Apps To Teach Your Children About Money

Handy apps to help your children learn about money, how to spend and save responsibly.

Pocket money problems? From the moment your child loses his first tooth to their birthdays requesting only cash, it falls to parents to teach the next generation about money. Discover the digital solution with these money apps to teach children how to spend and save responsibly. Some of these apps are for pre-school; others for teenagers, yet all strive to teach children about managing money.


Do you want your eight-year-old to have a credit card? A frightening prospect perhaps, but the theory is that learning young will instil good money management skills. Osper, the mobile banking backed by MasterCard, is offering prepaid debit cards to help children (aged between 8-18 years) learn how to handle their finances at an early age. Parents can open an account for their child through the Osper app by making a lump sum transfer or a regular direct debit from their own bank account. The child is only able to spend what is in the account, and importantly, there is no overdraft facility. A safety feature stops the card being used in certain venues such as online casinos, massage parlours or off-licences. Parents can review what has been spent, add ‘emergency funds’ in just two taps and can lock the card if it is lost or stolen (or the child misbehaves?!). Children can log in to the app and check their balance. The service starts off free, and costs £10 per card after the first year. ‘There’s something about the app and the way it works and how simple it is that just feels safe. To me, that’s really important as a mother,’ says TV presenter Davina McCall. ‘It’s teaching me to relax a bit when it comes to finances and my children.’


Osper’s main rival is goHenry, which also targets the same aged children (eight to eighteen years) and comes with a prepaid Visa card. goHenry allows parents to set rules and limits on the card’s use; it has pre-programmed restrictions stopping the children from purchasing adult items like cigarettes, online gambling and alcohol. goHenry goes one step further than its competitors; parents can set tasks, such as household chores or homework targets, to enable youngsters to earn extra pocket money. Also, parents can set budgets, savings targets and controls on the prepaid Visa card’s spending limits and where it can be used. As an example, iTunes can be momentarily blocked if parents don’t want the youngsters purchasing more computer games. The aim is to give young people financial independence so they can learn by doing, but under a watchful eye and with no danger of debt.


If parents want to manage multiple children’s pocket money accounts, the RoosterMoney app is a good one to know. It used to be known as RoosterBank which was set up in 2012 and is designed to provide a savings and money management tool for children. This handy piggy bank website teaches children the values of saving pocket money, gifts and allowances toward goals and targets. Help your child choose what they want to save for, and work towards that as their target. The app allows you to take pictures of things in shops and set these as saving targets for your children to save for. If your child is too young to receive real money, you can still use RoosterMoney and instead of cash, award virtual stars. Rather like an online reward chart.


One for the littlies; designed by the makers of Wallace and Gromit, the app Pigby’s Fair targets the pre-school children (four to six-year-olds). This is RBS and NatWest’s offering of a pocket money app although you don’t need any real money as the whole app is virtual. The free-to-download app will teach youngsters about the value of money and is more a computer game, than a real spending exercise. The app features money saving heroes Pigby and friends going on adventures in an animated fairground where they are challenged to spend or save. Manage your very own stalls, make stock to get new customers and play exciting games such as Beat the Clock on Crockery Smash. You can visit Pigby in his bank and he’ll help you get saving and decide what you want to save up for next.

January 2017