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A few more kids are being taught financial literacy than in the past, but most still aren’t—leaving technologies such as money apps to help bridge the gap.

Currently, fewer than 23% of U.S. high school students are required to take a personal finance course to graduate, according to Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF). That’s certainly better than 17% just a few years ago, but it still means most teens and young adults aren’t improving their financial literacy through school.

The problem is nationwide. The American Public Education Foundation’s “Nation’s Report Card on Financial Literacy” found that roughly two-thirds of U.S. states received a grade of C or lower “based on currently available state-wide requirements, standards, and curriculum for personal finance.”

Clearly, many teens aren’t receiving the comprehensive financial advice they need.

When youths can’t necessarily rely on their schools to learn about finances, they need help from their parents, and to an extent, they need to teach themselves. Fortunately, a variety of financial apps for teens and young adults can help them manage their money, teach them how to be financially responsible, and make saving for the future easier.

In this article, we cover the best money apps for teens, under 18 year olds, minors, young adults—whatever group to which you feel you belong—where you can manage your money, invest, and watch it grow. To help you find the money app that’s right for you, we’ve looked at various categories: investing apps, budgeting apps, general money/banking apps, and more. 

(Editor’s Note: Some apps are wide-ranging financial apps that provide several services, and thus appear in more than one category.)

Best Money Apps for Teens—Our Top Picks


Best Brokerage Account + Debit Card for Teens
Best Premium Money App for Teens
Best Free Money App for Teens
Open a Fidelity® Youth Account for your teen, and Fidelity will drop $50 into their account. Get $100 for yourself when you open a new Fidelity account and fund with $50¹.
Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (Each account supports up to 5 children.)
Free, no monthly fees
Best Brokerage Account + Debit Card for Teens
Open a Fidelity® Youth Account for your teen, and Fidelity will drop $50 into their account. Get $100 for yourself when you open a new Fidelity account and fund with $50¹.
Best Premium Money App for Teens
Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (Each account supports up to 5 children.)
Best Free Money App for Teens
Free, no monthly fees

Best Investing Apps for Teens, Minors + Young Adults


Want to learn how to invest as a teenager or young adult? If so, numerous investing apps provide easy ways to invest—though, depending on your age, a few might require overcoming some legal roadblocks.

If you begin your investing journey early, even modest gains will give you a major advantage in where your finances will start as a young adult. Despite the volatility of the past couple years, holding money in the stock market over the long term has created wealth for countless individuals. And you can use one of your best advantages—your young age—to get a head start!

Just understand that if you’re a minor and you want to use investing apps, you’ll face one basic problem: You’re not allowed to open your own brokerage account. While many investing apps (e.g., Webull, Robinhood, Acorns) look well-suited to young investors, you generally still need to be at least 18 years old to invest by yourself in the United States.

But that’s OK.

You can get around this roadblock in a number of ways. One such way is to have a parent or legal guardian open a custodial account. This type of account lets you use investing apps for minors while you’re still young and through adulthood, when they’ll revert to your name. Other investing apps (including our top investing app for teens!) use different methods to sidestep this issue.

Also, three of the apps mentioned also appear in the following sections because these services offer multiple products.

Related: The 10 Best Micro Investing Apps

1. Fidelity® Youth Account (Top Investing App for Teens)


fidelity youth account sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: No account fees, no account minimum, no trading commissions
  • Promotion: Teens get $50 on Fidelity® when they open an account; parents get $100 when they fund a new account

Is your teen interested in jumpstarting their financial future? Do you want them to build smart money habits along the way?

Of course you do! Learning early about saving, spending and investing can pay off big when you start on the right foot. And one tool that can help your teen get that jump is the Fidelity® Youth Account—a brokerage account owned by teens 13 to 17 that’s designed to help them start their investing journey. They can use their own brokerage account to start their investing journey by trading most U.S. stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and Fidelity mutual funds.

Your teen will also get a free debit card with no subscription fees, no account fees, no minimum balances, and no domestic ATM fees. And they can use this free debit card for teens4 to manage their cash and spend it whenever they need.

