As always, I have strong reservations about money and apps because people tend to abandon them after the first try or two. However, if you want an app to track your child’s chores to earn extra money then these can be very useful. I like that you can designate savings, charity and spending on many of them to get your child thinking about the many “pots” we put our money in, but the rub is that the actual green money will reside in a piggy bank or drawer or wherever it is.
If your child is not diligent in getting you to fill in the app or filling in the app herself, she might not be able to hold herself back from spending all the green money in her real piggy bank. I suggest having 3 actual piggy banks to correlate with the saving, spending and charity virtual ones.
I believe the great thing apps can teach is how to handle money (K12 Money!), how to understand the relationship between work and pay (Chorepay) and how to see your progress saving for something you want (P2K, IAllowance). Another critical lesson is learning what keeping track of a virtual checkbook is like by having to input deposits or withdrawals (bankaroo). Experiencing how you can be left with zero (or negative) in your account is also good life lesson.
- P2K – FREE– Best for a kid who is 7 or 8 yrs old and kids manage the app. P2K is a kids’ budgeting tool. It creates a very simple introduction to “income” and “expense” by asking your child to input allowance as “income” and buying a toy as an “expense.” Kids can save for things on their wishlist, and see their progress toward having enough to buy the toy.
- K12 Money – FREE – Start your kids in Kindergarten or first grade. This app will help your kids with math, money and analytical skills. It’s a winner! Bills and coins, make change, matching, counting. Everything you need to teach your child the math of money. K12 coins is just coins, but get the K12 Money app because you can set it to just coins if you want.
- Iallowance – FREE – Start 5 or 6 year olds depending on their comfort with numbers and use it with your child. Track allowance, gifts, and chores. Use time, money, and stars as “payment.” You need an upgrade for more than 2 chores and few other goodies. Your child can have piggy banks for saving, giving or spending. Set up other “banks” for special items like a specific toy.
- Bankaroo – FREE – has a website and app. Best for kids 7 & up and kids manage the app. Wishlist allows a kid to see what saving towards one item looks like. She can put part of her allowance toward it each week or a one-off payment. She subtracts the funds when she buys it, like a checkbook.
- Chorepay – FREE – Use with your child starting at 5 or 6 yrs old. An allowance-for-chores tracker for you and your child. Good user interface and you can designate donate, save, spend and credit. Good visual interface for younger kids.