The cost of college and tuition fees have exponentially increased in the past year. This has resulted in an increased need for student loans. Research supported by Forbes states that more than half the students leave college with the burden of student debts on them. Although there are several scholarships available for meritorious students such as music scholarship, architecture scholarship, environmental scholarship, mechanical engineering scholarship, nursing scholarship, and more. However, there has been an emphasis on the need for students to be financially literate.
Being financially literate helps in managing not only student loans but other forms of loans such as credit cards, having the ability to save money, understanding the needs and wants, paying bills on time, and planning out retirement.
Having identified the need of the hour, TheHighSchooler has curated this article of 8 online games that identify various areas that students need to be familiar with for a better and financially stable future. Read on to know more!
How does being financially literate help?
Here are some of the key benefits that students are privileged to have if they are financially literate.
- Being prepared for emergencies
Come what may, but if you have some savings set aside, you can soar through the emergency. Be it losing a job due to inflation, or an emergency on the health front, you have yourself covered.
- Short-term and long-term future goals are easily accessible
While it may be enrolling for a skilled course or getting yourself a new laptop, we do have some things on our list for ourselves or our loved ones which we wish to fulfill in the future. With a little financial preparedness, you can always look to fulfill your short-term and long-term future goals.
- Instillation of self-confidence and a sense of freedom
No doubt money boosts your self-confidence and does give you the freedom to live your life.
Kick in some lessons on financial literacy with these online games
1. Claim your future – Decide a career that can afford your lifestyle
The claim your future is a game that helps students decide on the career they would want to pursue. Not just that, but it takes them through the earnings offered by their career choice, the possible expenditures, and more. In short, it gives a clear picture of how life can be at 25 with your choice of career.
After giving out basic details like residential state, and grade, students are shown a series of 10 Multiple Choice Questions based on daily expenses and personal finance, after which they are shown two options:
Option 1: This is a career that the AI has chosen based on the responses given by the student.
Option 2: Choose Your Career.
For option 2, students must imagine themselves at 25 years and think of the passions, hobbies, and interests they would like to have. The purpose of this is to decide on a career that can help them afford the lifestyle they have chosen. The dropdown contains a list of career choices for students to choose from. Each career choice takes the students through a series of slides that talk about possible expenses such as food, housing, commute, and other essentials.
These will give students a rough idea about the possible income they can expect, the amount they should invest into essentials like housing, food, etc, and also the amount they should be saving.
2. The Uber game – Learn what it is to live from paycheck to paycheck
Created by Financial Times, the Uber game is a famous financial literacy game for high school students. Students have to play as full-time Uber drivers. The driver has the responsibility of a mortgage and two kids. This game focuses on the financial hardships faced by people who rely on the gig economy for a living.
The game starts with students selecting between an easy and a hard mode. The challenges and complexity differ based on the selection made. This interactive game puts you through situations such as making a tough choice between attending a party with your mates or doing overtime to earn enough for your weekly mortgage.
The situations depict real-life scenarios that teach you personal budgeting lessons. It has an emotional touch because at times you have to give away some extra time with your son over the weekend and drive 30 minutes away to chase a 3x surge.
The game has been developed after dozens of interviews with Uber drivers based out of San Francisco and is perfect for students who aim to make a living out of the gig economy!
3. Credit Clash – Learn all that you need to know about credit score
A credit score allows for financial institutions to check an individual’s ability to pay off debts. In other words, it is a risk assessment tool for financial institutions to assess an individual on the financial front. There are several factors that go into maintaining a healthy credit score.
Discussing all these factors and the consequences of a bad credit score is the game ‘Credit Clash.’ This interactive strategy game, designed by NGPF teaches everything one needs to know about credit scores. Students need to battle their way through to earn and maintain a healthy credit score.
Students get an opportunity to understand a plethora of things such as why and how they must not open another loan until they have paid off the first one, and how there is a difference in earning and paying the interest charges through a credit card.
The main takeaway is that students learn that they must adjust their spending according to their salary and not churn out excessive loans and credit cards.
4. Balance my Budget – Learn to differentiate between needs and wants
Personal financing and budgeting is an important aspect of every individual’s life. Personal financing and budgeting help an individual make informed decisions so that they can make the most of their earnings. Through the game ‘Balance my Budget’ students will learn how they can become responsible adults when it comes to personal savings.
This interactive animation-based game begins with an allocated budget, and the definitions of ‘need’, ‘want’, ‘give’ and ‘save’ as you hover your mouse over these words. The needs are described, and the students need to drag the requirements over the placard that reads ‘needs’ and ensure that the budget is balanced.
