Here are some of the most popular and kid-friendly money management apps available, and the best part is that they’re all free.
(Available at: Apple App Store, Google Play; Age range: 5-12)
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 learn important management lessons by hiring managers and employees for their various companies.
FamZoo Family Finance
(Available at: Apple App Store; Age range: 5-18)
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. Besides 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 teach them how to pay back those loans in installments.
(Available at: Apple App Store; Age range: 5-8)
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 of responsibility and ownership of their money. As kids get closer to their goal, parents can contribute virtual money to help them achieve that goal.
Star Banks Adventure
(Available at: Amazon Apps, Apple App Store; Age range: 5-12)
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. Kids will learn how to save, spend wisely, invest and set financial goals.
(Available at: Apple App Store, Google Play; Age range: 13-18)
This app is targeted for teenagers who want to learn how to better budget their money. Linked to one or more real bank accounts, it includes charts and data visualizations that display past spending patterns and information about their current finances, which help kids identify potential areas for savings.
– Tanni Haas, Ph.D.