Personal financial management is not a subject that is taught in every school or college. This is something that nearly all of us face sooner or later. Our competence in dealing with personal finances has been largely dependent on personal experience as parents did not pay much attention to teaching their children how to manage their pocket money. GoBankingRates says that one-third of Americans have no retirement savings. People are increasingly aware of the need to manage their personal finances efficiently taking into account tough economic times.
Parents are now more inclined to explain the rules of personal financial management to their children than never before in order to prepare them for life as adults. But unfortunately, many parents do not know these rules themselves. What can be done to overcome this problem? The answer is very simple: IT solutions can be employed. We live in a time when each of us has a mobile device, and children start using such devices from a very early age: the website LittleThings.com claims that 90% of 2-year-olds use tablets and smartphones. So children are unlikely to feel uncomfortable when learning to manage their finances with the help of technology.
Which Solutions Can be Used?
Websites are the first educational resource that should be addressed. They represent a treasure trove of data on personal financial management. Their content is not limited to articles covering this topic. Such websites may contain a boatload of games and quizzes teaching children to manage their finances, videos, and more. Some of them specialize in a certain type of education materials (e.g. Financial Entertainment represents a financial games library).
Let’s take a look at the Practical Money Skills website by Visa.
This website is full of educational materials that can be used by adults and children. Parents can choose materials depending on preferences of a child and his/her needs. Articles are written in simple words and children can understand them easily. They can be read by parents or by children themselves.
Children like games and they can play online games there, and these games will teach them to manage finances. If children (teenagers in particular) need some extra training in making savings and assessing their financial choices, they can use calculators. For instance, teenagers planning to take a year off before starting college usually travel abroad. They have a limited budget, so planning a travel budget plays a very important role. The Travel Budgeting Calculator can show them how much they will spend on a trip.
What about comics? People of different ages like them. This website offers several comics to the visitors that introduce fundamental money management concepts to readers.
Some other materials found on this website are videos, infographics, lesson plans (for educators), etc.
What are Other Options?
Think of downloading a mobile app to your device. Custom financial software and mobile application developers do their best to deliver a killer product. There are many good financial apps that can be used by children.
Here are some of them:
1. Quest to Clean Up: chores, rewards, saving. The app can help parents to teach their children to save and earn money on things they want. Children see how much effort is required to get an item they would like to get. Parents can add task and chores (paid/unpaid) using this app and reward kids after a task is completed.
2. Yuby. This app can become the first financial instrument for children. It has the Chore List that reminds its small users what their chores are and how much money they can get for each task. Yuby shows children the sum of money they have at the moment and displays their financial activity. Children can also see how much money they need to get the stuff from the Wish List.
3. Thrive ‘n’ Shine. This is an educational adventure game that teaches high school students to manage their personal finance. The app enables users to create avatars they like. Players learn to balance their needs and wants and earn different rewards. There are section quizzes and final summative assessments in this game. Teachers (or parents) can track children’s progress using an online dashboard.
4. bankaroo. This app represents a virtual bank that teaches children about the value of money. Parents and children can make use of this app to keep track of money that children save or spend. It helps children to save for important goals. The app supports different languages and currencies. It has a paid (school) version, as well.
5. Lunch Tracker. The app teaches children to manage their saving habits by tracking spending on lunch. It contains money-saving tips. Users can see how much money they spend on dining out, eating at home or packing lunch. Children can also take the 30-day challenge to find out how much they save on a monthly basis.
Becoming savvy managers of personal finances from an early age is very important as rules of personal financial management learned in the childhood can be used by in the adult life. IT solutions can become a means of teaching these rules. Parents can choose any solution their children may like, be it an online game, puzzle, mobile app or something else.