Apps provide interactive opportunities for kids to practice math and money skills through games and activities, including a virtual bank.
Star Banks Adventure
Children solve puzzles, answer quiz questions, and save coins to build space devices to save the planet of Polaria from financial chaos. Financial concepts such as planning and investing are explored while enjoying a science-fiction adventure.
Recommended age: 4+
This educational game allows children to complete interactive lessons based on making the correct change. Kids can choose the level of difficulty, then practice math skills by identifying paper money and coins.
Recommended age: 6+
This online platform replicates a bank, teaching kids about savings, income, expenditures, money donated to charity, and more. You create an allowance and chore list, and then decide how much the kids earn for completing chores.
Recommended age: 6+
A virtual bank for kids, this app offers an easy-to-use interface. A profile page shows kids their current balance, goals, recent activities, and upcoming activities. Badges are earned by setting and reaching goals.
Recommended age: 6+
Kids are introduced to financial basics through text and mini games in a series of rounds full of cute illustrations. Kids learn about different saving choices, how money is earned, how to develop healthy spending habits, why you should avoid impulse purchases, and the importance of a rainy day fund.
Recommended age: 7+
Play as a money manager and make financial decisions to help fake celebrities with money problems avoid debt. Storylines and minigames make this app fun as well as educational. Learn the difference between debit and credit cards, what an APR is, minimum payments, how to mix thrift with life satisfaction, and more.
Recommended age: 8+
Tweens & Teens
Acorns is a micro-investing app for smartphones that invests your spare change by rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar and investing the difference. It’s a great way to start saving for retirement. However, as your career and financial needs evolve, you should seek professional financial planning advice about your growing wealth management goals.
Bigwords comparison shops text books – new, used, and rentals. The app can search by author, title, publisher, or ISBN, across multiple online retailers. It even factors in promotional offers and coupons when calculating the lowest price.
Credit Karma lets you check your credit score as often as you like for free. (Otherwise, you only get one free credit check per year per credit bureau). It offers insights on improving your score, and alerts you when your score updates. Credit scores are key factors for lenders: The higher your credit score, the better your loan terms.
Mint is a well-known personal finance app, with online and mobile versions. Connect your accounts and loans, create budgets, categorize transactions, and set spending limits. Alerts, graphs, and charts report your progress.
Mvelopes mimics the traditional ‘envelope’ approach to saving. Set up as many virtual envelopes as you want towards short- and long-term savings goals. The basic plan syncs with unlimited bank accounts and credit cards via web, iOS, and Android apps.
PayPal is a well-known payment app. Use it for online shopping, and for sending and receiving money e.g., reimbursing your roommate for last night’s cab fare, or receiving funds from your parents while on campus.
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) lets you earn cashback for your purchases when you shop through their links. Each quarter, they send you a rebate check or PayPal payment.
Slice tracks all your purchases, storing receipts (no more searching for the receipt for a refund!), and even providing delivery alerts – especially useful if you’re on campus and need to keep an eye out for the delivery truck!
Tip Calculator (for Android) and Tip Calculator % (for Apple) is a free tip calculator that helps split the bill when dining with friends, and calculates the correct tip, based on your bill. ages 4+
Unbury.Me is a free online app that’s basic, yet useful. Simply enter debt data such as your student loan balances. The program creates a colorful graph, showing interest paid, outstanding balance, payoff timelines, and more. Adjust the settings to consider different scenarios e.g., paying off debts with the highest interest rate first (the ‘avalanche’ method), or those with the lowest principal (the ‘snowball’ method).
Venmo is a digital wallet app that also lets you make and share payments. It’s actually owned by PayPal, and has similar functionality, while being more socially oriented e.g., splitting bills, repaying friends, etc.
Wally simplifies financial record-keeping by letting you snap pics of your receipts. It then tallies your spending on a daily basis, helping you to see where your money’s going.
YNAB is available online and on mobile devices, including Apple watches and Alexa. The app identifies how much money you have, what you need to spend it on, and when. It can track regular payments like monthly rent, plus larger or less frequent budget items like car insurance premiums.
Note: This list doesn’t represent SageVest’s endorsement of any of the products discussed, which you use at your own risk. To find out more about any of these apps, please visit the app store on your device. Not all the apps mentioned are free.