While pink, porcelain piggy banks remain the image most associated with pocket money, nowadays it is far from the most practical way for your kids to store their weekly allowance.
Luckily, there is a world of pocket money apps for kids that not only allow them to digitally manage their allowance and savings, but can help start teaching them the important financial skills they will need as they grow older.
Below, we detail the range of options now available to parents and guardians, from chore and pocket money trackers, to prepaid cards that can be used in store, online and at ATMs. All stepping stones if you don’t yet feel your child is ready for a full kids’ bank account.
When putting together this list, we have only included pocket money apps for kids with more than 100 reviews across the App Store and Play Store combined. Ratings are accurate as of 5 October 2021.
You, as the parent or guardian, would not only load up your child’s card with your chosen amount of money, but control when and where they spent it.
You do this from your own adult HyperJar app. Your child, meanwhile, can have their own app to monitor their balance and transactions. The companion child app is not a requirement; if you would rather your child only had the prepaid card, that’s fine.
With HyperJar, you can also create an unlimited number of savings Jars. These are a way for your child to learn about budgeting, financial planning and responsible spending and saving.
- Play Store: 4.8 stars, 751 reviews
- App Store: 4.7 stars, 1,590 reviews
- Age: 6-16
- Price: Free
RoosterMoney has a number of plans, which gradually build from a basic task tracker to a prepaid card.
There are two free plans: the first is called Star Chart. RoosterMoney says this is appropriate for age three and above – it allows you to set goals and reward your child with ‘Stars’ for good behaviour as an alternative to a monetary allowance.
The second free plan, aimed at children aged five-plus, is called Virtual Tracker. This allows your child to keep track of their money and spending, without the need to pay in a deposit
The next plan, called Rooster Plus,costs £14.99 a year and is aimed at all ages. As well as the ability to set goals and savings targets, this plan has a chore management system and the ability to create interest rates to incentivise saving.
Suitable for six- to 18-year-olds, the final plan is Rooster Card. It costs £24.99 a year for the first card and £19.99 a year for additional cards for other children. This, like HyperJar, comes with a prepaid card, which you can customise in terms of spending limits and permissions.
- Play Store: 4.7 stars, 3,338 reviews
- App Store: 4.7 stars, 1,699 reviews
- Age: 3-18 (feature dependent)
- Price: Free to £24.99 a year (feature dependent)
Starling Kite operates slightly differently to the other options on this list. Instead of a dedicated children’s app, Kite is a kid-friendly area within your own Starling bank account.
Your child would, however, still have an app of their own to monitor their balance and transactions. You would download the regular Starling app on their device, and then set it up so they could only access the Kite Space.
Like with HyperJar and RoosterMoney, you would be in control of your child’s spending, i.e. where, when and how they use their prepaid kids’ debit card, while still giving them the freedom to learn how to use their money on and offline.
- Play Store: 4.4 stars, 57,488 reviews
- App Store: 4.9 stars, 253,196 reviews
- Age: 6-16
- Price: £2 a month per card (maximum six)
GoHenry is another children’s pocket money account that comes with a prepaid card for kids.
With GoHenry, you can set up regular pocket money payments to your child who can then spend in store, online and at cashpoints when you think they are ready.
You can also set various spending limits and saving goals from your parental control account, as well as tasks and chores for your kids to complete.
- Play Store: 4.5 stars, 19,622 reviews
- App Store: 4.7 stars, 23,485 reviews
- Age: 6-18
- Price: £2.99 a month
Chores & Allowance Bot
With its cartoon, kid-friendly design, Chores & Allowance Bot is essentially a digital piggy bank.
Your child would not be able to spend the balance that is shown in their app. Instead, they would need to ask you for the money in the ‘real’ world. You then deduct the money from their account once it has been spent. This means it might be more suitable for younger children.
The other major part of the app is its chore tracker. Once your child has completed their task, you can even set up ‘payments’ to be approved automatically.
- Play Store: 4.4 stars, 1,078 reviews
- App Store: 4.7 stars, 52 reviews
- Age: 4+
- Price: Free for Lite, $2.99 a month premium
Only available on Apple products, iAllowance is similar to Chores & Allowance Bot.
It is another digital piggy bank where your child can track their allowance, but you will have to give them the money yourself. You can set up automated pocket money payments, give them chores and tasks with reminders, and create interest rates for their savings.
- App Store: 4.4 stars, 1,809 reviews
- Age: 4+
- Price: Free for Lite, £2.99 one-off fee for full access
Osper is a prepaid card for kids in the same vein as GoHenry and HyperJar, and comes with many of the same features.
These include parental limits on when, where and how much your child spends (all controlled from your app) and the ability to lock their card if it is lost or stolen.
The app also allows your child to set up their own automatic monthly saving transfers, based on a percentage of their incoming allowance.
- Play Store: 3.9 stars, 1,485 reviews
- App Store: 4.3 stars, 1,132 reviews
- Age: 8-18
- Price: £2.50 a month
As with its prepaid card peers, Nimbl is a kids’ pocket money app that allows parents to set the parameters of their child’s spending while still teaching them how to manage their own money.
You can choose between weekly or monthly digital pocket money payments, lock and unlock the card when needed, and see where your child has been spending with instant alerts on your own app.
- Play Store: 4 stars, 198 reviews
- App Store: 3.6 stars, 122 reviews
- Age: 6-18
- Price: £2.49 a month or £28 a year
Gimi is a kids’ pocket money app that can change into a prepaid card when you think the time is right for your child.
The free Gimi Beginner account allows your child to learn how to save, and gives you as the parent a place to put their pocket money.
For a subscription fee Gimi Master, meanwhile, adds a prepaid card to the account, with the same kind of parental controls found in the other products mentioned above.
- Play Store: 3.5 stars, 4,174 reviews
- App Store: 4 stars, 115 reviews
- Age: 7+
- Price: Free for app, paid subscription for prepaid card
Image source: Getty Images