Once the needs are met, students can decide between the ‘wants’, ‘give’, and ‘save’ but they need to ensure they do not run in negative money. The game is simple and helps students understand why it is important to always balance out the budget and choose between need, want, give, and save.
5. The Bummer Game – Learn about the types of insurance
Staying insured is one of the most important tasks of an employed youth. Besides, insurance is not limited to the self and comes in a variety of forms. For example, there is something called ‘pet insurance’ for those who have pets.
In this interactive wheel spinner game, students can learn about various types of insurance. The game begins with the pet insurance, where the student is a dog parent. The general coverage is shown, which describes the deductible, the limit, and the premium that must be borne. There are various tabs such as general, moderate, enhanced, and deluxe with differing insurance components.
After deciding the policy, students must go ahead and spin the wheel. The wheel encompasses various scenarios that depict real-life situations such as our dog having eaten a set of rocks. In this case, the dog needs to be rushed to the vet. The deductibles and other components take a hit.
Some ‘generous’ scenarios may turn out to give you bonuses, and also throw surprise questions at you, which when answered correctly, fetch you money. The goal is to survive through 4 rounds of spin. If you did, then you move on to the next type of insurance, and you gotta keep up with 4 rounds.
6. Influenc’d – Learn to manage money as an entrepreneur
The gig culture has given rise to a great career alternative, called influencer. As the name suggests, influencers influence the general public about a product or service, sometimes their own, or owned by third-party businesses.
‘Influenc’d take a dig at those suffering in their routine 9-5 jobs. It promotes the side hustle culture, where with a few social media followers and some savings, people can make a living. It takes students through the process of making money by being an influencer and balancing their finances with every step they take to promote and grow their business. The game does take you through harsh realities such as scenarios where you opt for a brand collab and the brand ghosts you after you have promoted them.
The game begins with some goal setting that must be achieved in order to create the right momentum. Accomplishing each goal awards some bonuses, be it monetary or in terms of more social media views.
Students have to toggle through weeks ensuring they have completed the tasks mentioned in the ‘to-do’ lists. Each task results in them either gaining followers and money or losing both of them. The takeaway is that the hustle culture promises freedom from an annoying boss but has its drawbacks.
7. Shady Sam – Learn about the risks of drawing loans from loan sharks
Want to take a vacation, or afford that luxury? Personal loans are the go-to. However, most people do not analyze the terms and conditions that come enclosed with the personal loan. This scenario is however not limited to personal loans alone.
In this ‘shady’ game called ‘Shady Sam’ students work for a loan shark and must provide loans to people who mostly cannot rely on banks or financial institutions due to many reasons, one of them being a bad credit score.
Although students cannot refuse any of the borrowers, they get to mess up with the rate of interest and other attached conditions. The borrowers seem to accept just any kind of deal because they do not correctly assess the terms and conditions that come enclosed with the loans.
Through Shady Sam, students get to see the picture from the other side of the table. They get a chance to see how loan sharks exploit people for money, and also how not analyzing the terms and conditions properly leads to a much greater financial mess.
8. Time for payback – Learn how to manage student loans and debts efficiently
Student loans can be a real pain if not managed well. The debts can increase and it can become difficult to manage studies and part-time jobs. Hence, it becomes crucial to manage student debts and ensure they are paid off well in time.
In ‘Time for Payback’ students make decisions that impact their student loans. It can mean sacrificing a party to do overtime at the evening job, or going to a community college instead of a private one!
Paying for college is an important aspect that usually no school teaches you. You are on your own when it comes to student loans. With this decision-making game, students can assess real-life scenarios and what impact they have on student debts.
There are only two ways how the game ends: you either soar high through your debt or plummet low and succumb to it!
Besides an interactive session of games to teach financial literacy, ensure that students start early! Because the earlier they begin, the better it becomes for them to manage their finances. Another great way to catalyze this process is to ensure that financial literacy is taught using everyday scenarios or some paycheck activities. Also, it is not sufficient if students are exposed to financial literacy only at schools. Including parents and guardians can bring in a sense of belonging and students may learn the pillars to financial stability sooner than later.
Having a 10+ years of experience in teaching little budding learners, I am now working as a soft skills and IELTS trainers. Having spent my share of time with high schoolers, I understand their fears about the future. At the same time, my experience has helped me foster plenty of strategies that can make their 4 years of high school blissful. Furthermore, I have worked intensely on helping these young adults bloom into successful adults by training them for their dream colleges. Through my blogs, I intend to help parents, educators and students in making these years joyful and prosperous.