I grew up learning many financial lessons from my parents. Unfortunately, most of these were learned by watching my parents make bad decisions that I was determined not to repeat. We didn’t have much financial education in school, either, with only a few days dedicated to things like writing a check and calculating interest.
Parents today have the opportunity to do so much more for their kids’ future, and they have the incredible tools — like money apps and platforms to help them do it. These apps allow parents to pay their children for chores or allowance, track their spending, teach them about saving and budgeting, and even guide them into their first investments.
One of our favorite tools for adults to use to track their finances is Personal Capital. It’s free and has a ton of features to help you get your financial life in order. Read our Personal Capital review here.
Now, if you’re considering a money app for your child, teen, or young adult, below are a few of our favorites.
The financial app(s) you choose will vary depending on your child’s age and experience with money. However, regardless of how old your children are or how long they’ve been learning about finances, there are a few specific areas of focus to consider when browsing apps.
Managing Allowance and Chores
Do you want to give your child a regular allowance? What about offering money in exchange for household chores and tasks?
Many apps allow you to do both. Some make it easy to automate funds on a weekly or monthly basis while others allow you to assign tasks that your children can check off once complete.
Whether 6, 16, or 26, it’s important that your children learn how to budget. This means knowing where they stand financially, what they can afford to spend, planning for big expenses in advance, and learning how to say no.
(Many adults could stand a refresher on that last one, too, if we’re being honest.)
I regularly work with my 8-year-old to teach him the difference between short- and long-term savings and develop the patience required for each. Many of these money apps can help drive those lessons home.
Whether you simply want your child to set aside a portion of their earnings each month or they want to buy a pricey toy, lessons that involve savings make it easier.
Older children can start learning about the value of investing long before they’re ready to build their first portfolio. Once they (or you) are ready, you can even open an investment account for them, which will benefit from even more years of growth.
Don’t spend what you don’t have. Shop around for good deals. Buy only what you need. Learn to live without some of your wants.
These are great lessons for children and adults alike. The right money app can help guide your kids by tracking their spending, updating their available funds, and allowing you as the parent to keep an eye on where their money goes while teaching them to analyze where their dollars go.
Best Money Apps for Kids
Here’s a look at some of the best money apps we have found for younger kids. While many of them are aimed at the 6-12 crowd, only you know which will be best for your child and their financial capabilities.
One of the most comprehensive family finance apps around, Rooster Money is feature-rich and thinks of everything. Their basic platform (virtual tracker) is free and geared toward kids as young as 3. The upgraded version, Rooster Plus, covers the whole family for $18.99 a year and tracks everything from chores and tasks to savings goals.
Rooster Money allows for a Spend/Save/Give approach while also letting you account for regular expenses (like subscriptions) to teach budgeting skills. You can even incentivize saving by setting up personalized interest rates for your kids.
- Funds: Accounts are virtual
- Budgeting features: Account for recurring expenses to help teach your kids budgeting lessons
- Chores and allowance: Assign tasks, track progress, reward your child for meeting goals, and set up recurring or one-off payments for things like allowance
- Saving features: Your child can set specific savings goals and you can even allow your interest earned
- Cost: Free (basic) or $18.99/year for the whole family (Rooster Plus)
*Editor’s Note: PiggyBot has been discontinued*
I personally love PiggyBot because it uses the concept of Spend/Save/Share, which I have used to teach my boys over the years. The platform is simple enough for young children to grasp but comprehensive enough for tweens.
With PiggyBot, you and your kids can have a virtual IOU account, where they see exactly where they stand financially. It accounts for savings goals, recent spending, and even addresses share funds.
- Funds: Accounts are virtual
- Budgeting features: Your kids can see what they have on hand and what they need to meet their goals
- Chores and allowance: PiggyBot is essentially an allowance tracker, making it easier for parents and kids alike; however, chores and assigned tasks are not supported at this time
- Saving features: Your kids can set specific savings goals and even add their own pictures for motivation
- Cost: Free
Virtually track your children’s allowance and spending with Allowance+, with the ability to assign chores and tasks or set up recurring allowance payments. The app is free to use but you can also pay a small monthly fee if you want to network between multiple devices for multiple children.
- Funds: Funds are tracked and managed virtually
- Budgeting features: Budgeting isn’t Allowance+s strong suit, though children can see their current balance and spending/earning progress
- Chores and allowance: Set up recurring funds or send one-off payments, but task lists are not supported
- Saving features: Savings goals are not supported
- Cost: Free to $0.99/mo
Best Money Apps for Teens
As your children get older and enter their teen (or even preteen) years, they need even more from their money app.
Most of Bankaroo’s users are between 5- and 14-years-old, making it a good choice for a variety of kids. It’s no wonder kids love this app, too, considering it was created by an 11-year-old kid (and his dad)! We would say it’s ideal for tweens, preteens, and younger teenagers.
