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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Want to Teach Your Kid to Save? There’s an App for That!

By Tanni Haas

AdVenture Capitalist Available at Apple App Store and Google Play. Ages 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. Through hiring managers and employees, they also learn important management lessons.

Bankaroo Available at Amazon Apps, Apple App Store, and Google Play. Ages 9–12. Created by 11-year-old Dani Gafni and her father, Etay, for their own family’s needs, this app teaches kids how to save and budget their allowances and other sources of income. Kids open up virtual bank accounts, set specific savings goals, and then track their ability to reach those goals. Simulating real bank accounts, the app registers allowances as recurring payments; and it encourages kids to balance their accounts.

FamZoo Family Finance Available at Apple App Store and Google Play. Ages 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. Aside from 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 teaching them how to pay back those loans in installments.

PiggyBot Available at Apple App Store. Ages 5–8. This app functions like a virtual piggybank so kids can save for a special purchase. They can post pictures of what they want and keep track of their progress toward making their purchases. They open virtual accounts, with unique PIN numbers, to give them a sense of responsibility for and ownership of their money. As kids get closer to their goal, parents can contribute virtual money.

RoosterMoney Available at Amazon Apps, Apple App Store, and Google Play. Ages 5–12. This app teaches kids to keep track of how much money they have earned from their parents and how much money is still owed to them. Kids set savings goals and then see, through easy-to-use charts, how close they are to reaching those goals. The app includes a so-called “safe” option that allows kids to send money to a virtual safe, thereby teaching them to distinguish between short-term and long-term savings goals.

Star Banks Adventure Available at Apple App Store. Ages 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. Other useful features include frequent, short quizzes that cover financial literary concepts and allow kids to earn extra money. Kids will learn how to save, spend wisely, invest, and set financial goals.

Toshl Finance Available at Apple App Store and Google Play. Ages 13 and up. Linked to one or more real bank accounts, this app includes charts and data visualizations that display past spending patterns and information about current finances, helping users to identify potential areas for savings and create more realistic budgets. Other useful features include a receipt database and reminders of when bills are due.

Yuby Available at Apple App Store. Ages 5–12. This app includes a “wish list” that helps kids compare the cost of items they would like to purchase and track how much progress they have made towards making those purchases. Kids learn not only to save money, but also to budget for and prioritize different goals. They are also encouraged to set aside money for charity.

Tanni Haas, Ph.D., is a college communications professor.