And as for building smart money habits? You and your teen can access Fidelity’s Dedicated Youth Learning Center, which is packed with materials developed specifically to help teens develop good financial habits.

Controls Parents Want and Need

A parent or guardian must have or open a brokerage account with Fidelity® to open a Fidelity® Youth Account. For new Fidelity® customers, opening an account is easy, and there are no minimums and no account fees.

Parents and guardians have plenty of tools they can use to monitor their teen’s activity: They have online account access, can follow monthly statements and trade confirmations, and can view debit card transactions made in the account.

To make it even easier, you can set up alerts to notify you of trades, transactions, and cash management activity, keeping you firmly in the loop on actions your teen takes across the Fidelity® Youth Account’s suite of products.

If your teen has an interest in learning about investing and taking their first steps toward building their financial journey, you should consider opening a Fidelity® Youth Account. The account comes custom-built for their needs, which will help them become financially independent and start investing for their future.

Read more in our Fidelity Youth Account review.

 

2. Greenlight App (Best Investment Account With Parental Controls)


greenlight sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial, then $9.98/mo. for Greenlight Max

Greenlight Max is an investment account for kids that comes paired with a debit card and bank account.

It’s easy to use and can double as a savings account and banking apps for teens. The investing app will teach the basics of investing, how to invest in stocks and ETFs, and more.

It works best if parents and/or grandparents are involved in the process because it requires linked accounts from the adults’ banks or brokerages. Plus, parents and guardians will need to approve trades made in the investment account.

The all-in-one plan teaches them important financial skills like money management and investing fundamentals—with real money, real stocks and real-life lessons.

You can use the investing feature to:

  • Start investing with as little as $1 in your account
  • Buy fractional shares of companies you admire (say, kid-friendly stocks)
  • No trading commissions beyond the monthly subscription fee
  • Teens can only invest in U.S.-listed stocks and ETFs that have either a market capitalization over $1 billion or a three-month average daily dollar volume of more than $500,000
  • Parents must approve every trade directly in the app.

Consider opening a Greenlight Card + Max account to start investing in a joint investment account as a teenager today. Each account supports up to five kids.

Greenlight currently offers a free one-month trial so you can see whether it really is one of the best investments for kids and, more importantly, meets all of your needs.

Learn more in our Greenlight review.

Related: Best Greenlight Alternatives

 

3. Acorns Early (Best Custodial Account That Transitions to Adulthood)


acorns

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Acorns Personal: $3/mo., Acorns Family: $5/mo.

Acorns is an investing app geared toward minors, young adults and millennials by offering “Round-Ups”: The app rounds up purchases made on linked debit and credit cards to the nearest dollar, investing the difference on your behalf.

For example, if you purchase a coffee for $2.60 on a linked credit card, Acorns automatically rounds this charge up to $3.00 and puts the 40-cent difference aside. Once those Round-Ups reach at least $5, they can be transferred to your Acorns account to be invested.

Users have seen an average of $30/month invested this way and makes the service one of the best investments for young adults who are looking to get started with saving and investing.

The investing app allows minors to have custodial accounts managed by their parent or legal guardian through their product Acorns Early available under the Family Plan ($5/month).

Making regular contributions over long periods of time can go a long way toward building lifelong wealth. Using an investing app like Acorns could also be the best way to invest $1,000 for a child‘s future.

Acorns has the following subscription options:

  • Acorns Personal ($3/mo.): Includes an Acorns Invest investment account, as well as Acorns Later for tax-advantaged investment options such as Roth IRAs. Also includes Acorns Checking, a bank account with no account fees, the ability to withdraw from more than 55,000 ATMs nationwide,
  • Acorns Family ($5/mo): Everything in Acorns Personal (Acorns Invest, Later and Checking), plus Acorns Early. This allows you to open a custodial investment account for your child so you can begin investing for them while they’re a minor.

Learn more in our Acorns review.

Related: Best Acorns Alternatives: Micro-Investing Apps to Use

 

4. Stash Invest (Approachable, Simplified Investing App)


stash sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Growth: $3/mo. Stash+: $9/mo.

