Financial literacy and money management are crucial life skills that teenagers need as they start to plan their future. According to GoHenry research, 51% of adults who learned about money management as children have at least £5,000 in savings. Meanwhile, 40% of adults who had no financial education in childhood have no savings and are more likely to get into debt. Fun games and money management activities can help you start the conversation with your teen and get them interested in developing their financial education.
Benefits of money management activities for teens
Good financial habits take time to develop. Money management activities can help reinforce what you teach your teenager about money and what they are learning through resources like GoHenry's Money Missions. The sooner your teen starts putting their money management skills into practice, the more time they'll have to develop them while still under your guidance.
5 money management activities
Here are five money management activities to help teenagers develop financial independence as they get older.
1. Reading a book
Financial basics: A money-management guide for students by Susan Knox (Ohio State University Press, 2004)
This book guides teenagers through the different aspects of money management, using examples and testimonials that young people can relate to. There are also helpful worksheets, tips for dealing with emotions, and practical budgeting and record-keeping techniques.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich (2nd Edition): No guilt, no excuses - just a 6-week programme that works by Ramit Sethi (Yellow Kite, 2020)
This is a great beginner's guide to all things money. This book takes a practical and non-judgement approach to money management to help teenagers get control of their finances and not the other way around.
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason (Berkley Books, 2008)
The teachings in this book may be old, but they are timeless and can be applied to teenagers planning to venture into the world independently. While it provides some important financial advice, the story's simplicity makes it fun and easy to read. It covers everything from making your money work for you, living below your means, tracking and protecting your wealth, to having a retirement plan.
2. Playing board games
Playing Monopoly is a fun way for teenagers to learn about both delayed gratification and planning for the future. The game is all about buying properties to collect rent and earn money later on. It can also help young people understand the value of saving money to afford expenses, as part of the game involves saving up to pay rent on the properties you land to avoid going bankrupt.
PayDay can help show your teenagers the reality of managing money and what it can be like to budget and save their money. The game puts players in real-life financial situations. Players get paid at the end of each month but must deal with everyday costs between paydays, such as food shopping, bills, and unexpected expenses. The winner of PayDay is whoever has the most money at the end of the game.
Related: Best money games for kids
3. Play online manager games
Football Manager is a strategic online game in which teenagers can manage a football team. Most importantly, they can learn that financial management is all about finding the balance between wants and needs. Players get a transfer budget to buy players. You must decide which players to get and how to avoid the team overspending or risk damaging the club's financial health. It's a great way of teaching teenagers about the importance of reviewing their finances before investing or spending money.
Hattrick is another online football manager game that puts you in charge of a club you want to take to the top of the league. To be successful, you need to plan effectively for the long term. You need to ensure you have money to invest in your youth facilities or buy an older star player who may boost your team's short-term performance.
4. Playing video games
The benefit of role-playing games is that they typically require teens to plan ahead and manage resources. The Sims can help teenagers understand that hard work, patience and saving will help them keep their finances in order and achieve their long-term goals. At the start of the game, players get a set budget they must grow by getting their character a job to afford to pay bills and buy things for the house. They create virtual characters who they must guide through everyday activities such as sleeping, socialising, eating and managing money.
5. Managing their own pocket money and rewards for chores
When teens can manage their own money, whether it's from pocket money or cash they've earned when they’ve been rewarded for doing chores, they can start to appreciate the value of money and put the financial skills they’ve learned into practice. Paying your teen's pocket money through GoHenry, enables them to set saving goals within the app and use their prepaid debit card to spend their money online, in stores or withdrawing cash from an ATM. Teens can also use the app to track their spending, helping them to budget until their next pocket money payment.
GoHenry can help your teenager manage their money
Whether your child is six and just started getting pocket money, or a teenager with a part-time job, GoHenry's mission is to make every kid smart with money. It's packed with great features that help teens learn about money, from saving to smart spending, safely and securely. In-app Money Missions makes learning about money fun and engaging with videos and quizzes covering everything from saving and investing to responsible spending, borrowing, giving, and more. Parents can support their teens through the GoHenry app by setting flexible parental controls and receiving real-time spending alerts whenever they use their GoHenry teen debit card. You can set your teen up with savings goals, set up recurring pocket money payments, or make one-off transfers to their account.