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4 Software Picks That Teach Kids About Money

Educational Software Teaches Money Management to Children

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Using software to teach children about money is a fun and engaging way to learn lifelong personal finance skills. Each of these free or low-cost educational software choices has a unique feature that may be especially appealing to your child.

1. KidsSave Software (Mac or PC)

KidSave money management software for kids has colorful graphics.
Copyright 2009 / Kidnexions
  • Ages 6 and up
  • Free trial / $30 (for up to 5 computers)
  • XP, Vista (64 bit support), Mac OS X 10.4 or later

KidsSave sports bold, colorful graphics to get kids interested in learning about money. Children enter deposits and withdrawals, count money, view account history, and can receive an automated allowance. Parents have access to accounts and can set up interest, allowance, matching funds, limit the amount of savings kids can spend, and receive confirmation of all transactions.

KidsSave Money Counter teaches young kids to identify bills and coins, counting money, and adding and subtracting money.

Unique feature: What-if scenarios show kids how money grows over time and the effect of interest rates.

2. Planet Orange (Online)

Planet Orange Teaches Kids Money Management Online
Image courtesy of ING DIRECT Plant Orange / http://www.orangekids.com
  • 1st - 6th grade
  • Free
  • Online
Planet Orange teaches kids about budgeting, spending, saving and investing with a rocket ride across four continents. Each continent teaches four areas of money management, and kids visit a space station where they can spend pretend space money on games and gear for their astronaut, or do odd jobs to earn some extra space currency.

The graphics and interactions in Planet Orange adventures are educational and fun, and money lessons are appropriate for each age level.

Planet Orange is online software with a good privacy policy. No last names are required and the child must register with the parent's email.

Unique feature: Includes parent and teacher resources.

3. Penguin Cold Cash (Windows and Mac)

Penguin Cold Cash for Mac or Windows teaches kids about managing money.
Copyright © EdVenture Software
  • Ages 5 - 11
  • $25
  • Windows Vista, XP, Macintosh OS X Native

Penguin Cold Cash is divided into six games with four levels of difficulty. Animated (and very cute) penguins teach how to identify bills and coins, count money, figure out money equivalents and count change.

Penguin Cold Cash activities include iceberg surfing, belly sledding and inner tubing behind a wheel, and players work with realistic money ranging from a penny to a hundred dollar bill. The program can be used to teach multiple children about money and each player has their own log-in.

Unique feature: Keeps track of high scores for each player, adding to the arcade game-like fun.

4. My Budget Planner for Kids or Teens (Windows)

My Budget Planner for Kids and My Budget Planner for Teens teaches children about managing money
Copyright 2003 - 2009 My Budget Planner, Inc.
  • My Budget Planner for Kids (Ages 4-9)
  • My Budget Planner for Teens (Ages 10-18)
  • $15
  • Windows 95 through Vista
My Budget Planner for Kids and My Budget Planner for Teens are basic personal finance software for kids. This software emphasizes income, saving, spending, and giving, and will help children learn to manage money.

My Budget Planner for Kids is attractive to younger children, and graphics are colorful but somewhat dated. The version for teens skips the cute graphics to provide a tool for organizing money and planning. Kids who are 15 or older will probably prefer online personal finance software with cell phone features.

Unique feature: Reinforces charitable giving.

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