Is the thought of teaching your child about money extremely intimidating to you? If it is, you’re not alone. Luckily, in this day and age, there’s plenty of assistance out there in the form of technology. The earlier your children learn the importance of managing money, the better chance they’ll have down the road of financial success. So why not get them started now? Following are some of my favorite applications that will teach your kids about money while allowing them to spend time with their favorite devices.
1. FamZoo Family Finance
Cost: Free on iTunes
Ages: 4 and up
FamZoo is a no-brainer app for teaching young children about money, budgeting and saving. Even kids as young as 4 can use this app to accomplish such tasks as managing allowances and tracking chores. Each member of your family is issued a card that is linked together in the app. In the “Family Bank,” the parents serve as the bankers while the kids are the customers. Tracking your every day finances through this app together helps kids learn the importance of money while having fun in the process.
Cost: Free on iTunes
Bankaroo helps kids track their allowances in a fun way, by using either dollars or other interesting shapes and symbols for counting. This app is unique in that it was created by an 11-year-old girl that wanted to create a way to track her own allowance and thought others might want to do the same. Since the app allows you to create multiple accounts, your whole family can benefit.
3. Bee Farming
Cost: $1.99 on iTunes
What better way to teach your children about business, hard work, and money management than by letting them start their own bee farm company? After setting up a virtual “business” with a swarm of bees and $100, your child’s bees will start collecting honey in the forest on a weekly basis. Depending on how much honey they collect, your child can earn more bees or supplies by “selling” their honey in a market. This game is so interactive and enjoyable that even adults enjoy the competition for a spot on the Top Farmers Board.
4. Savings Spree
Cost: $5.99 on iTunes
Ages: 7 and up
This app helps your child grasp the big picture of personal finance. It teaches how various lifestyle choices can either help or hurt one’s finances down the road, and it helps your child prepare for unexpected expenses. In the app, your child can earn, spend, donate or invest “money” in several different situations, which are presented in a game show format to add a layer of fun. Some of the scenarios presented to your child in this app will teach the importance of establishing an emergency fund for when unplanned costs suddenly arise. Better to learn sooner about such situations sooner rather than later, right?
Savings Spree doesn't just teach your kid how to count nickels and dimes. Instead, it focuses on how different lifestyle choices in the everyday can add up to either big savings or big expenses. Your child can earn, spend, donate, or invest “money” in a variety of scenarios, which are presented in a game show format for added interest. Along with teaching the basics, this app will even present your little one with the harsh reality of those unexpected expenses that necessitate an emergency fund. Important lesson, indeed!
5. The Game of Life
Cost: $0.99 on iTunes and Google Play
The thought of learning about finance may seem boring to most kids, but this app manages to teach the fundamentals in a fun manner, via one of America’s favorite board games. Throughout the game, your child will be faced with several different decisions that have them choosing between conservative or risky investments. Players even have the chance to earn “Wealth Cards” that can add up to $1,000,000. Plus, you can play with up to six friends, which makes it an enjoyable activity for the whole family.
The bottom line: The task of teaching your children about finance can be daunting, but thanks to the above apps and many more (link), there are fun and easy ways to do it. For more advice on teaching your children about finance, read this previous blog (link).