Feb 18, 2017

Mom and daughter sitting together while daughter adds a coin to piggy bank

A couple of the most overlooked areas of learning in our school systems are “organizing” and “money management.” Often these non-academic topics are taught in the home rather than the classroom, and I find so many of my clients are asking for answers. They want answers for teaching their kids the value of money, money management, how to budget and how to save.

I have seven money saving apps for kids to share with you – and you know the best part? By sharing these ideas with your kids, you can experience a financial “touch up” of your own as you prepare for the year ahead. Oh heck, some of them are so easy and fun – you may want to use them yourself!

Start ‘Em Young with “Piggybot”

Piggybot icon with pink robot piggy bank

What it does: If your children want to see how much they have amassed in their savings, PiggyBot may be the ticket. Kids use smartphones to create PINs and set up virtual accounts. Using the app, parents can send kids’ allowance directly. For motivation, kids can take pictures of things they want. Children choose how to share, spend and save.

What parents should know: This app tracks “virtual money” which parents seem to appreciate especially when they don’t have ready cash at the moment. Parents can add money to their child’s virtual account as needed via smartphone.

For ages 5+. Available for free on iOS.

Motivate Your Kids with the “Allowance & Chores Bot”

Allowance and chores bot screens showing how much money a child has saved

What it does: This app keeps track of chores kids need to complete along with related rewards to that chore. Parents can manage chores for all worker bees in one place and can also add rewards or punishments along the way. To reinforce the savings concept, children monitor their spending and saving.

What parents should know: it’s best for parents to use their own email and password to set up an account thereby syncing all the devices with greater ease. For tighter control, make sure only the parent holds the passcode so disgruntled siblings can’t reassign or remove chores.

Free version available on iOS and Android. Full version $2.99.

Avoid the Spending Spree by Using “Savings Spree

Savings spree money saving app for kids screen

What it does: Some kids may want to start their own business or envision an expensive purchase. If your child is a big thinker, you may want to connect them to Savings Spree. Your kids will learn the importance of creating an emergency fund while testing their knowledge around money.

What parents should know: Savings Spree has an educational experience built into the game show where the object is to save money for a nest egg. Your children can learn (and earn) about accumulating both big sums of cash or saving in small chunks over time.

Ages 7+. Available for $5.99 on iOS.

Teach Your Children to Save Money for a Cause “Unleash the Loot!”

Greenstreets unleash the loot app screens showing a users plans for saving money

What it does: What a concept. Select an animal from the endangered species list, then do some virtual chores and kids can earn (and save) moolah. Your child can decide how to divvy up their money among three different accounts: spending, saving, and charity. Once they have saved enough money in the bank, kids can “buy” virtual items to take care of their endangered animal.

What parents should know: Parents can connect with their budding philanthropists via email while their kids are using the app. This gives parents an option to offer guiding advice.

Ages 5-8. Available for free download for iOS.

Teach Your Kids to Become Smart Spenders and Savers with “Bankaroo”

Blue bankaroo icon with kangaroo in the middle

What it does: Whether a parent chooses to schedule allowances, start a “matching campaign” for their kids’ savings, or make other virtual gifts, this make-believe bank trains children to follow their money moves. Kids deduct any cash they spend and develop their goal-setting skills for future saving.

What parents should know: Just think – kids are learning how to manage their bank accounts online – something we didn’t learn until we were adults.

For ages 5-13. Available for free download on iOS and Android.

If You Want to Be Involved in Your Kids’ Money Decisions Consider “Tykoon
Blue tykoon logo

What it does: Tykoon helps kids develop healthy saving habits. With their child in mind, parents design a task list and determine the child’s prize for task completion. The reward can be anything from having friends over to staying up late one evening. This app also lets children donate a portion of their earnings to a charity.

What parents should know: Though the name sounds grown up, Tykoon is a tool aimed directly at children. To observe your son or daughter’s spending behavior, the app even provides a list of child-safe products that your children can save up for and order online.

For ages 5+. Available for free download on iOS.

If You Want to Educate Your Kids try “Rich Kid Smart Kid” Website

Rich smart kid showing jesses ice cream stand game

What it does: This cartoon was developed by the Rich Dad Company and devotes itself to developing kids’ education around finances – not just spending and saving – but understanding profits, debt, entrepreneurial adventures, and how to pay yourself first. The cartoons are divided into four different age appropriate categories.

What parents should know: Using games to teach challenging subjects like finance, business and investing, this website aims to train young, upcoming business owners and creative thinkers. Rich Kid Smart Kid is a youth initiative – seeking to increase financial literacy of the next generation of future entrepreneurs.

Grades K-12. Available via website.

Dorothy Breininger

Dorothy Breininger is America’s Most Innovative Professional Organizer  She is an organizing expert on A&E Television’s Emmy-nominated weekly TV series, “Hoarders,” and also appears on the Today Show, the Dr. Phil Show, the VIEW, QVC and PBS, in addition to being featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and O Magazine.