The importance of financial literacy cannot be overstated, as it equips both children and adults with the necessary tools to navigate some of life's complexities. But this topic isn’t given much priority in schools. 

Over 96% of students say they learn financial topics through their parents. However, the same study showed that only 68% of Australian adults are financially literate, with over 66% having money worries. We often learn by doing, but many of us fear making mistakes when managing money.

Recognising the need for a safe learning space, an engaging medium such as games can be a powerful tool to teach financial literacy. Using serious games and gamification, we can encourage a hands-on learning experience in a secure environment guided by well-researched educational design. For example, a game such as Cash Flow will teach you fundamental concepts such as income, expenses, investments, and liabilities, all in an environment where you can experiment and learn.  

In this blog, we will cover how serious games and gamification can help you foster sound financial habits and provide some examples of games you can play to learn about money management.

Why do we need better financial education?

Financial literacy is the knowledge and skills to understand and manage money effectively. It's knowing how to budget, save, invest, and make smart financial decisions.

It’s an important subject to learn as it helps people make informed choices about their lives, such as avoiding debt and planning for the future. According to a survey by the Greenlight Fintech Company, financial literacy in Americans is particularly low in younger generations, but all age groups could benefit from better money management skills.

An infograph of the financial literacy going down by generation in America

With such low financial literacy rates, there is a lack of resources, opportunities, and motivation to learn about these topics. This is where games come in! In a study with over five thousand players, researchers found that at least 70% of participants were better equipped to make financial choices, like paying off high-interest debt while investing in low-interest savings. 

The theory behind financial literacy education has been translated into games for kids and adults to learn money management concepts.

How can gamification and serious games teach financial literacy?

Serious games were made to achieve a purpose outside of entertainment. This could be teaching a skill, motivating desired behaviours, or conducting research. 

Gamification is the use of game mechanics in non-game environments. Game mechanics include elements like levels, rewards, and tutorials. 

Read our in-depth explanation of the difference between serious games and gamification here.

An image from a blog by Chaos Theory Games on Gamification and serious games

These methods tap into people's natural inclination to learn through play, providing hands-on opportunities to navigate financial decisions in a safe environment. They offer customisable experiences that cater to different learning styles and skill levels, fostering deeper understanding and retention of financial concepts. 

And with that, let’s look at some amazing examples of these types of games.

7 Games about Money Management to improve Financial Literacy

Kit by Commbank

Kit is an earning-and-learning, mindfully-spending, money-mastering app for kids built by CommBank. The pocket money app features a prepaid card and lets kids Earn, Stack, Spend, and, most importantly, Learn it! Chaos Theory recently worked with the Kit team to create the gamified systems and develop learning content in the “Moneyverse”.

Want to know more about how we helped increase the completion rate of learning content from 22% to 77%? Read the case study!

Mockups of the Kit by Commbank app in collaboration with Chaos Theory Games
Photo from Kit by Commbank

Kit measured how their app positively impacted kids' financial capability in Australia. They saw 8 in 10 parents and carers having money conversations with their kids more regularly, 6 in 10 (59%) kids using Kit, earning money independently, and 74% saving.

Build Your Stax

This investment game asks you to make 20 important financial decisions over 20 minutes. Players learn how to build wealth over time while also learning the importance of harvesting things like an emergency fund for setbacks. The game was created by Next Gen Personal Finance, a nonprofit organisation that works with teachers to provide resources to teach classroom saving, investing, and other personal finance concepts.

A screenshot of the game Build Your Stax


Reinvent your financial literacy with this engaging edutainment game! Zogo teaches more high-level financial concepts in short gamified modules. These module topics range from buying a car to investing in the stock market.

Mockups of the gamified app Zogo by Fitzsimmons Bank
Photo from Fitzsimmons Bank

That's not all; ZOGO also gives players who complete modules and challenges gift cards for up to $20 to trade in real-life stores for products. Fitzsimmons Bank created ZOGO as an educational tool to increase customers' financial awareness. 


Cashflow is a game designed to teach players about financial concepts like investing, budgeting, and managing money. In the game, players move around the board and decide how to invest their money and manage their expenses. Cashflow is also available in a digital format, and a version is more suited for kids.

A photo of the board game Cashflow
Photo from Humanitix

The goal is to achieve financial freedom by building passive income and escaping the "rat race," where you're stuck working to pay bills. It's a fun and interactive way to learn about finances and develop skills for real-life money management.

Dolphin Dash

This money counting and management game is one of over 300 from ABCYa. The company has educational learning games from Pre-K to 6th grade and makes material for all learning styles.

Start screen of the game Dolphin Dash by ABCYa

Dolphin Dash comes after the kids learn basic coin counting and value. It also teaches them how to use multiplication. Players can compete with other children in the classroom to see who can count money the fastest.

Animal Crossing

This life simulation game features adorable and quirky anthropomorphic characters. Players learn how to buy, sell, and invest using limited resources. The game starts with players taking out a loan to buy a house, which is a great starting point for further financial education. 

Financial Football

This game was created between the NFL and Visa to teach kids ages 11-18+ about important financial topics. Players compete in a football game, but the score is decided only when players answer multiple-choice questions based on budgeting, saving, investing, credit, and identity theft prevention.

Photo from Visa and NFL

Let’s get spending & saving!

Money will be a stressor for everyone at some point. However, there are resources to help you navigate the realities of the space and pick up genuine advice on managing finances better. Whether you are an adult or a kid, knowing how to handle finances is an essential life skill, and these games will help you understand the fundamental skills of money management. 

Are you curious about how games could help your industry? Reach out to us today; we can help bring your next project to life!