With families settling into their back to school routines,we thought it would be a good time to share some thoughts on teaching kids about money management.
Life throws many challenges at kids as they grow up and one that is becoming more and more important is navigating the financial side of things – dealing with money in an ever-changing world. With the advent of wireless-based technology, even from an alarmingly young age, children do everything online, most likely via a mobile device. Even an internet browser is old news for many youngsters. What is a parent to do?
There are literally hundreds of money-related apps, and it seems like more are being developed every day. Which ones are good for kids, and which ones are good for parents to teach their kids?
There are several types of money apps available, and their practical use depends on the child. Some kids can learn values through App based games. There are also more proactive ways that kids can use Apps to manage pocket money themselves.
Some include specific chores or jobs that can be entered in and ‘ticked off’ as they are complete each week or month, further teaching your children about the responsibility of earning their rewards. This in turn adds up their pocket money for a handout at payday – whether that payday is captured virtually or actually depends on the App you choose.
Here’s a list of just a few ‘pocket money’ based Apps, encouraging children to learn via their own choices.
- Money4Jobs – this App helps parents and children to join forces in creating a list of ways to earn pocket money or a weekly allowance and keep track of their progress.
- Chore list – This is a simple chore tracker where parents can set up a chore list and assign a monetary value to each chore. When a child completes a chore, parents can simply check off the chore and the value of the chore is added to that child’s virtual account.
- Kids Money – good for creating a wish list or savings goals to work towards, Kids Money is a playful way to teach children about savings and pocket money management.
- Bankaroo – This is a virtual bank for parents and their children. Parents can manage their kids’ funds, and teach them about the value of money by helping them save for their goals.
- PayPig – Helps parents teach kids to learn about saving and working towards goals by helping parents set up chores, a time frame and a reward amount for kids to complete chores. The Pay Pig App goes another step further, being able to link to a Westpac Mobile Banking log in to allow payment to a childs bank account.
Here are a couple of game based Apps that help to teach the value of money and savings.
- Savings Spree – This is a game that introduces the concept of earning money for the work that’s available and also guides the child through making choices with the money accumulated during the game. The game also demonstrates that events beyond one’s control can cost money, so it’s good a good idea to have a rainy day fund available to pay for unexpected events.
- Jungle Coins – Jungle Coins is an engaging, easy to use educational game App that teaches kids coin math in multiple languages and currencies.
Children develop their own money ‘habits’ early. Their money personality shines through (spendthrift or hoarder for example) and by understanding these and finding the right tools and resources parents can coach children to make smart decisions that carry through to their teens and adulthood. It’s a bonus that combines their love of gadgets and new technology.
Please note that some Apps are only available on iPhone and iPad. We hope you find our suggestions useful and trust that you will do further research to find the Apps that are best for you and your children.