Is Your Kid Bad With Money? These Apps & Tools Could Help

October 20, 2023

It’s more important than ever for today’s generation of young people to learn about spending and saving money. And if you’re a parent, making sure your kid is financially educated can start at any time. Apps are just one way to teach children money-related lessons, but the benefit of using them is that they enable you to speak to your kid in a digital language that they understand. And an app will often do that for free.

You don’t need a lot of money to teach your child about important life skills. Simple tools can help a kid:

  • Learn the value of a dollar earned
  • Stay on task with chores
  • Manage their allowance
  • Save up for purchases
  • Become motivated to work toward goals

Lower-income families in particular are relying more on their savings than in previous years to pay for basic necessities, making it a good time to teach the next generation how to stay on top of their finances someday. Here are a few tools and lessons that might help.

What Are Common Signs of Older Kids Having Money Problems?

No child should ever have to worry about money. But our culture doesn’t always pass on the healthiest money habits to young people. Three common signs that older kids might be struggling with cash to look for, according to U.S. News & World Report, are:

  1. Impulsive spending
  2. A lack of basic financial literacy
  3. When older people around them don’t discuss money at all

Use Tools to Teach Basic Budgeting and Money Management Skills

Free apps teach all kinds of budgeting and money management lessons. The one that’s right for your family might depend on its age-appropriateness, how much your child enjoys interacting with it, and whether it reflects the values you’re hoping to give to your child.

If your child is starting to make small purchases at stores, an app can be like a virtual piggy bank controlled by the parent who is overseeing their money. A child might:

  • See something they want to buy
  • Open the app
  • Find out how much savings they have
  • Make an informed decision

How Do Chore Apps Work?

Want to give your kid an extra incentive to walk the dog or clean their room? Apps such as Homey and OurHome are a fun way to accomplish that goal. The typical one acts as a digital chore chart that parents use to list tasks and assign them to kids. Some parents attach dollar amounts to each task, although you don’t have to pay your kid to teach them about chores or money.

There are plenty of online tools to choose from, and they often function in similar ways. A young person can:

  1. Open the app
  2. See what chores they have that day or week
  3. Track their total cash earned
  4. Stay on task
  5. Decide what to do with their allowance

Certain apps can be connected to prepaid debit cards that are under the control of parents. They contain features that allow kids to indicate how they want to spend the cash, a process that the adult would need to approve first. 

Keep the Family Connected Through Shared Scheduling Apps 

A big part of financial literacy revolves around having a certain level of open communication between family members. Apps like Cozy can be helpful for larger families because they let you create shopping lists and shared activity lists so everyone is kept in the loop. Your teenager can learn to be on time, keep up with their extracurriculars and stay on task – all highly helpful skills!

Get Help with Financial & Auto Services at Chicago’s South Suburban Currency Exchange (SSCE) 

Even introducing your child to small financial transactions can be instructive. Many routine auto-related and financial tasks can be taken care of all at once, at Chicago’s South Suburban Community Exchanges (SSCEs). From electronic bill payment to check cashing to vehicle registration, our services offer many ways to help families stay on top of their financial responsibilities.

At SSCE, we understand that staying out of debt takes work, and sometimes you need a little help managing an entire household while raising a child. Visit your nearest SSCE location to check out what else we can do for you, and come by today!