island, making it their own through various activities like fishing, bug catching, and fossil hunting.

Financial Learning Points

  • Earning and Saving Bells: The in-game currency, bells, are earned by selling items and completing tasks. This teaches kids about earning money and saving for bigger purchases.

  • Managing Loans and Mortgages: Players take loans to upgrade their homes, which they pay off at their own pace, introducing the concept of credit.

Key Takeaway

"Animal Crossing" is excellent for teaching kids the importance of saving, planning for big expenses, and managing debt responsibly.

using the sims as a digital tool to teach finance

Game Overview

"The Sims 4" is a life simulation game where players create characters and manage their lives, including careers, relationships, and home life.

Financial Learning Points

  • Budget Management: Players budget for their Sims’ household needs, balancing income from jobs with expenses.

  • Career Planning: Investing in education and skills leads to career advancement, impacting income.

Key Takeaway

This game is a fantastic tool for teaching kids the balance between income and expenses and the importance of education and career planning in financial stability.

Civ VI teaches finance to kids

Game Overview

"Civilization VI" is a strategy game where players build an empire to stand the test of time. It involves city management, warfare, diplomacy, and technological advancement.

Financial Learning Points

  • Resource Allocation: Efficient management of resources like food, money, and materials is crucial for civilization growth.

  • Economic Strategies: Players learn about trade, economic policies, and long-term financial planning.

Key Takeaway

It’s great for teaching strategic financial thinking and understanding the broader economic concepts.

learning finance through stardew valley

Game Overview

"Stardew Valley" is a charming farming simulation game where players manage a farm, grow crops, raise livestock, and interact with town folk.

Financial Learning Points

  • Farm Resource Management: Balancing the cost of seeds, tools, and upgrades against the revenue from selling crops and animal products.

  • Market Dynamics: Understanding and responding to market price fluctuations for crops and goods.

Key Takeaway

This game offers a hands-on approach to learning about investment, hard work, and market economics.

roblox help teach kids finance and entrepreneurship

Game Overview

"Roblox" isn’t just one game but a platform hosting a multitude of games created by users. It’s a universe of mini-games spanning various genres.

Financial Learning Points

  • Virtual Economy: Learning about earning and spending in-game currency in different contexts.

  • Digital Financial Literacy: Understanding the value of digital goods and virtual currency.

Key Takeaway

"Roblox" is an excellent platform for introducing basic economic principles and digital financial literacy.

fifa is a great tool for teaching personal finance to kids

Game Overview

"FIFA" is a popular sports simulation game focused on soccer/football. It allows players to manage teams and simulate matches.

Financial Learning Points

  • Team Budget Management: Balancing a team’s budget for player acquisitions and other expenses.

  • Understanding Sports Economics: Insights into player trading, contracts, and the financial side of sports.

Key Takeaway

"FIFA" offers a unique perspective on financial management in the sports industry.

NBA 2k is a tool for teaching finance and money

Game Overview

"NBA 2K" is a basketball simulation game that captures the excitement of the NBA with realistic gameplay, graphics, and player stats.

Financial Learning Points

  • Salary Cap Management: Understanding the complexities of managing a team within a salary cap.

  • Economics of Professional Sports: Insights into the financial aspects of running a professional sports team.

Key Takeaway

It provides a real-world understanding of budgeting and financial management in professional sports.

age of empires IV teaces money management and budgeting

Game Overview

"Age of Empires" is a historical strategy game where players build and manage empires through different historical eras.

Financial Learning Points

  • Resource Management: Managing resources effectively to build and sustain an empire.

  • Trade and Commerce: Learning about the historical aspects of trade and economic growth.

Key Takeaway

This game offers a historical perspective on financial and resource management.

no mans sky requires careful money planning

Game Overview

"No Man's Sky" is an exploration and survival game set in a procedurally generated universe. It involves exploring planets, gathering resources, and trading.

Financial Learning Points

  • Resource Collection and Management: Balancing the need for resources for survival and upgrades.

  • Interstellar Trade: Engaging in trade with alien species, learning about supply and demand in a dynamic market.

Key Takeaway

It teaches about managing resources in an expansive and ever-changing environment.

Zelda has many opportunities to learn about personal finance

Game Overview

"The Legend of Zelda" series is known for its adventure and puzzle-solving elements, set in the mystical land of Hyrule.

Financial Learning Points

  • Earning and Using Rupees: The in-game currency, rupees, is earned through various tasks and used for purchasing items.

  • Strategic Spending: Learning to budget for essential items and upgrades for progress in the game.

Key Takeaway

"The Legend of Zelda" teaches resourcefulness and the importance of planning and strategic spending.


By integrating fun and interactive elements, these video games can be powerful tools in teaching digital finance to kids. They not only provide practical lessons in money management but also engage children in a medium they love. However, video games aren't the only tools we can use, and we've put together a list of our top 10 favorite digital tools for teaching kids about financial literacy.

As parents and educators, we can use these games as a starting point for discussions about financial concepts, ensuring that kids not only play but also learn valuable life skills.

Remember, while these games are educational, it's important to balance gaming with other activities and real-world financial learning experiences. Happy gaming, and here's to raising financially savvy kids!


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