Back in high school, we had to take classes like algebra, social studies, and wood shop, learning stuff that I’ve never had to use as an adult. But our school didn’t have any classes that taught us basic life skills, like balancing a checkbook or how to invest/manage money. Go figure!
Thankfully, there are plenty of resources on the Internet that can help you with managing your finances. Buying a house? The folks at Mortgage Calculator provide a wide range of useful tools, including a mortgage calculator that helps you estimate your monthly payments based on factors such as loan amount, interest rate, and term length.
Not only that, but they have a wide variety of fun and interactive entrepreneur, business, and money management games that are fun for kids and adults alike, and they’re free to play. Here are three of my favorites:
Real Estate Tycoon
In Real Estate Tycoon, the object of the game is to buy properties when prices are low and sell them when they’re high. It’s a very simplistic game that doesn’t have all the gritty details of the real estate market like borrowing money at interest, property cap rates, broader economic cycles and shifts in credit conditions, supply and demand across sectors, and so on. But if you’re looking to teach a kid the basics of real estate, this is a great way to spark their interest. I played this with my 4-year old niece, and she picked up on it pretty easily.
As you get further along in the game, it gets more challenging, as you’re managing multiple properties and need to keep track of what you bought for what price and such so that you’re able to sell at a profit and not at a loss. Pro tip, focus on the more expensive buildings at that point, as there are better profit margins and they’re easier to keep track of.
This game has 3 modes. In Career Mode, you start with a small sum of money and reach a final goal amount on each level by repeatedly trading properties. In Time Trial Mode, you try to reach an earnings goal within a limited period of time. And in Endless Mode, you buy and sell endlessly in an idle game with no time limit or earnings goal.
Tap Supermarket is a fun grocery store simulator where you manage stocking a grocery store, check out customers, and using profits to expand your product line. While most of us don’t really think about what actually goes into running a grocery store, this game shows you that there are a lot of moving pieces, requiring you to check out customers quickly, restock items, use profits to expand your store inventory, add more cashiers/checkout lanes, and more.
Again, the game is a bit simplistic in nature, but its geared towards a younger age group. My niece had fun with this one as well, though I don’t think she quite grasped everything that was going on, instead pointing to the different fruits and laughing at the cash register sound when checking a customer out. She still had a good time though.
Farm Town is a complex farming and food production clicker sim that lets you get your Old McDonald on. In it, you have to plant seeds, harvest crops, and raise animals. Once enough time has passed, you can then sell your production to the town market, using your earnings to buy more seeds, purchase commercial culinary equipment, and research new food production techniques.
From there, you take your raw commodities and run them through your kitchen to turn them into intermediate and finished goods. There are a whopping 40 levels, and each level has a unique goal which can range from cash earned to creating a specific quantity of certain food items. Reach the level goal on each stage to unlock the next.
It’s a fun little clicker that will suck you in, so it’s best to keep an eye on the clock so you don’t lose track of time. We shop in grocery stores, but rarely do we think about where this food comes from and how it was made, so this game gives you a little glimpse into that process.
These are just a few of the many games available on Mortgage Calculator’s games page, so be sure to take a look on there for any games that might pique your interest. Have fun!