8 High-Tech Tools for Turning Kids Into Money Whizzes

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Money Tools for KidsIt’s never too early to start teaching children the ABC’s of money. After all, parents seem to be doling it out—big-time.

A survey by the American Institute of CPAs found that the average allowance of $780 a year provides kids with enough money to buy an Apple iPad and three Kindles—with money to spare for even more spending, seeing as only 1% of parents say their children save any of their allowance.

Effective money management hinges on adopting the right habits—and it’s important for parents to instill good ones at a young age. Of course, knowing not only when to begin teaching money smarts to kids but also where and how can be a challenge.

That’s why we rounded up a few of our favorite educational tools that are tailor-made for instilling in children of all ages lessons about saving, money management and even entrepreneurship. Then we asked Darrah Brustein, author of “Money-Making Sunny: Finance Whiz Kids” to weigh in on why they’re worth the investment.

Preschool Tools

Porkfolio
Cost: $49.99
Skills It Teaches: Saving

This smart piggybank, which lights up in celebration every time that a deposit is made, connects to a smartphone app that totals the change from afar—engaging young children in the seemingly boring topic of saving through positive reinforcement.

What the Expert Thinks: It’s also a great way to encourage setting and tracking financial goals, Brustein says. Let your little one pop in the coins, and watch the numbers add up!

ABCMouse.com
Cost: $7.95 per month
Skills It Teaches: Counting and other basic math

This award-winning site can familiarize children as young as 2 with such simple math concepts as counting and the principles of “more” and “less” through games, puzzles and other tools—ultimately setting the stage for someday teaching multiplication, algebra and geometry.

What the Expert Thinks: “[ABCMouse.com] is a great example of ‘edu-tainment’ at work,” Brustein says. “It offers a wide variety of lessons, but the math skills, in particular, will be great building blocks for kids as they learn about different financial concepts.”

RELATED: 5 Money Mistakes Parents Make … and How to Fix Them

  • Lindsay

    Another great tool for elementary age students is MoneyIsland. Only limit is it’s only available through schools directly or local community financial institutions, but it’s a great tool!

    • Lindsay

      oh – and it’s free!