Stash is more than an investing app, also boasting other personal finance services such as money management and banking features1. The app has a special appeal to young adults because of its powerful platform and wide array of benefits.

On the Stash+ plan, Stash offers custodial investing accounts (UGMA/UTMA) for you to invest for your children or other kids in your life. When a child reaches the majority (typically age 18), they can use the money saved in their Stash account to pay for education and other opportunities.

As you contribute money to your Stash account, these amounts can be used to purchase fractional shares of companies, meaning you can invest in as little as $1 worth of Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), or other companies you think might help you build wealth over time4.

Stash has thousands of individual stocks and ETFs for investors to choose from. The Stash Growth and Stash+ plans offer you the ability to contribute to tax-advantaged investments like traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

You’ll start your investing journey by answering some simple questions to understand your investment preferences, risk profile and financial objectives. Based on these answers, Stash makes recommendations for you.

If you sign up using the link below, Stash will deposit a $5 bonus into your personal portfolio after you deposit at least $5 into your personal portfolio*. To get you started, use this link or click the button below.

For additional details and disclosures, please see the fine print at the bottom of this article.

5. EarlyBird (Custodial Accounts With Personal Touches)


EarlyBird signup 2022 2023

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: $2.95/mo. for one child, $4.95/mo. for families with 2+ children

EarlyBird is a mobile app that allows parents and guardians to set up a UGMA account, where they can quickly start investing for their children. It also allows friends and family to easily gift money to a child.

EarlyBird allows you to choose from five strategic ETF-only portfolios, with investing goals ranging from conservative to aggressive, based on your stated risk tolerance and overall investor profile. This removes the complexity of conducting your own research or selecting specific investments.

Do family and friends want to provide a gift, but think money is too impersonal? With EarlyBird, they can record a video to go along with their financial contribution, personalizing these moments which last a lifetime. And if you’d like to give but the recipient doesn’t have an EarlyBird account, you can text them a link from the app to the recipient’s phone number.

EarlyBird also has a “Moments” feature that allows parents to begin to save and share special milestones and memories alongside their investments. Parents can add a “Moment” to their child’s timeline at any time by uploading photos or videos with notes to capture magical moments as their child grows—no contributions necessary (but naturally encouraged). You can choose to automatically share Moments with anyone else who has invested in your child on EarlyBird, but each Moment also has its own unique link that you can share with people outside of the app.

An EarlyBird investment account costs $2.95 per month for one child, or $4.95 per month for multiple children. When parents or guardians set up a new custodial investment account through EarlyBird, they must start with a $15/month recurring contribution minimum. However, you can change that recurring contribution amount higher or lower as your budget allows or necessitates.

Consider opening an EarlyBird account today and receive $15 to get you started after opening your account. Also, EarlyBird currently is in the “early access” stages of a cryptocurrency offering. Through a partnership with Gemini, one of the world’s largest and most secure crypto exchanges, EarlyBird also offers a crypto wallet that can hold Ethereum and Bitcoin when you sign up for an investment account. You will receive $25 when you open your wallet to invest in Ethereum or Bitcoin, and you can also earn a $50 referral bonus, which you can invest in the same token of choice, when you refer three other families.

 

6. UNest (Custodial Account With Bonus Offers)


unest sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Core (one child): $2.99/mo. Plus (unlimited children): $5.98/mo.

Parents using UNest have the flexibility to save for all the important life stages their children will experience: college, a first car, even a home.

This money app acts as a great investment app for under-18-year-olds because it allows parents to invest under the names of their kids through a custodial account.

UNest offers the UNest Investment Account for Kids through an app that makes it easy for families of all income levels and backgrounds to set up and manage savings and investment plans for their kids.

Account holders can receive bonuses for their children’s UNest accounts via partner offers from companies such as Disney, AT&T, Uber, DoorDash, Levi’s, etc., through the UNest partner program.

UNest also has entered the crypto arena. UNest Plus members can choose to invest in digital assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana.

