Teaching Kids about Money with Apps & Games

April 11, 2019

April is financial literacy month. What a great month to start teaching your kids about money.

Most kids love to receive money but rarely have an idea of how it works before they get their first real job. That is a statistic I just made up, but I have a feeling there’s a lot of truth to it. I’m going to give you some practical tips you can use to teach money to your children.

1. Separate buckets:
Before my kids were even born, I knew I wanted to get them this bank:

You can accomplish the same thing with some clear jars. The point is to designate different buckets of money to show your kids the concept of percentages and budgeting. It is a tangible way for kids to understand that they need to save some, and they can spend some, and investing is even different than saving. You can also talk about charitable giving with the donation slot.

2. Open a savings account for them.
Nowadays (did I just use that word? I am officially old) you don’t even have to have a traditional bank or credit union to open an account. You can use an app. I use the app Kidfund, because it is free with no minimum balance required, and you can easily transfer money to your child’s account.

3. Lead by example.
So, because I am a money person, I’m always talking about money and my kids know maybe more than they should about how much things cost and money doesn’t grow on trees. We have instituted a “mom tax” on things, like, if I buy them some popcorn, I get to take some of it, for the mom tax, because they need to know about things like taxes. And you’ll hear my kids say things like, “Mom works hard for that money,” because they may have heard it once or twice from my lips.

4. Give an allowance.
Some experts feel that you shouldn’t give an allowance, because kids need to learn that they don’t just to get to show up and collect money for existing. The experts would rather see you give money for earning things and call it a commission. In my house, we have a few basic chores that the kids need to do, no matter what, and they receive an allowance based on age. I’m actually going to talk more about this in my next blog.

5. Use games.
This is my favorite tip. Here are some of my favorite games for learning about money.

Board Games:

X The Game of Life-who hasn’t played this? I love this game.
X PayDay-this is a classic game from 1975 that only takes about 15 minutes to play a round, as opposed to Monopoly, which takes 3 years.
X The Allowance Game-you can play this with kids as young as 5


X Savings Spree-this costs money, and is only available on Apple devices, but it’s amazing. For children ages 7 and up.
X Green$treets-my kids love to play this. Combines helping animals and learning about money. Sorry, again, it’s only for Apple. But It’s free!
X The Game of Life-in an app!
X Bankaroo-finally, something available on both Apple and Android. This is a virtual bank account but doesn’t use actual money.


SWMG is proud to begin bringing Banzai, a sophisticated financial education program, to our clients and friends. Please check this out on our website- https://www.stephenswmg.com/knowledge-center.htm; it is free to use, and there are options for kids as young as 7+ -even college students and young professionals can benefit.


Any opinions are those of Jill Carr and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.

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