Teaching kids financial literacy is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. If you are looking for an effective way to teach your kids about money, try one of these money apps for kids that include parental controls and educational activities.
12 Best Money Apps for Kids
These apps will teach your kids to make smart financial decisions, now and in the future:
- Chase First Banking
- BECU Youth Savers
- PNC ‘S’ is for Savings
- Capital One Kids
- Fidelity Youth
Debit Card Apps for Kids
Giving kids their own debit cards can be a great way to teach them about finances.
It might feel scary to provide them with a card to spend how they want, but with parental guidance, you can teach kids how to make smart financial decisions early in life.
Famzoo is a prepaid debit card for kids and an allowance app that handles the family’s finances. In addition, parents have a ‘Parent Funding Card’ that they can use to transfer funds to kids’ prepaid cards instantly.
You can send money for chores, compound interest, rewards, or money requests made in the app. Kids can also send parents money for missed chores, family bill sharing, or loan interest.
If you don’t want debit cards, you can also set up IOU accounts if you prefer to pay your kids in cash or buy desired items.
$5.99 per month, or you can prepay for a specific number of months:
- $4.33 per month if you prepay six months
- $3.33 per month if you prepay 12 months
- $2.50 per month if you prepay 24 months
- Parents have control and visibility of all family accounts
- Parents set the bank rules to earn or owe money
- FamZoo automatically moves money for completed chores or other tasks specified in the app when a child completes them
The Greenlight card is a debit card for kids managed by parents. Each subscription includes up to five debit cards, and parents have complete control over how the money is spent. For example, parents can transfer money automatically or manually and restrict use at certain stores or set spending limits.
Parents can also set up automatic round-ups or interest payments when kids save money or tie the transfers to specific chores kids must do before they get paid. You can also set up alerts for any activity on the card, so you know in real-time what’s happening.
The top subscription tier also includes an investment option for kids. Kids can invest in stocks or ETFs with parental guidance.
- Core – $4.99/month includes a debit card, educational app, and 1% on savings
- Max – $9.98/month includes a Greenlight Black card that earns 1% cash back on purchases, 2% on savings, and investing options for kids
- Infinity – $14.98/month includes everything in Max with 5% on savings, family location sharing, and crash detection
- Includes top-notch parental controls
- Kids can have their own brokerage (custodial account)
- Pays cash-back and interest on savings
3. Chase First Banking
Chase First Banking makes it easy to teach kids about finances while providing them with their own debit cards. The Chase mobile app is your one-stop shop to handle all Chase accounts, including your child’s First Banking Card.
Parents can set customized alerts for transactions, create spending limits, and even restrict spending at certain locations.
To open an account, parents must have a qualifying checking account with Chase, such as Chase Total Checking or Chase Secure Banking. Once you have an account, you can apply for a free account with a debit card for your child.
Free with a qualifying checking account
- Includes easy-to-use parental controls
- There’s no fee for the kids’ account
- Kids can send money requests in real time for parental approval
Current is an excellent debit card option for teens. The Visa debit card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, but parents control where teens spend their money and how much they spend. Parental controls help teens learn to save, spend, and give money; parents can help kids learn by managing where they spend.
Parents can assign chores for teens to complete to earn money, and parents can automate allowance payments. In addition, parents can send transfers in real-time when kids request money while out, and the Current app makes it easy to manage the card, including freezing it if your teen misplaces it.
Free with a parent’s Current card
- It gives teens the freedom to learn how to save, spend, and give money
- It gives parents complete control in the parental app to guide teens when making financial decisions
- It’s free for teens
Investment Apps for Kids
Kids can learn to invest at a young age. If you aren’t ready for your child to have a brokerage account, there are high-yield savings accounts that are just as good as investing.
Decide what you’re comfortable with and explore these top investment apps for kids.
5. BECU Youth Savers Account
The BECU Youth Savers Account is easy-to-use savings account for kids. It pays high APYs on the first $500 deposited (6.17% currently), and there’s no minimum balance or monthly service fees.
Kids and parents own the account together, and kids over 13 get free online and mobile banking access.
To open an account, parents must be a member of the BECU. Once you’re a member, your child can complete an application for the Youth Savers Account.
No monthly service fees
- Kids can earn high APYs encouraging them to save
- It’s free
- The account includes a free ATM card
6. PNC ‘S’ is for Savings Account
The PNC ‘S’ is for Savings Account makes saving fun by using Sesame Street characters to entice kids to learn more about saving.
The bank account pays interest on balances starting at $1. Kids have online and mobile access to their accounts, and the account has visual jars to ‘Save,’ ‘Spend,’ and ‘Give,’ so kids can see the difference in how they manage their money.
The account also includes a robust learning center with age-appropriate activities to help kids learn more about savings and personal finance.
$0 if owned by a child under 18
- The app makes learning about money fun
- Kids only need a $1 balance to earn interest
- It teaches the concept of spending, saving, and giving
7. Capital One Kids Account
The Capital One Kids account makes saving fun, and it’s free. Kids earn a 0.3% APY on balances, and there’s no minimum balance required. In addition, parents can make automatic deposits in their kids’ accounts or set up chores that coincide with the payments.
Kids can have more than one account, setting up individual accounts for each goal, and parents can easily transfer funds from their Capital One or external bank account to the kids’ accounts.
- The app makes saving fun and free
- It pays high interest on any balance
- The app is user-friendly for kids and adults
8. Fidelity Youth Account
If you have a teen ready to learn about investing, let them have a Fidelity Youth Account. It’s similar to the adult Fidelity account and allows teens to invest how they want. The brokerage account is for teens ages 13 to 17 and allows them to buy stocks, ETFs, and Fidelity mutual funds.
The account comes with a free debit card so teens can learn to manage spending while focusing on growing their balance. In addition, there are no account fees for using the debit card or no ATM fees.
