Top 6 apps to help children manage money

Written by Lori Campbell on 10th Nov 2021

For kids growing up in a cashless society, the piggy bank is going digital. Loose coins (that it’s easy to forget to hand out every week) and notes stuck in cards for Christmas or birthdays from grandparents are fast becoming a thing of the past.

It’s now possible to teach children as young as four about the value of money using an online budgeting app.

You might think that using technology to teach this skill takes away from the charm of handing out ‘real’ pocket money. But as physical cash is used less and less, apps can be a better and more relevant way of showing children how to look after their money.

Unlike a conventional bank account, apps can enable parents to teach children vital money management skills and – like any good learning experience – let them have a go at doing it themselves. Not without the parents maintaining some control, of course.

Through an app you can monitor what your child is spending money on and restrict what they can spend on in-app purchases or digital downloads. It’s also possible to set tasks – such as completing household jobs – for your child to complete to earn their pocket money. It can be easier to teach them to save too.

If there’s something your child really wants, you can agree on an amount to automatically save each week until they have enough to buy it themselves. And unlike giving pocket money the traditional way, app alerts mean you won’t forget your child’s pay day!

1. gohenry

If you want your child to start learning about saving and spending (but with parental control), gohenry could be the app for you. You get a parent account, which allows you to top up your child’s allowance and apply rules on how they can spend that money.

Plus, they will be able to use their card in shops, online and to withdraw cash. But don’t worry, you will get an instant notification whenever they use the card and can set weekly spending limits.

gohenry’s main draw for many children is its personalised debit debit card, which displays their own name and a design of their choice. However, each card comes with a £4.99 charge.

How much does it cost?

gohenry has a monthly membership fee of £2.99 per child – depending on how much you give your child in pocket money, this can seem like a big chunk. A standard gohenry debit card is free, as are payments and ATM withdrawals.

There is only one free transfer from the parent account to the child account each month (after that it’s 50p each time).


See our full review of gohenry


 

2. Rooster Money

Rooster Money helps you keep track of how much your child has earned for things like completed chores or weekly pocket money. One nice feature of this app is the ability to add pictures of items that children are saving up for and set a savings target, which is great for helping your child to visualise the end goal.

Children will also be able to see how much money they have saved and how they’ve spent it in an easy-to-read statement.

How much does it cost?

Rooster offers a free account, which gives you access to basic features, and two subscription accounts. For £1.99 per month (or 14.99 per year with one month free), you get some more advanced features including the ability to add interest to savings pots. For 24.99 per year, you also get a prepaid card and parent account. Payments and ATM withdrawals (up to £50 per month) are free.


See our full review of RoosterMoney


3. Starling Kite

If you have a current account with Starling Bank, this could be the app for you. Kite is a kid-friendly area within your own Starling bank account for children aged six to 16.

Your child can have a debit card of their own and separate app to monitor their balance and transactions. You simply download the regular Starling app on their device, and then set it up so they can only access the ‘Kite Space’.

You can be in control of your child’s spending (including where, when and how they use their prepaid kids’ debit card), while still giving them the freedom to learn how to use their money on and offline. You can also lock the card instantly if it’s lost or stolen.

How much does it cost?

The Starling Kite is £2 per month, with no fee for loading the card with money or ATM withdrawals.


What you need to know about: Starling Bank


4. Beanstalk

Beanstalk is an exciting new app that helps families work together to save and invest for their children.

From the people behind shopping club Kidstart, the app offers a tax-free stocks and shares Junior ISA (JISA) for your child. With no minimum amount or regular contribution required, you, grandparents – and anyone else you invite – can pay any amount of money into it at any time.

You can link the JISA to your Kidstart account, so any cash back you earn as you shop will be automatically added, and round up purchases made from your current account to add as savings.

For those who might struggle to commit to a regular deposit each month, it means you can save little and often and watch your child’s savings build. Beanstalk also offers an adult ISA for yourself, so you can manage your savings alongside your children’s in one place.

How much does it cost?

Using the Beanstalk app is free. For investments, there is an annual fee of 0.5 per cent. The funds also come with their own management fees, which are typically between 0.12 per cent and 0.15 per cent.

Although you can add your child’s pocket money and watch it grow – and even transfer it out if you need to – it’s designed for saving and investing, and therefore doesn’t come with a debit card for spending.


See our full review of Beanstalk


5. iAllowance

The makers of iAllowance claim it’s had a role in getting over 20 million chores completed. This app, which is only available on Apple products, allows you to track the amount of allowance you owe to each child. You can virtually “prompt” them to finish tasks and chores linked to their pocket money earning potential.

The information syncs across devices, and you can even email or print reports on how your child is doing.

How much does it cost?

iAllowance is free at its basic level, and a £2.99 one-off fee for full access. Note that this app doesn’t actually hold money – it simply keeps track of how much you owe your child. Therefore there is no debit card.

 

6. Gimi

Gimi is designed to help you and your child keep track of their allowance and chores, but also to provide financial education along the way. A virtual piggy bank fills with the weekly allowance you set, and you can define rewards for specific tasks.

But what’s most special about this app is that there are three sets of lessons to learn, which you and your child can work through together. The lessons are currently themed around Earning, Saving and Spending and help to identify financial topics to discuss. They are also accompanied by bright animated videos.

How much does it cost?

The app is free to use. Gimi does offer a ‘Gimi Master’ paid-for subscription service, which includes a Mastercard that can be preloaded by parents, but this is not yet available in the UK.


See our full review of Gimi


Good With Money occasionally uses affiliate links in articles, which means if you open an account with a provider after using the link, we are paid a small referral fee. 

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