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Top apps and websites to get kids managing their money

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17/06/2013
Teaching your children to be careful with money has never been more important.

Parents who want to instil in their offspring good spending and saving habits need to do so from a young age because, according to research, adult money habits are set by the age of seven.

Getting kids interested and excited about money, however, is no easy feat.

Luckily, there are a number of apps and websites which aim to teach children the best money habits, while at the same time, keeping them entertained.

Here, three experts reveal their favourites:

Holly Seddon, editor in chief at tech/parenting site www.quib.ly and mother to 3 children:

There are some great apps out there to start teaching your children money management skills. Take Mindblown Life for example, billed as a ‘funny, irreverent and social mobile game that develops money management skills’, the premise is pretty basic. You create your own avatar and navigate your way through life’s many financial challenges, dealing with debt, coping with unexpected cash flow crises and learning how to save.

Others include The Lemonade Stand and  Allowance Manager.

With my own children I use PKTMNY – they do chores for their pocket money, are offered ‘ad hoc’ bonuses for bonus chores and use their PKTMNY cards to spend and to save up on. Similar pocket money solutions include Virtual Piggy and Rooster Bank. Rooster Bank is designed to help families keep track of day to day pocket money saving and spending and helps prepare children for the day when they take control of their own bank account.

Lorraine Allman, author of ‘Enterprising Child’:

I have to say that although technology has a place in helping develop these skills, there is no substitute for children handling real cash and getting involved in activities such as shopping trips, savings and budgeting in the real world.

Having said that, as a parent I do use the Goldstar Savings app with my son who is 6 ½ and he really enjoys using it for setting monetary goals and it helps him to see how he is progressing towards the goals which is especially important for younger children to keep them motivated.

Another website in particular which I like is Moneyasyougrow. Although US based, it is a great resource for parents of children at different ages, relating what is happening to them to the role of money in that e.g. making decisions about how to spend money when they start receiving/earning pocket money.

Anita Naik www.Quib.ly expert:

One brilliant site my family uses is Count My Beanz, which helps teach four to eight-year-olds how to manage money. Children sign up and earn ‘beanz’ for good deeds and chores, then deposit earnings and watch their Beanz grow before redeeming them for something real and donating some of their Beanz to charity.

For younger kids, Little Digits is a great numeracy app that grows along your child’s numerical understanding. The app displays number characters by detecting how many fingers your child puts down on your iPad touch screen, the idea being they learn to associate the number on the screen with the number of fingers they place down. There are also games that introduce calculations in the same way. Simple.

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