 

7. Webull (Best Investing App for Age 18+ Only)


webull sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free to download, no stock/ETF trade commissions

Webull is a relatively new market entrant in the investing space, launching in 2018. Despite this, they’ve created a very powerful self-directed investing experience for anyone looking to cut their teeth on trading and long-term investing.

As an added benefit, they offer a robust paper trading product to allow you to learn about market and stock movements without exposing your own money to loss.

The company is a free stock trading app that also provides free trades of ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies through its mobile app or desktop site. In other words: You pay no commissions for trades you make in your portfolio.

Webull does not currently offer custodial accounts, so while this is one of the best investing apps for teens, we’re talking about the high teens: 18 and 19. Young adults can use this app once they reach the age of majority and make their own investment decisions. The company also offers free stocks for users who sign up.

Read more in our Webull review.

Related: 9 Best Portfolio Analysis Tools [Portfolio Analyzer Options]

Best Money Apps for Teens


They say that cash “burns a hole in your pocket.” That’s because the money is just sitting right there, making it easy to spend. Many people find it extremely difficult to save cash.

Then there are credit cards. Credit cards, while great if you use them responsibly, can make new cardholders feel like they have unlimited spending power … and that can lead to overspending. (Also, credit cards are just about spending; they teach you nothing about saving.)

That’s why in many ways, the money apps below are better than cash or credit cards.

Money apps can address multiple financial needs and accomplish several goals. For instance, a budgeting app might only help you budget—but a money app might help you budget, spend responsibly, manage a bank account, and even allow you to invest.

Related: Money Apps for Young Kids

8. Greenlight App (Best Premium Money App for Teens)


greenlight sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial, $4.99/mo. after

While Greenlight was highlighted above for its investing functionality, the company first started as a money app for teens focused on helping kids manage their money while establishing parental oversight.

Greenlight works like a prepaid debit card. You can choose how much money to load onto the card and it will be cleared to make approved purchases so long as a money balance backs up the card.

But Greenlight provides parents with control over where their teens can spend money by limiting the stores where their cards work. Parents also can receive alerts when money is spent.

Teens who want extra money can request it and even include a photo of the purchase they want to make. Teenagers who have jobs can add their own funds to the card as well.

And the Greenlight card is accepted at any ATM that accepts Mastercard, Visa, Interlink or Maestro cards. (Just note that most ATMs charge withdrawal fees, and these fees will be charged per withdrawal.)

The Greenlight debit card for teens and kids is a good choice for parents interested in teaching kids about money, including the importance of saving money and being prudent with their personal finances. It can also be used to build teenage money management skills.

This financial product can be an effective learning tool for helping kids to understand why saving should be a priority. It can also be used to simplify paying an allowance or tracking chores.

Greenlight also has numerous safety features. Your child needs permission to move money out of the account. Further, Greenlight encrypts data and pictures of your child, preventing that information from being accessed by anyone but yourself. Each Greenlight card comes with a PIN number (like a traditional debit card). And every account is FDIC-insured.

Consider Greenlight’s debit card if you want to have control over what your kids buy and also teach them about responsible spending.

Related: 13 Best Allowance and Chore Apps for Kids [Easier Family Life]

 

9. Step (Best Free Money App for Teens)


step banking sign up

The free Step Visa Card is a unique “hybrid” secured credit card that’s tailor-made for kids and teens. It has the safety of a debit card, but it functions like a Visa credit card—including the ability to build your child’s credit history.

Parents, who sponsor the card for their child, add money to this FDIC-insured account and can determine how their child can spend. A regular Step account allows a child to have both a physical spending card as well as a virtual card in the Step app, while a Parent Managed Account only allows the child to spend via a physical card. Either way, they can use their card anywhere Visa is accepted. Children can also use their cards to withdraw money from more than 30,000 ATMs for free.

And parents needn’t fear that their child will overdraft—they can’t spend any money they don’t have.

Further, the Step Card comes protected by Visa’s Fraud Protection and Zero Liability guarantee. That means if your teen’s card gets lost or stolen, or misplaced and fraudulent charges crop up, you can dispute the charges within a certain time frame to avoid liability for paying.