Parents can follow along or set up customized alerts to learn about their teen’s activity. Still, the app gives teens freedom and empowerment in building their own portfolios.
- It gives teens first-hand knowledge of investing
- Teens can buy fractional shares
- Includes a free debit card
Allowance Apps for Kids
Tracking allowance can be time-consuming, and kids can lose interest fast. However, when you use one of the best allowance apps for kids, you make it easy to track money earned and motivate kids to do their chores to reach their goals.
The Homey allowance app helps kids learn how to work for their earnings. With Homey, kids learn how to work toward what they want by setting goals and working toward them. You can transfer the funds earned directly to their checking or savings account, helping them learn how to manage their funds.
The Homey app alerts family members when chores are due or when someone completes their chores. It keeps everyone on the same page and helps the family work toward their financial goals.
Basic functions are free, which include accounts for up to three family members to track their chores. An unlimited account is $4.99 per month and allows you to link your checking account to the kids’ accounts to transfer funds for completed chores.
- It helps keep the entire family on the same page
- It helps kids learn delayed gratification
- Parents get help around the house
iAllowance is a simple app to track and pay for your child’s chores. It’s only available on iOS, and you can set the chore frequency and automatic transfers. For example, link your child’s bank account and set up times for automatic withdrawals, or you can handle them manually.
iAllowance keeps track of all chores completed and money earned and spent. So you don’t have to worry about having cash available, and you always know your child’s financial situation with a quick look at the dashboard.
$2.99 for the app
- It simplifies paying allowance
- Parents have control over how money is received and spent
- Kids can learn how to earn money by completing their chores
BusyKid is a money manager and chore tracker for kids and teens. It helps kids of any age learn how to manage money and even includes a debit card.
As kids complete their chores, parents pay them an allowance. It can be automatic or manual. The app encourages kids to save, spend, and give and includes up to five prepaid cards per account.
Parents get real-time alerts on all activities and can pay parent-paid interest or lock money in certain accounts, so kids don’t spend what they saved. Friends and family can also add money as gifts.
$3.99 per month
- It motivates kids and teens to do their chores to earn an allowance
- Parents can follow along, helping kids and teens learn financial literacy
- Teens can use the debit card anywhere Visa is accepted
GoHenry is an allowance management app for kids and teens. Each kid in your family gets an individual bank account with a debit card. Parents control how and when kids can use the debit card and can see their running bank balance.
Parents create the chores and allowance amounts, set spending limits, and get push alerts when children use debit cards.
$4.99 per month
- It has strong parental controls
- It helps kids learn the importance of working for what they want
- Kids can create money missions (savings goals) to work toward
Should Parents Use Money Apps with Kids?
Money apps for kids are one of the best ways parents can teach kids about finances. Kids today are technologically advanced and love to learn using their devices. Money apps help kids learn to save, spend, and invest money in real life.
There are many types of money apps for kids, including those tied to chores to help kids learn how to work to earn. Some apps come with debit cards or allow kids to invest in stocks and ETFs.
Kids are never too young to learn about money and how to manage it. The earlier you teach them, the more natural personal finance decisions will become for them.
Pros and Cons of Using Kids Money Apps
Like any technology, kids’ money apps have pros and cons. By using money apps, you’re encouraging kids to spend more time on their devices, which is a big deal for some parents. But there’s a flip side because there is educational value in the apps I suggest below, helping kids to learn to manage their finances.
Teaching kids about money means everyone needs to be on the same page. If you’re giving your kids the freedom to use their debit cards or make saving/investing decisions, you need a way to oversee their actions.
Instead of watching over their shoulder or questioning their every move, most money apps for kids have parental controls that keep parents in the loop in real-time. This helps keep everything organized and allows parents to jump in whenever necessary to help kids understand their financial decisions.
Kids don’t like lectures, but when you’re on the same page with your finances because you both have access to the app, it keeps you connected. In addition, your kids will find it easier to ask questions or come to you with a problem.
It also lets you know what you should talk about with your kids because you can see their transactions in real-time. If you use chore apps, it also helps you teach kids the value of doing their responsibilities to earn what they want. Finally, it helps eliminate the instant gratification many kids have today.
The Digital World Kids Live In
The fact that the apps are digital is a downside. But, again, you’re encouraging kids to spend more time on their devices. But if you want to spin it in a positive light, the time spent is educational, and they will likely digest more information from the app than they would be listening to a parent lecture.
Kids often have a love/hate relationship with learning. They go to school all day, so when they’re home, they want to relax. But money apps are another learning opportunity that they can take advantage of.
You might see some resistance at first, especially if they have to work to earn money or you give lessons/lectures about saving/spending/investing. Still, most kids eventually come around and enjoy learning how to manage their money.
Tips for Parental Control
It’s easy to go overboard with the parental controls, but remember, this is to help kids learn independently. This doesn’t mean you should set your child up for failure, but use parental controls with caution.
- Use the controls as a guide. Don’t restrict anything unless you see destructive habits forming. Instead, use the opportunities to teach your child what they could do better next time.
- Let your child know you’re following their financial decisions but aren’t hounding them. They’ll feel comfortable knowing you see what they’re doing and will step in if necessary, but also be empowered at the same time.
- Use parental controls when needed. For example, if there are certain stores or places you don’t want your child to spend money, feel free to restrict those stores. It will be frustrating for your child at first, but boundaries are necessary.
The Importance of Financial Literacy for Kids
The earlier kids learn financial literacy, the easier it will be for them to manage their finances as adults.
I don’t know about you, but I want my kids to grow up and be able to buy a car, save for a house, and feel financially secure before they move out. It’s a tall order, but teaching kids finances early will make them more likely to reach these goals and beyond.