3 Excellent Games That Encourage Better Financial Decisions

3 Excellent Games That Encourage Better Financial Decisions

Due to the widespread popularity of smartphones, mobile gaming has become one of the largest industries in the world. People turn to games for a fun distraction throughout the day or to pass the time while riding on the bus, waiting in line, or engaging in a range of other passive activities. Many of these games educate people about a wide variety of topics, including financial literacy and building financial independence. These sorts of games are great because they can teach basic financial principles to people of all ages in a low-stakes environment and even make learning about something as mundane as personal finance entertaining.

Some popular personal finance mobile games include the following:

  1. Credit Stacker

This app receives funding from both government agencies and advertisers, which allows people to play Credit Stacker for free. Currently, individuals can download the app in dozens of countries around the world and play it in four different languages. Already, the game has seen more than 24,000 free downloads. What makes Credit Stacker so impressive is that it has been tested by people from the ages of 4 to 80. It has also received glowing reviews from gaming experts who think that the platform is so unique and engaging that it will be around for generations into the future.


Credit Stacker uses gamification techniques to build modules about particular issues in personal finance, such as banking, investing, saving, budgeting, and paying taxes. In addition, the game handles more advanced topics like real estate, academic planning, career readiness, and financial aid. This versatility means that young children can use it to build a strong foundation for later independence and adults can play to learn about saving for retirement.

So far, Credit Stacker has amassed a long list of awards. The Department of Education named it the best Learning Game in the country, and former First Lady Michelle Obama recognized it as America’s best financial literacy product. JPMorgan Chase awarded the company behind Credit Stacker $10,000 for its ability to reduce worldwide poverty through its platform, and the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools put the company on its top-10 list of best ed-tech organizations of 2015.

  1. Long Game

Generating a lot of buzz this year, Long Game takes a different approach to personal finance. Instead of focusing primarily on financial education, Long Game tries to make saving fun by connecting it to games. Many budgeting and savings apps exist, but Long Game turns the process into a fun experience that encourages people to develop better habits over time. Plus, Long Game builds in the possibility of winning more money to further boost a user’s personal savings.


Long Game’s creator said that her inspiration came from the lottery. Many people who have no savings are willing to risk their money for a very small chance of winning a big return, and typical lottery-playing households spend $1,400 every year on tickets. Long Game lets these individuals use their money more wisely. When people save through the app, they earn tokens that they can then use on games like slot machines and spin-to-win boards. Saving more money means earning more tokens to use to try winning more money. With the chance of winning $1 million, people have plenty of incentive to keep coming back to the app. Plus, by referring friends to the app, individuals can gain access to exclusive games.

So far, Long Game has more than 70,000 users who play an average of 24 times each week. Through a partnership with Blue Ridge Bank, users can also earn a decent amount of interest on the money that they save using the app.

  1. Payback

A web-based game rather than a mobile app, Payback helps individuals learn about paying for college so that they can make the right decisions regarding their education. In the simulation-based game, users see a running total of the debt they have amassed based on their decisions. In addition, the game looks at network building and academic focuses to help predict a player’s future happiness. Both of these factors are critical for finding a rewarding job after graduation that will actually help pay back loans.

Payback uses a similar platform to Spent, a game designed that shows individuals what it is like to live in poverty. In Payback, people decide which schools to attend, what jobs to hold during college, and how many hours to work. Players can also make other real-life decisions, such as whether to join a fraternity or sorority. While this decision will cost money, it can also develop important connections.

The Payback platform is largely designed for high school students and could become part of a larger class on personal finance and financial responsibility. Many students do not understand how the decisions they make will affect them down the line and are shocked when it comes time to pay back student loans. Games like Payback can help people make decisions that set them up for future success.