The Step Card also boasts a great savings tool for kids. With Savings Roundup, small purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar figure; that extra money is put toward a savings goal. (Example: Your child buys a cup of coffee for $2.75; Step rounds up to $3.00 and puts 25 cents toward a goal.)

Step even features an “invest” function that allows children age 13 and older to buy and sell Bitcoin for a small transaction fee. They can also earn Bitcoin (or cash) rewards when they opt into offers from companies like Hulu, Chick-Fil-A, CVS, and The New York Times. The app is not a pure crypto wallet, however—your kids currently can’t spend Bitcoin directly at vendors.

One of the most unique and powerful features of the Step card is its ability to build your child’s credit history. With this optional feature, Step will report the past two years’ worth of information—transactions, payment history, and more—to the credit bureaus when your child turns 18. That can greatly improve their chances of starting adult life with a better credit score, which can help lower the cost of things like student loans and auto insurance.

And Step is absolutely free: No monthly fees, no subscription fees, no account minimum fees, no ATM fees within Step’s network of 30,000-plus ATMs, and no interest rate.

For Step disclaimer, please see the fine print at the bottom of this article.

 

10. Fidelity® Youth Account (Money App With Free Debit Card)


fidelity youth account sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: No account fees, no account minimum, no trading commissions
  • Promotion: Teens get $50 on Fidelity® when they open an account; parents get $100 when they fund a new account

In addition to being an excellent investing app for teens, Fidelity® Youth Account is also a great all-around money app.

Learning early about saving, spending and investing can pay off big when you start on the right foot. And one tool that can help your teen get that jump is the Fidelity® Youth Account—a brokerage account owned by teens 13 to 17 that’s designed to help them start their investing journey.

Your teen will also get a free debit card with no subscription fees, no account fees, no minimum balances, and no domestic ATM fees. And they can use this free debit card for teens4 to manage their cash and spend it whenever they need.

And as for building smart money habits? You and your teen can access Fidelity’s Dedicated Youth Learning Center, which is packed with materials developed specifically to help teens develop good financial habits.

Parents and guardians have plenty of tools they can use to monitor their teen’s activity: They have online account access, can follow monthly statements and trade confirmations, and can view debit card transactions made in the account.

A parent or guardian must have or open a brokerage account with Fidelity® to open a Fidelity® Youth Account. For new Fidelity® customers, opening an account is easy, and there are no minimums and no account fees.

If your teen has an interest in learning about investing and taking their first steps toward building their financial journey, you should consider opening a Fidelity® Youth Account. The account comes custom-built for their needs, which will help them become financially independent and start investing for their future.

Related: 12 Top Banking Apps for Kids

11. Revolut <18 (Best for Parent-Paid Bonuses)


revolut under 18 signup

Revolut <18 is a prepaid debit card for kids designed to teach them money skills for life. Aimed at building healthy money habits from an early age, the unique, customizable card empowers parents to have full insight into their kids’ card activity through providing instant spending alerts and parental controls.

You can choose to freeze the card, set controls on how they use the cards online and with contactless payments through your Revolut app. Further, you can set spending limits on how much your child can use with the prepaid card.

Parents use the card and accompanying app to teach kids about earning, budgeting, saving and even investing money (depending on the plan chosen). You can also use the card to manage chores and allowance, set savings goals as a family and help your children manage their money.

And if your child did something deserving of a reward? You can send parent-paid bonuses when they complete specific tasks. Simply add money to their digitized piggy bank through the app. You can send and receive money in seconds through Revolut’s Payments feature, which allows instant transfers between account holders and also global transfers at transparent rates.

Of note, you must have a personal Revolut account before you can open a Revolut <18 account for your children. You can add up to five Junior accounts per parent account.

To learn more about Revolut <18, consider visiting their site and opening an account for yourself and your child.

 

12. Copper Card (Best for Teen Independence)


copper card sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Variable pricing on Copper and Copper + Invest plans

Copper Banking was founded on the belief that kids and teens should have equal access to financial education and should be empowered to learn by doing. Now, the company is on a mission to help children gain real-world experience by giving them access to their money in a way that traditional banks can’t.

