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Managing your family’s finances can be overwhelming — there are more accounts to keep track of, more expenses to pay for and there may be kids in the picture who are at a crucial stage for learning about money. This is one area where technology can add convenience to your life.
A number of finance apps have emerged that are designed to help families. They typically allow multiple people to access shared account information and may come with parental controls for parents to set limits on their childrens’ spending.
These are some of the best apps that can help your family navigate shared budgets, build toward savings goals and educate children about key financial life lessons.
Best for couples: Honeydue
Honeydue, founded in 2016, allows couples to link financial accounts to the app and make comments on specific transactions, the way that you might on Venmo. If you share an account, the comment might ask: Is this your transaction or is it fraud?
Through the app, you can also set up budgets, set household spending limits as well as send a thumbs-up — or another emoji — to give your partner feedback. You can also pepper in privacy settings, including hiding transactions or limiting what data your partner can see. Perhaps you only share your bank balance, for instance.
Honeydue also comes with the option to open a joint bank account, which is managed custodially through Sutton Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.
Cost: Free to download. The app requires you to share your banking data.
Best for busy parents: Mint
Mint is a comprehensive financial management app that can help parents stay on top of upcoming bills, account balances and savings goals.
The app comes with an innovative set of tools designed to make budgeting as effortless as possible, which could be a godsend for parents who have countless bills, expenses and funds to keep track of, all while also caring for their children. With Mint, users can create unlimited budget categories and set spending limits for each of those categories. After linking accounts to the app, it will track spending for each category and notify the user when those numbers exceed the limit that was set.
Mint goes even further by providing recommendations for where you might be able to cut down on spending. It can help you find room for a little extra savings that can go toward something like a family vacation or a child’s college fund.
Cost: Free. Mint Premium costs $4.99 per month and comes with advanced features.
Best for tracking savings: Goodbudget
Goodbudget is a budgeting app that offers an updated version of the envelope method: You put aside a set amount of money for various budgeting goals at the beginning of the month in virtual envelopes, managed through the Goodbudget app. Then, you can spend only what you already set aside for each category.
You could also set aside money in envelopes for savings goals and not touch that money until you’ve reached your goal and are ready to carry it out. Some of those budgeting goals could include things like emergency savings, a vacation or a wedding fund.
Goodbudget is designed for shared management, too. You can set shared goals and spending categories and access the app from multiple synced devices at a time. The free version of Goodbudget allows you to sync up to two devices, with 20 total envelopes.
Cost: Free. There’s an option to upgrade for $7 monthly to get unlimited envelopes and more synced devices.
Best for teaching kids about finance: FamZoo
FamZoo is a prepaid debit card and a finance app designed with the intent to improve youth financial literacy.
Families can order as many prepaid cards as they’d like for each member to have, but the parent controls how much money each child has available for spending. The parent loads funds onto their card (the primary funding card), and then they can transfer a set amount from the primary card to their children’s cards. Likewise, children can also transfer money to their parents’ cards for things like bill sharing and chore penalties.
The prepaid debit cards are provided by Mastercard and funds stored on them are FDIC-insured. The prepaid cards are connected to an app, where children can monitor their spending and parents can control accounts through a shared dashboard. Children and parents can also create collaborative budgets and work together towards established savings goals.
Cost: $5.99 per month, with discounted options for paying for multiple months in advance
Best for teens: GoHenry
GoHenry is another personal finance app that comes with its own debit card. In this case, the debit card is connected to an FDIC-insured financial account that’s managed through the app. Parents can set spending limits, savings goals and get real-time alerts for their teens’ accounts, while their teens get to experience having some financial responsibilities.
A unique feature offered by the GoHenry app is Money Missions — a set of financial lessons for different age groups. Teens can complete challenges, tap through stories and earn badges for learning financial lessons. Parents can also opt to set up monetary rewards for when their kids complete a mission.
The GoHenry account can be funded by transfers from a parent’s account or it can be set up for direct deposit when a teen gets their first job. There are also no foreign transaction fees on the debit card and it can’t be overdrawn.
Cost: $4.99 per month, with a one-month free trial available.
If you want to use an app to help your family manage their shared finances, look for one that comes with features best suited to your household needs. Depending on whether you have children, how old your children are and how many bank accounts your family has, you may find that some apps are more specifically tailored to your situation.
It’s also important to look for any fees to use money management apps and consider whether the cost is worth what the app can offer you — something you could teach your kids to look out for, too.