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Play games to learn about money and investing

If going to classes to learn about managing money and investing seems too difficult, there is an easier way to pick up the basics. Playing games can help you learn to manage your money and invest better, even if they do not provide as much in-depth knowledge as classes.

Build Your Stax is one of several games that can help players learn about investing.

Build Your Stax is one of several games that can help players learn about investing.

If going to classes to learn about managing money and investing seems too difficult, there is an easier way to pick up the basics.

Playing games can help you learn to manage your money and invest better, even though they do not provide as much in-depth knowledge as classes.


The first step towards building good money habits is to learn about budgeting, managing your spending and making good decisions about big purchases.

A good place to start if you are using games is with ones that focus on basic money management, for example, The Game of Life.

Continually updated since its launch over a century ago in 1860 and now in a mobile application, The Game of Life takes you from university through retirement, with stops along the way for milestones such as getting a job and raising a family.

You will experience the consequences of making various financial decisions.  

A similar game designed specifically for Singapore is the WhyMoolah app.

You will make financial decisions ranging from daily purchases and balancing your budget to buying a house and getting married.

Decisions related to the Central Provident Fund (CPF), taxes, buying a government-built flat, housing grants and more are designed for Singapore.

While there are some criticisms that the app has some bugs, it can be useful for considering a variety of financial decisions.

After you are familiar with the basics, you can move on to games that help you to get ahead.

Cashflow 101, a board game from finance guru Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad group, can help you learn to escape the rat race of daily life by raising your passive income and using your expertise.

You will be assigned an occupation, starting salary, debt level and other expenses, and you will have to use different strategies to succeed. 

The goal of using these games is to get insights into how to manage your money and make essential decisions.

While most of the games and apps are not free, the cost can be lower than taking a course.

Once you have enhanced your money management skills by playing these games, you can move on to listen to podcasts or take courses that give more insights into budgeting, spending and saving.


The next step, once you understand how to manage your money better, is to learn more about investing.

Although many games deal with trading stocks rather than the more important concept of long-term investing, several games can help you learn to invest for longer-term goals.

Build Your Stax, for instance, compresses 20 years of investing into less than an hour.

After starting with a small amount in your savings account, you can grow your wealth by investing in anything from index funds or certificates of deposit to individual stocks and bonds.

You can also build your skills by learning about the investments using online modules.

Another is Wall Street Survivor, where you invest fake money in real companies.

It is focused on companies in the United States but the same principles can apply here.

You will start with US$10,000 (S$14,150) or more and invest it, learning along the way from guides that can help you build your skills.

The Australian Stock Exchange has a free online game, Sharemarket, that focuses on Australia yet helps you to learn about investing in shares anywhere.

You may use your A$50,000 (S$43,590) in virtual cash to buy and sell shares in more than 200 companies listed on the stock exchange.

The goal for playing these games is to learn about investing and gain insights into how to manage a portfolio of investments. If the games pique your interest, you can take courses or listen to podcasts to learn more.


Along with building an investment portfolio to secure their financial future, many people dream of starting their own business. There are games to help you learn about that, too.

The Project Highrise app, for example, can help you learn about becoming a property tycoon. 

You will build and manage your own high-rise tower, then add restaurants, stores, apartments and offices while trying to balance the budget and keep your tenants happy. 

For something totally different, the Fiz app lets you start a brewery and grow it into a business that crafts the best beer in the world.

You research marketplaces and festivals to learn what people want, then brew beer using realistic ingredients. At the same time, you will manage your profits, hire new employees, upgrade equipment and find new recipes.

To help learn to manage a business, the Big Chief app lets you handle seemingly brilliant ideas from your employees that range from stupid or illegal to outstanding and ground-breaking.

By saying yes or no, you will learn how to select ideas that affect customers, employees and shareholders.


While the games may be fun to play, a key question is whether they really help you learn. Although research is still in the early stages, studies show that they can help.

Assistant Professor Qian Meihua and researcher Karen Clark of the Clemson University in the US found that in a meta-study, for instance, a game-based learning approach can be effective in facilitating students’ 21st-century skill development.

Research by Dr Patrick Turner from the University of Montana in the US found that digital games provide an authentic context for skills acquisition. Other studies are showing similar results.

While you won’t necessarily become an expert money manager or investor solely by playing games, they can be a fun way to progress on the path towards financial success by learning the basics of money management and investing.

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