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4 Best Free Educational (and Fun) Apps for Kids to Manage Money

By Suzanne Kearns

parents kids smartphone appsImagine what the world would look like if kids learned at a very early age not only how to handle money, but how to make the most of it. I imagine a diminished U.S. national debt, paid off cars and mortgages, and no such thing as credit card debt.

But that education would have to start early, and since not many of us had the luxury of learning the ins and outs of money while we were still young, that kind of world is still a pipe dream. Today’s kids, however, have the chance to be the generation that builds a more money-smart society. Kids are already learning from educational software programs and kids websites for money management, and fortunately, a few of the best finance apps are designed specifically for kids and their needs. Free and low-cost apps offer great help when you’re teaching your kids about money.

Below are some of the best apps for devices like the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Android smartphones.

Top 5 Money Apps for Kids

1. P2K Money

Price: Free
Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Features:

  • Budgeting tool
  • Savings tool
  • “Wish List” for tracking savings goals

p2k money

P2K is specifically geared toward kids’ simple financial needs. It teaches children to keep track of income like an allowance or payments for doing chores. It also offers cute motivational features such as the ability to include photos of wish list items and an option to view a history of purchases and decide whether they were worth the cost or not.

2. Kids Money

Price: Free
Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Features:

  • Long-term planning
  • Adjustable timelines

kids money app

Kids Money, by Apps Rocket, teaches your child about saving and planning for long-term purchases. When your kid finds a bigger-ticket item that they want to buy, like a bike or guitar, he or she will input the price of the item along with expected earnings. The program will help your kids evaluate – and meet – their goals.

For instance, if your child wants to buy a $200 bike item with a $20 weekly allowance, the app will report that it’ll take ten weeks of no spending to save enough money. And when other expenses come up, the program will subtract that amount and provide a new estimated purchase date.

3. Save! The Game

Price: Free
Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Features:

  • 3D interface
  • Integration with website

save the game

Mass Mutual developed Save! The Game to teach kids the difference between needs and wants. In this 3D virtual fantasy game, kids collect money and have to avoid losing it all to the “I wannas.” Conveniently, the game fits in well with Mass Mutual’s Time for Kids website, which has plenty of valuable money lessons for kids.

4. Bank of Mom

Price: $1.99
Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Features:

  • Virtual credit line
  • Parent-controlled virtual account
  • Manage multiple accounts

bank of mom

Designed by Gomu Gomu, the Bank of Mom app will teach your kids about lines of credit. You can give your kids a cash credit for their allowance or to pay them for chores. When they want to make a “withdrawal,” they request one from their “bank,” which you control. In addition, kids can bank time for leisure activities like watching TV, playing video games, or going to the mall with friends.

For instance, if your child raked the leaves, he or she can bank that time and then withdraw “credits” to use for time at the movies with friends. You can manage multiple accounts with the app, and even email transaction details to your kids.

Final Word

Teaching kids about money doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, with the right apps and games, money management can become your kid’s favorite subject.

Do you know of any great apps that I haven’t mentioned here? If so, share them in the comments so others can use them to teach their kids!

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Suzanne Kearns
Suzanne lives in Texas and has been a full-time freelance writer for 20 years. She’s written for numerous business and financial publications, both online and in traditional print media. She also owns her own small business and has a passion to help others achieve their dreams of financial independence. Her goal is to eventually work from a remote island that is equipped with Wi-Fi.

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  • http://www.growingrichkids.com Suzanne@GrowingRichKids

    I’ve also come across iAllowance and wrote a review here: http://www.growingrichkids.com/iallowance-for-iphone-and-ipad Thanks for the round-up, will check these other options out as well as the software and websites in your other articles. Great resources for us parents trying to raise kids to be smart about money today!

  • http://familymint.com Skip W.

    Great post Suzanne. You are absolutely right. You can’t start teaching kids too early about money and how to manage it. Another tool you might want to consider sharing with your readers that I have been using with my family is familymint.com. It’s an online money management and goal setting application for kids, where I the parent act as the banker. I really like that part. They just came out with a phone app that runs on any web enabled phone that makes it really easy to check balances and approve transactions when I’m not at home.
    Thanks!

  • http://www.famzoo.com Bill at FamZoo

    One of the issues with these standalone apps is that, since the data all resides on the device and not centrally on the net, they’re really single user – either the parent or the child. If you want a more collaborative financial learning experience where the parents and the kids can all use and share at once, you’ll want an app (like FamZoo!) that connects with an online allowance web site out on the Internet. This also means you won’t lose all your data if you lose your device or if something bad happens during an upgrade (read the reviews of these apps to see what some have encountered).

    That said, these apps are cool and sound excellent for standalone use.

  • http://www.Taradelaney.com Tara McCaghey-Delaney

    Hi Suzanne,

    This is great information! My kids ( 6 and 7) are saving for a trip to DisneyWorld…does that count? Oh BTW, Happy Belated Birthday! As always, I love reading your insight! Tara

  • Caleb Martin

    Another app to try is Bankaroo. Parents can deposit money into each child’s virtual bank from their phones/tablets, and the kids can view how much they have and take money out from their phones/tablets. A very good app to try!

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