My dad, who worked odd hours, would sometimes forget to give me my allowance. I would have to bother him by phone to remind him why I deserved my $5. Parents don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay an allowance now – there are apps for that.
From PTA meetings to work projects, mom and dad have other priorities than remembering to give their children $10. But to the child, that pocket money can be essential.
By using an app that sends allowances and tracks spending, parents can be more aware of where the money is going and maybe even teach kids how to save for future expenses.
As more parents and children have smartphones and tablets, there are some fun and educational ways to hand over what amounts to a few dollars every week.
Here are four apps that can help:
Geared more toward teens, the Bankaroo app has a virtual bank that allows teens to track their allowances, set savings goals and manage their spending. Parents set up the accounts for their teens, and then mom or dad dispenses allowances and can match or remove funds (so you better keep your room clean). Having access to the virtual bank lets parents monitor their teens’ accounts.
Extra perks: As teens try to save to meet their personal goals, they receive badges to mark their financial accomplishments. If using Bankaroo with younger children, the app has pretend currencies, such as hearts and points.
Platform: iOS and Android; free.
iAllowance lets parents set up automatic payments in a virtual account, so children don’t have to remind mom or dad to refill their kitty. When kids want to use their money, parents can tap their accounts to purchase the items their children need. For children who want to save their allowance, parents can add an interest rate. iAllowance also lets parents add extra money or rewards for finished tasks.
Extra perks: The app tracks allowances, and it also monitors chores. Seeing the chores in the app – and getting reminders – encourages children to finish their duties around the house.
Platform: iOS; $3.99
PiggyBot considers itself a virtual IOU. Parents can add money to separate virtual bank accounts for their children. Children then can see if they owe their parents or if their parents owe them. Kids can set a savings goal, take pictures of items they want, donate their money or share money with a sibling. If a child wants to purchase something, parents can remove the amount from the child’s account to buy the item. If the kids create a savings account, they are congratulated when they reach their savings goal.
Extra perks: The app shows youngsters how much more they need to reach their goal and how long it will take to get there by tracking the child’s spending and savings habits.
Platform: iOS; free.
4. Allowance & Chores Bot.
Allowance & Chores Bot can dispense allowances automatically, by the amount of chores completed or a mix of allowance and chore payments. If a child wants to use their funds, parents deduct the amount from the account. Parents who forget to deposit an allowance are sent reminders. Parents also have the ability to withhold allowances as a punishment (if you don’t rake the leaves, you don’t get your cash). Also, Allowance & Chores Bot lets parents password-protect different parts of the app so kids can’t make changes, such as increasing allowance amounts.
Extra perks: The app visually graphs money in the savings account to show spending habits. Parents can use the app to assign chores on a daily, weekly or monthly schedule for multiple children. For punishments, parents can add more chores to their kid’s schedule.
Platform: iOS and Android; $2.99.