If you want your kids to learn about the value of money in a way that’s both educational and fun, then encourage them to download an app – or three.
Have your kids try different ones until they find the one they like the most.
This app lets kids experience what it’s like to be a virtual investor. They start off with a single lemonade stand and depending on how successful they are at managing this business they can acquire more complex companies, including banks and oil companies. They also learn important management lessons by having to hire managers and employees for their various companies.
Created by 11-year-old Dani Gafni and her father, Etay, for their own family’s needs, this app teaches kids how to save and budget their allowances and other sources of income. Kids open up virtual bank accounts where they set specific savings goals and then track their ability to reach those goals. It simulates real bank accounts by registering allowances as recurring payments and encouraging kids to balance their accounts.
FamZoo Family Finance
This app functions as a virtual bank. Parents are the “bankers” and the kids are the “customers.” The whole family is connected, so it’s easy to move money around. Aside from teaching kids how to save money and track their spending over time, parents can transfer real money to them with prepaid and reloadable debit cards. Other useful features include the ability to give your kids loans, and then teaching them how to pay back those loans in installments.
Age range: 5-8
Available at Apple App Store
This app functions like a virtual piggy bank where kids save for a special purchase. They can post pictures of it and keep track of how close they are to making that purchase. They open virtual accounts, with unique PIN numbers, to give them a sense for responsibility for and ownership of their money. As kids get closer to their goal, parents can contribute virtual money to help them achieve that goal.
This app teaches kids to keep track of how much money they have earned from their parents and how much money is still owed to them. Kids set savings goals and then see, through easy-to-use charts, how close they are to reaching those goals. The app includes a so-called “safe” option where kids can send money to a virtual safe, thereby teaching them to distinguish between short-term and long-term savings goals.
Star Banks Adventure
Age range: 5-12
Available at: Apple App Store
This app teaches kids more complex money management principles, including asset allocation, diversification, and the dangers of risky investments. Kids act as space aliens who perform various “jobs” for which they are paid. Other useful features include frequent, short quizzes on financial literacy concepts that allow them to earn extra money. Kids will learn how to save, spend wisely, invest and set financial goals.
written by Tanni Haas