I’ve come across a couple of good money tools for kids that will help them on their journey to understand the value of money.
Each of the apps I’ve chosen will help kids have a better understanding of how to earn money, value money and save money. A hidden benefit is that each of these money tools for kids are also a brilliant tool for parents, too. Whether that’s by helping track chores and pocket money, or streamlining using money with the kids, they are a real modern godsend.
Remember, though, that an app won’t teach kids everything they need to know about money. Only real-life examples from their parents can do that. Especially when you will want to add your own thoughts and life experiences to ultimately help the kids work out how money fits in their own lives. I’ve got more to say on this, so after I’ve outlined my picks of the good money tools for kids out there, I’ve shared some tips of making money an everyday family conversation.
Forget the old fashioned piggy bank, Spriggy is the tech savvy alternative for children. It’s an app you and your child download together and then a pre-paid Visa card is sent (for kids 8-17) to be used for transactions.
Pocket money is then loaded onto the debit card for use by the child BUT the parent has full live transparency on how the money is used. Together with your child you set goals, spending limits and restrictions on where the money can be spent.
In a world increasingly going online, it’s a terrific educational tool.
The cost is $30 a year for each child.
A more traditional program, Money Savvy Kids, has a coloured see-through Perspex piggy bank at the core of its program. But the piggy-bank is divided into four chambers (with 4 different slots) labelled: save, spend, donate and invest.
Kids put money into the different chambers and can watch it grow.
The program also sells colouring-in and activity books which cover topics such as saving, spending and consumer tips. There is also information to help parents and teachers to explain money issues.
The piggy banks cost $30 each and the activity books $5.
This positive iOS app is designed to help kids manage their chores, pocket money and other rewards. It’s focus is on teaching kids how to save, but it’s value is also in making setting, tracking and rewarding household chores really easy for parents. The app has some inbuilt alerts to ‘gently’ remind the children to do their chores. You can even set it up to pay the kids’ pocket money directly into their bank accounts.
The savings talk
While these tools are great, there is nothing more effective than parents sharing real life examples of using money. If you can instil streetwise consumerism into your children, they will have a better chance of surviving the financial temptations that are constantly thrust in front of them.
And your world is your classroom. Use your experiences to explain to a child about money. There is no need to formulate elaborate lessons.
Your classroom should be anywhere, anytime. For example, while preparing dinner discuss the economics of shopping for food if your child asks why you can’t buy Thai takeaway again that week. When reading the newspaper or watching television, explain why you can’t buy everything that is advertised.