Bankaroo allows your kids to virtually track their money, accounting for allowance, savings goals, and spending. Chores and one-off tasks are not supported, however. While there is no bank account involved, it does make it easier to know where your kids stand at all times — rather than them trying to remember how much they have in the piggy bank at home when they see something they want at the store.
Bankaroo can be accessed by web, iOs, Android, and even Kindle.
- Funds: Bankaroo is a virtual banking app
- Budgeting features: Kids can see where and what they’ve spent, as well as set future goals
- Chores and allowance: Set up recurring allowance payments, but no options for tasks/chores
- Saving features: Set goals and track progress toward them
- Cost: Different versions are available, ranging from free to $4.99
Designed as a partnership with Mastercard, gohenry is a financial literacy app and debit card platform aimed toward kids ages 6 to 18. With parental controls for each child and no worry of overdrafts, gohenry makes it easy for your kids to learn real-time financial literacy lessons. Plus, they can access and share personalized gift links, so that anyone can send them funds for birthdays or holidays.
- Funds: Funds are real and are kept in an FDIC-insured account; your child can spend using the linked Mastercard debit card that gohenry provides
- Budgeting features: Your child can see what they’ve spent and where, as well as set savings goals to work toward
- Chores and allowance: Parents set tasks (along with a payment amount for them) which children can check off as they go; recurring and one-time payments are easy to set up and send, too
- Saving features: Set goals, save toward them, and watch the progress
- Cost: $3.99/mo per child, up to four children per family
Related: Best Debit Cards for Teens
BusyKid offers pretty much every financial feature you could need when trying to teach your teenager(s) about money. From earning and saving to budgeting and investing, BusyKid’s platform handles it all. Plus, you can assign age-appropriate chores and set up an allowance.
With the BusyKid prepaid card, you can let your child spend anywhere that Visa is accepted. Along the way, you can watch this activity and even get push notifications. Plus, BusyKid is the only kid’s app that allows children to invest in real stocks with their allowance.
- Funds: Accounts involve real funds; you just have to link an existing bank account or debit card
- Budgeting features: Kids can establish savings and investing goals, watch their spending, and invest their money to watch it grow
- Chores and allowance: Choose from age-appropriate chores and allowance or personalize them
- Saving features: Kids can track their progress and even automate savings
- Cost: BusyKid is free to use, but if you want the prepaid Visa card it’ll run $7.99/year per card
With automated allowance, in-app chore lists, and real-time parent notifications, Greenlight teaches financial lessons while keeping parents informed. A MasterCard debit card is available to let kids spend where they want, with the option of flexible parental controls — even allowing you to set store-specific spending controls.
- Funds: Accounts manage real money
- Budgeting features: Kids earn money with chores, track regular allowance, and watch their spending while making important financial choices
- Chores and allowance: Set in-app chore lists with accompanying perks
- Saving features: Kids can set their own goals and learn about spending tradeoffs
- Cost: $4.99/mo for up to five kids
Best Money Apps for Young Adults
As your children become adults, get jobs, and even go off to college, learning to manage their own finances successfully is even more important. This requires an app that provides even more flexibility and features, perhaps while also allowing parents to send money and monitor progress.
One great app for older teens, especially those going off to college, is FamZoo. It assigns a purpose to every single dollar your child earns and spends, while also creating incentives for them and helping track savings progress.
As the name implies, FamZoo is designed for the entire family and empowers children of all ages. There are two versions of the platform, too: one is virtual and works as an IOU while the other involves real money and prepaid cards.
- Funds: Both virtual and real money options are available
- Budgeting features: Charge kids for their share of recurring expenses, set up parent loans/repayment, and plan for future expenses
- Chores and allowance: Set up recurring allowance payments, establish chore lists, or offer one-off tasks with incentives
- Saving features: Kids can set up purpose-driven savings accounts and utilize an envelope system, and parents can offer interest on savings
- Cost: $2.50 to $5.99 per month
Read our full FamZoo Review
You probably already know Acorns as a comprehensive platform helping you save, spend, and invest better. With Acorns Early, though, you can give your kids a head start on their own financial wellness, and opening an account takes less than 3 minutes.
Acorns Early includes a wellness system with built-in checking, retirement, and savings accounts. Plus, you’re able to set up recurring investments for multiple children in a UTMA/UGMA account that can be transferred to your child when they’re grown.
- Funds: Real funds kept in real accounts and investment portfolios
- Budgeting features: Resources available to help your child manage their spending and savings accounts
- Chores and allowance: Not supported
- Saving features: Investment, retirement, and spending accounts are all included
- Cost: $5 per month
Read our full Acorns review
Related: 9 Ways To Get Your Teens To Start Investing
One of the best things you can do for your children’s financial future is to start teaching the important lessons early on. You can do this no matter your children’s ages, too — kids as young as 3 can grasp the concept of chores and rewards, as well as saving in a piggy bank.
As your kids grow, using a finance app can make it easier for them and you to track their savings, monitor spending, set money goals, and even keep up with chores. Whether you choose a virtual piggy bank or an app that manages your funds in an actual bank account, the financial lessons you teach your child today will follow them for life.