Many of the lessons that I learned as a kid from my parents revolved around what not to do with money, and a few days in Home Economics class covered how to write a check with a bit of why budgeting is important to learn as an adult.
If we want to raise independent kids that grow up to be self-reliant adults, teaching basic money management using budgeting and allowance apps is a great first step! FinTech (financial technology) has made it easy to teach kids in fun and engaging ways!
Let’s check out the best tools to help parents manage allowance, teach budgeting for kids, savings, investments, wise spending, and giving!
Best Budgeting and Allowance Apps for Kids
Most of the apps suggested are intended for use by kids ages 6-12, but you know your child best and what they are capable of understanding. When choosing an app, consider the following:
- What are you using the app for?
- How often do you plan on giving your kids an allowance? Some parents offer weekly, biweekly, or monthly stipends to kids for budgeting purposes. Consistency is key.
- Where does your child stand on understanding personal finance?
- Are you helping your child with both short-term and long-term savings goals?
- Do you plan on helping them start an investment account?
- How do you plan on teaching them to spend and save responsibly?
Answering these questions before evaluating apps will help you find the best app for your family’s needs and what you want to teach your child about money. Each app has pros and cons, so it might be wise to use a few apps to get the best financial picture of your children’s accounts while teaching the basic fundamentals of money management.
The creators of goHenry partnered with Mastercard and is a debit card financial app that is intended for kids ages 6 to 18. The debit card is structured with overdraft protection and parental controls, so teaching financial literacy skills to kids is done in real-time with practical, real-world scenarios.
Send personalized links from the app to loved ones that want to gift your kids with money for holidays, birthdays, or special occasions. This account is insured by the FDIC, and parents can assign family tasks to each child. The child can check off tasks as they are completed. Teach kids to set savings goals and track their spending. The cost is $3.99 per month for the whole family.
Check out Lucia’s GoHenry review!
This is another comprehensive allowance app that gives kids the ability to move their money into savings, spending, and giving accounts. Parents can schedule allowances and family tasks. Kids can each have a debit card with their allowance added to it by their parents and IOUs for money that parents are setting aside for kids for other things like long-term savings.
One feature allows for compound interest to be paid so kids can see their savings grow. Set savings goals with your kids or charge kids interest on money they borrow from you. The cost of this app is between $2.50 and $4.50.
Check out Lucia’s FamZoo review!
This app is considered by financial experts to be the most comprehensive app for family finance that’s available on the market today. The basic offering is free as a virtual dashboard and can be used for kids as young as 3 years old. A free app is a great opportunity for those who prefer not to have a multitude of paid subscriptions that are due monthly. Rooster Plus costs $18.99 for the year but can be used by the whole family for assigned household tasks to setting saving goals.
The focus is on the Spend/Save/Give approach to money management, and parents can set up compound interest rates to give kids incentives to save their money. For younger children that don’t yet understand currency, parents can set stars that provide motivation for children to save to watch the account grow. As children grow, parents can have household bills or subscriptions paid for by this account to show children how to pay bills consistently.
This allowance tracker focuses on the Save/Spend/Share approach to managing money and helps kids set specific savings goals. They can include some pictures to provide motivation to meet those goals. The app is free but doesn’t have the option to assign household tasks yet. The app’s simplicity makes this an ideal use for younger children, and fun graphics make this engaging enough to want to stay involved with it.
The benefit of this app is that parents can set up either one-time payments or recurring payments to kids for allowance. Funds can be viewed or transferred virtually with the paid version of the app. Savings goals can’t be tracked, and budgeting isn’t easy with this one. There is a free version or a paid version that costs 99 cents. The paid version allows families to use the app for multiple devices and multiple children.
This app has partnered with banks, so real money is being transferred and deposited into their accounts. Kids are given a debit card to learn how to budget their funds. Parents can schedule money to be auto-deposited into accounts weekly, biweekly, or monthly with free transfers. The app offers parents the flexibility of knowing when kids have spent money, block specific merchants, or set spending limits for the kids’ debit cards.
The monthly fee covers the entire family, and kids are provided with a debit card recognized by major ATM providers. This app allows parents to set spending limits and receive alerts when money has been spent. Each account is broken into three pieces for spending, giving, and saving.
Family members can be assigned family tasks, and allowances can be set on a schedule to be auto deposited into the debit card account. Children over 13 can use Apple Pay through the app, and those over 16 can use Google Pay.
One other notable feature is that this account can be attached to a brokerage account that is managed by the parent, but kids can witness every trade that is made within the account. This starts conversations about investing and how trading works within a brokerage account.
Head to Lucia’s Greenlight debit card review for more info!
Intended for kids ages 5 to 14, this app was created by an 11-year-old and his dad! This has replaced the piggy bank and allows kids to see how much money they have in their account when they want to spend money at the store rather than keeping track of how much is in the piggy bank that’s back at home. This app allows users with iOS, Android, Kindle, and the website. Set goals and establish saving targets, but this can’t assign family tasks. The membership options vary from free to $4.99 per month.
Many adults already have an account with this platform that allows us to save, spend, and invest small amounts of money with each transaction made from your debit card that is rounded up to the next dollar. Now, it’s possible to open your child’s account in about 3 minutes using Acorns Early.
This app allows parents to start all of their children with a UTMA or UGMA that can be transferred to the child when they have reached a mature age. Actual funds are kept in real investment accounts with a real brokerage. The cost for this is $5 per month.
Budgeting and allowance apps for kids are the best way to teach kids about money management using real-world scenarios and real money. Kids as young as three years old can grasp financial concepts and start to grow their savings, spending, and giving accounts.
These apps help parents teach key financial lessons in ways that kids can relate to while giving parents the ability to control what money is spent and on what items.
One of the best things a parent can do for their kids is teaching healthy money management and financial literacy. I wasn’t taught anything about personal finance as a kid. The only thing I knew about money was that I needed it to buy food, and I wanted to make enough of it to buy enough food for my siblings and I so we wouldn’t have to worry anymore about eating.
Financial lessons stick with kids for a lifetime, and you never know exactly what kids will remember about their childhood so be mindful of how you speak about money in front of your kids. Use these apps to teach those positive habits that our parents should have taught us but didn’t have the skills to. Now, we have access to these amazing tools that can guide us through teaching our kids about money and setting savings goals with an allowance!