There’s an app for that.
Yep, you can find just about anything you want, or think you need, in app form these days. Unfortunately, there’s also quite a lot in the mix that you might not want, too. Along with apps that can suck away a young person’s attention and time, you can stumble upon unexpected bloatware, adware, tracking software … even questionable connections to China.
However, Mom and Dad can also find some nice little apps that are not only very family friendly and usable, they even teach some good applicable lessons. And that includes tools that can help kids and teens learn how to earn, save and use their own dollars and cents. So let’s look at a handful of “money apps” that might just find a comfy home on your young one’s phone.
Let’s start by simply identifying what money looks like for the youngsters in the crowd.
It doesn’t get more basic than helping kids count coins. And if you don’t have a family coin jar to work with, this free app could be helpful. It’s actually a game that gets young kids to help Peter Pig count and sort coins. And it can help them develop important money skills and learn to make purchases within a budget. You can find this for both iOS and Android phones.
Then, how about a nice allowance interface for parents and kids who are a bit older? It’s called, of all things …
This handy little app for both iOS and Android helps parents set up and keep track of kids’ chores and then pay out weekly allowances or rewards with an easy-to-use interface. The app is free, but you can also pay a small monthly fee if you want to set it up over multiple devices and for multiple kids.
Here’s another app that helps families keep track of allowances, chores and savings goals. There’s no bank account connection or pre-paid cards involved, just a good way to teach children about saving, spending, and earning money towards goals through work and good behavior. Kids can see a history of their spending and watch their savings grow over time via a parent-controlled IOU account. Available for iOS or Android. It’s free with the option of a small subscription premium version that offers more functionality.
This app kicks things up a notch and gives the tools for an IOU account that’s held elsewhere by mom and dad or a prepaid card account with a debit card that parents can load with money for their kids’ use (with no risk of overdraft). Kids can divide their earnings into “spend,” “save,” and “give” (tithe) categories. And the app ties chores or odd jobs to rewards or penalties; helps kids set savings goals; tracks money requests; and schedules automated debits when kids are required to pay for regular expenses, such as their tithe or cell phone. The app is free to download, but there are monthly fees for some of the features.
Want to take things even further for that responsible young teen in your life? You might want to consider …
This app/debit card set-up takes the financial-world toe-dipping even further. Parents can set chores with direct-deposit payouts and spending limits. Through the account, kids can set aside money into save, spend, give and invest. That’s right, I said invest. This app can help teens research stocks and work on the idea of building long-term wealth. The app is downloadable for all phones and has subscription fees that range from $4.99 to $14.99 per month, depending on the benefits your family desires.
We all know that the love of money is the root of all evil. But handling money wisely? That’s important stuff. And these apps just might help that wisdom along.