The ability to manage money and take charge of our financial future is important, and yet, it’s not something that’s typically taught in schools.
A lack of financial literacy can lead to many struggles, from racking up credit card debt to not having enough to support your needs. It’s a valuable lesson students should grasp long before reaching adulthood.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) notes that financial education “can empower and equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take charge of their lives and build a more secure future for themselves and their families”.
They add that: “Building it into curriculums from an early age allows children to acquire the knowledge and skills to build responsible financial behaviour throughout each stage of their education. This is especially important as parents may be ill-equipped to teach their children about money: levels of financial literacy are generally low around the world.”
Clearly, teaching kids financial literacy is becoming more important than ever. Here are some nifty apps that can help students and children learn how to earn and manage their money and build their understanding of financial literacy:
If you want your child to understand the value of a dollar, Pennybox may be just the right app to get the message across and it doesn’t require a bank account.
Founded by a former Google employee, this free app (available on the App Store and on Google Play) helps children learn how to earn, save and spend their own pocket money while helping parents keep track of their activities.
Parents can set their kids tasks (e.g. chores such as cleaning the kitchen) and the app will remind their child to complete the tasks to earn ‘money’ on the app. Once kids have completed their tasks, parents’ will be notified to give them their financial reward.
When kids want to take cash out, parents can deduct an amount for something they want to buy, giving them a sense of ownership over their money while reinforcing good financial behaviour.
This cool app doesn’t only help children between the ages of five and 10 learn the value of money, but also the importance of being responsible through a fun game.
Children can earn money by planting a garden, building robots from recycled junk and saving energy around the house. They can also rescue animals and learn to care and play with them until these animals are ready to go home.
The app is only available on the App Store.
This free app teaches kids how to make decisions about items they want to buy based on their willingness to work for them.
Parents and teachers can add quests or tasks (both paid and unpaid) for kids to work their way towards earning these items, helping them understand how much effort is required to earn or buy an item. Children can also add items into their wishlist if they’re willing to work for it.
This award-winning app for children seven and up teaches kids how their daily decisions can add up to big savings or big expenses, depending on how they decide to spend (or not spend) their money.
Presented in a game show format, players are taken through six rounds that test their financial knowledge while helping them build money-saving skills.
Kids are taught how they can save their money for short-term goals (e.g. buying a want and not a need), to donate or invest the money for it to grow, in addition to saving for a rainy day fund for unexpected events.
This app is only available on the App Store and costs US$5.99.