Financial literacy can seem like a big subject, but there are lots of tools to ease the learning process. Check out the links below for free resources and games that will help money concepts make dollars and sense.
Next Gen Personal Finance Arcade - Let’s start with the games. Next Gen Personal Finance has an arcade of online games that are, no kidding, actually fun! Here are two especially entertaining games from the arcade:
Shady Sam - Play as a loan shark trying to get the most money out of your customers. This game may make players feel shady for trying to overcharge everyone, but they will also understand how serious variable rate loans and compound interest are.
Time For Payback - This is a “choose your own adventure” game where you balance your time, money, social life, studies, and happiness across four years of college. Every choice represents a balance between opportunity and cost.
Family Education Teen Budget Worksheet - It is important to account for where one’s money goes. This saveable PDF worksheet includes multiple categories, including food, college, debt, entertainment, and charitable donations. Once income and expenses are understood, teens can come up with goals for building savings and lowering expenses.
Department of Labor’s Youth Rules - The Youth Rules website from the Department of Labor has information for teens and parents about youth employment, including which jobs can legally be performed at which ages. This is important information for planning one’s early career and finding appropriate opportunities.
How The Market Works - This stock market simulator, which uses real-time market data, is great for seeing how stocks would perform if you invested real money. Detailed stock quotes and instructional articles will prepare would-be traders for picking and following stocks. Players may feel differently about their moves once real money is on the line, though!
The Alert Investor Podcast - This podcast from the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) includes safety information for investors, including how to recognize and avoid different kinds of scams.
Family At Home Financial Fun Pack - The Council For Economic Education’s Financial Fun Pack is, well, packed with activities and exercises designed to teach financial principles, including group games, rules of thumb, websites, and podcasts. Absorbing everything this packet has to offer could take a while, but the results will be worth it.
The Mint - This learning resource, from Northwestern Mutual, has sections dedicated to explaining the larger concepts behind earning, saving, spending, owing, tracking, giving, and safeguarding your money. It offers a great mixture of textbook definitions alongside practical advice.