For Teachers

Money Activities & Games for 12th Graders

Here are fun and educational money activities and games you can play with your 12th grade students.


Well, teachers and homeschoolers, this is it: your students are in their final year of high school, ready to move into the next phase of their lives. Hopefully, they have received a stellar money education throughout their academic careers, and now it’s time to finish strong! According to the National Standards for Personal Financial Education, students should understand earning income, spending, saving, investing, managing credit, and managing risk in this grade. Your curriculum this year is essential to their future, so if you are struggling to find appropriate lesson plans, please head over to the 12th grade money lesson plans page to download all you need!

If you want to enhance your lessons, supplement them with different approaches, or review key concepts as the year unfolds, money games and activities are excellent additions. Whether you need to go a little deeper into specific topics, have your learners practice critical abilities, or assess your students to see where they stand with various skills, games, and activities will do wonders. You will find many exercises, but the best ones provide real-world applications and skills these young adults can use immediately. Here are the best of the best!

Online Games

Many of the top-notch games found here work with all levels of high school, and some students may have seen them in previous grades, but teachers can adapt them to challenge and work well with their 12th-grade students. These proven and tested games have the most impact: your students will enjoy playing them, and you will like the results for your financial education classroom.

Financial Football

Your 12th-graders get to work in teams or individually to solve financial problems and move down the football field in this game. Teachers can adjust the level of gameplay, choosing between Rookie for young kids, Pro for mid-tier students, and Hall of Fame for your high school seniors. The fun layout, depth of economic questioning, sports connections with authentic NFL football team names and colors, and quick feedback and rewards will make this game a winner in your classroom. 

Shady Sam

This popular game pits loan sharks against vulnerable customers, but with a twist: your students are the loan sharks. They get to twist truths and advertise sneakily to draw customers to their high-interest loans, making the most profit possible at the uninformed consumer’s expense. This exercise is excellent for young adults as they will soon be taking loans out for college, cars, and homes, and they should be aware of shifty lending practices.

Claim Your Future

This game is hard to beat for your seniors, as it combines gameplay about career exploration, financial decision-making, and the economic impact of post-secondary education and training. It is an in-depth activity that you can tailor to individual students’ levels, where they can explore the pathways they want to take in the future. It is an outstanding tool for independent work and small groups, giving your students a practical way to look into careers, what they pay, and how they can budget with those specific salaries.

The Payoff

Your 12th-graders will enjoy this immersive game as they get to control two teenage video bloggers trying to win big. They face crucial financial decisions that can make or break their success, and your students have to decide their fate using their money knowledge. This game is a dynamic assessment tool for teachers to check if their kids can handle high-pressure, high-impact financial situations by making the correct choices.

The Uber Game

Today’s professional landscape looks a lot different than it did only a decade ago. Instead of going to school and training for long periods, students can now jump right into the gig economy. Many online videos show all the success stories of young professionals making it big taking this path. However, this game highlights the reality of these jobs, planting the seed that your 12th-graders may want more than what these jobs can offer, and they may not be as “easy money” as they thought.

Lights, Camera, Budget!

This game gives students the chance to play a Hollywood producer, the driving force behind the next epic movie, who needs to spend his budget wisely and efficiently. This activity is excellent for reviewing budgeting, showing learners they need to prioritize their expenses no matter what industry they go into as a career. If your students make all the correct financial decisions, their film will garner 5-star reviews, and they will win the game, but more importantly, they can be proud they made sound economic choices. 

FICO Score Estimator

This interactive site is ideal if teachers need a practical and ready-to-use tool that students can use now. Students can answer various questions and play with the answers to see how different variables affect their credit scores. They study credit management in 12th grade, and this is a quick and straightforward way to see if your students understand the topic. They will have fun finding what makes different credit scores.

Cat Insanity

Your students are likely considering taking out a loan soon, whether for school or a car, right after high school. The interest rate on that loan matters significantly, and this game will show your learners how dramatically compounding interest impacts their balance. This activity is brief and tangible to show how students should be careful when they consider getting a loan.

In-Person Activities

In addition to these money education games, you can have your students work with paper and pencil activities. These activities are sure to help your students in their money education! Many valuable exercises are available, focusing on the core topics your 12th-graders learn this year. 

Creating a Buying Plan

That old saying – “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” – is particularly true with significant purchases. This worksheet walks your 12th-grader learners through the steps of making a purchase, having them reflect on why they buy items and how to narrow down choices. These habits will help your young adults as they enter their next chapter.

Monthly Budget Tool

Budgeting is a critical skill, but sometimes students oversimplify the process or forget minor expenses. This downloadable sheet offers kids a clear and organized layout to detail their budgets, helping them see how much they need to spend in a month and how much they should save.

Creating a Savings First Aid Kit

No matter how well we plan, things go wrong with our finances, but how we handle those mishaps determines our eventual success. This activity requires students to brainstorm negative things that could happen and how they can prepare for those situations. It leads to emergency funds and savings; individuals can tailor the sheet to fit their lives and circumstances.

Reflecting on Needs and Wants

Your students have learned about needs and wants since early elementary school, but now, in 12th grade, it’s crunch time. They are embarking on a journey into the real world, and they will need to actually spend their hard-earned money, deciding which goods and services they will purchase. This sheet walks them through the decision, helping them make proper choices.

Saving Each Payday

Many financial gurus say to “pay yourself first,” and there’s a reason that saying is so often repeated. This worksheet shows your students no matter how much they make, they should dedicate some of it to their savings each paycheck. This step is essential for wealth accumulation, and your 12th-graders will thank you for this activity in the future.

Managing a Checking Account

Although many transactions today are digital, your students still need to know how to write checks, balance a checkbook, and input transactions by hand. This mini-lesson shows kids how to do all these things with hands-on practice, making it a fantastic activity for independent learners to work on practical skills.

Paycheck Math

Many times, paychecks can be confusing, even for adults. Having your students break down what is displayed in a typical paycheck is an excellent exercise for them to perform. As an extension, they can add these numbers to other budgeting activities and worksheets they complete, using actual data to calculate income and expenses.

Credit Card Comparison

Right out of high school, students will face multiple credit card offers and need to know which, if any, are right for them. This independent research activity requires students to look into various credit cards, including traditional versions and store cards, and compare their offers and terms. Some cards tempt applicants with airline miles, rewards, and free perks, while others waive annual fees, and students should be able to decide what is best for their situations. 

Decision Making Process

In this activity, students read about various financial situations and make decisions that best benefit them. The good part about this worksheet is it requires evaluation. Students need to identify all the pertinent information, come up with alternatives, and decide if and why their solution was the best. This skill will come in useful and help them achieve financial success.

About the Author

Peter Brown

Peter Brown is a National Board Certified teacher with over two decades of experience in the classroom. He loves working with students of all ages in many subjects, but particularly in practical areas like money education, to help kids achieve their goals. When he is not teaching or writing about financial literacy, you can find him surfing, hiking, skiing, or traveling to new places.

Last updated on: May 15, 2024