Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Money Management Tools for Young People

Kids and teens of all ages need to be able to manage money. Whether it is understanding how far the modest allowance of your six-year-old son will go, or whether your teenage daughter wants to save up for a car, a trip, or a video game, understanding money and how to keep track of it is a crucial skill that will be even more important as young people move on to college and the workplace.

Some children and teens may find that they have difficulty keeping track of what they have and what they spend. These difficulties can be the result of problems with the underlying math and calculations involved, or impulsivity and lack of attention to detail. As with adults, kids' skills with money management vary widely and will likely improve over time, as math skills and judgment develop with age.

Parents and teachers can help children and teens build the skills they need while making money management easier and more enjoyable. The Wisconsin Media Lab provides a series of videos with lessons for students from K-12 that cover seven different aspects of financial literacy, including money management, saving and investing, and managing risk.

There are also numerous apps that kids will find fun and educational. We've listed some below:

Piggybot - free for iOS devices
This app is designed for 6-8 year olds and allows users to track allowance spending and savings.

Motion Math: Cupcake! - $5.99 for iOS devices.
Here at The Yellin Center we are big fans of Motion Math to build general math skills, and their Cupcake! game is another winner. This app, for ages 8 and up, helps teach proportions, word problems, coordinates, mixed numbers, and chart-reading by setting up and running a cupcake store.

Savings Spree - $5.99 for iOS devices
This award winning game helps children understand the consequences of their decisions to spend, save, donate, or invest. Designed for ages 7 and up, it introduces the concept of earning money and making choices about what to do once it is earned.

Mint - free for Android and iOS devices
This is a tool that allows teens -- and their parents -- to track their spending and savings by linking their bank accounts and credit cards to present a simple, unified financial picture.

Spendee - basic app is free for Android and iOS devices
Another tool for older teens and adults, Spendee helps to track expenditures, using very clear graphics.

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