My girls are getting to an age where they NEED to understand the concept of money and learn to be smart about it. I constantly look for practical ways to teach them things and in my quest, I found a wonderful app called "Rooster Money"... actually Iggy found it, but that's beside the point! ;)
While I understand that no parent wants his/her kids to "worry" about money, I wholeheartedly believe that we should raise money-conscious children from an early age since this will be something they'll deal with their whole life, so the earlier they understand basic money concepts, the better...
I want my kids to learn that money doesn't grow on trees but rather that it is a product of hard work and a constant effort; I also want them to understand that money has a value and that they must be smart about it...about how they spend it, how they save it and how they administer it. At the same time, I don't always feel comfortable with them carrying money around or even touching dirty bills and that's why "Rooster Money" is such a perfect fit for us.
The app has a dashboard where parents can assign an allowance based on their preferences (amount, frequency, etc). Parents can also "boost" their children's account if they choose to give them rewards for an extra chore well done, good grades, birthday gifts or whatever they wish to gift their kids for. In addition to money "boosts", parents can also deduct money from their children's account whenever they decide to spend money on something or whenever a parents believe money should be taken away.
"Rooster Money" also offers a children's dashboard where kids can set goals, whether it'd be a savings amount or money towards something they'd like to purchase in the future. Children have the option of putting money in their "wallet" or their "safe" and this allows for them to learn the concept of money to be saved vs. pocket money.
My favorite part about this app is that it's all "virtual" money and the kids never really handle "real" money; whenever they want to buy something with their money, it just comes out of my bank account and it's then deducted from their Rooster account. There are monthly statements that allow both parents and kids to see what money has come in our out of any given account. My girls have taken it a step further and whenever they get cash gifts from friends or family, they immediately hand it to me and ask me to add it to their Rooster account so I get to have cash in my wallet (which is rare!) and they get to add their money to their accounts to save or spend however and whenever they wish without having to worry about losing the actual bills.
This app has allowed the girls to understand basic money concepts and has also taught them better money management skills by giving them access to somewhat of a "mock" bank account that is theirs to handle without much hassle. I like that it's a way for them to visualize how cash flow is handled and why it's important to be smart about money in general.
Slowly but surely they have become more aware about money and have developed a conscience about spending and saving as healthy habits.
The app is FREE and it is very user friendly. I strongly recommend it for any parent who is looking to teach their children basic money concepts. Check it out when you can!