The Copper app and debit card teaches your child how to make smart financial decisions by creating a platform where parents and their kids can connect. With the Copper app, you get easy snapshots of your accounts. And with the Copper Debit Card, it’s easy to shop in-store or online, including with Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Plus, users get exclusive access to engaging advice curated by a team of financial literacy experts who provide tips on how to take control of their financial future.

Copper Banking Features:

  • Send/Request: Kids and parents can easily send and receive money all at the touch of a button.
  • Spend: Spend using Apple or Google Pay, or using the Copper Debit Card.
  • Withdraw: Access your money from more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs.
  • Monitor: Get a snapshot of all your child’s spending in an easy-to-read dashboard.
  • Save: Gain quick snapshots of your kid’s savings and helpful tips on how to save even more. Set up savings buckets and save for the things that you want.
  • Learn: With the help of Copper’s team of financial literacy experts, gain bite-sized tips on how you can maximize your money and prepare yourself for your financial future.

The basic Copper account includes the above banking features. With Copper + Invest, your child also gets access to automatically curated smart portfolios built with their preferences in mind. Your child is given a questionnaire that helps Copper determine a portfolio based on their age, income, net worth, investment objective(s) and investment horizon. Copper then recommends one of three ETF portfolios—Moderately Aggressive, Aggressive, and Extra Aggressive—made up of thousands of stocks. Parents can review the portfolio to ensure it matches with not just your child’s preferences, but your family’s. (Portfolios can be changed later on by accessing the Support chat.)

Your child can begin investing for as little as $1, then add more contributions down the road. Copper will automatically rebalance the portfolio as needed to make sure it always keeps up with your child’s investment preferences.

Copper is available to kids 6 years and older.

Read more in our Copper Banking review.

 

13. Acorns


acorns

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Acorns Personal: $3/mo. Acorns Family: $5/mo.

Acorns has become one of the most popular money apps for teens and young adults by offering a robust money management platform. That’s why we’ve included it here for a second time.

The full suite of offerings includes the ability to establish custodial accounts for minors to invest, regular and retirement investment accounts for adults, and bank accounts with linked Visa debit cards.

This bank account—Acorns Checking, which comes with Acorns Personal and Family subscriptions—is an FDIC-insured account that features no overdraft fees, no minimum balance fees, and no hidden fees.

In addition to Acorns’ Round-Ups mentioned above, Acorns Earn allows users to earn bonus investments from more than 450 partner brands, including Apple, Walmart, and Nike.

For a limited time, the service also offers a $5 sign-up bonus for opening an account.

 

14. GoHenry


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  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 1 month free. Individual: $4.99/child/mo. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to four children

GoHenry is a banking app for teens that’s paired with a debit card for each of your children. Your online account is linked to each one of your children’s individual accounts, and you can manage all of the money held in each account—as well as set parental controls—via the company’s app or online account portal.

When you open a GoHenry account, you’ll receive your children’s debit cards in the mail seven to eight business days later. Then you can set up an automatic weekly allowance transfer into your children’s accounts, as well as establish one-off or weekly spending limits to keep their spending in check. You can also choose the stores where your kids can shop, and you can easily block/unblock the card.

Another great feature of GoHenry is that your children can spend only the money available on the card, meaning you don’t need to worry about incurring costly overdraft fees or accruing debt.

With time, the controls provided by the GoHenry app and the guidance you offer can help your kids to earn, save, spend, and give more intelligently and responsibly.

Learn more by reading our GoHenry debit card review.

Related: GoHenry vs. Greenlight

15. Stash


stash sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Growth: $3/mo. Stash+: $9/mo.

Another app to grace this list twice is Stash, a leading all-in-one financial platform.

Stash offers a mobile-friendly banking account1. With no hidden banking fees, no monthly balance fees, and fee-free ATM access2, Stash is a compelling choice for consumers who prefer to do their banking and investing all through the same platform.

Plus, you’ll earn Stock-Back Rewards® at places like Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks and more when you make qualified purchases with your Stock-Back® card3.

If you are a young adult, you may want to use Stash to invest money with regular automatic transfers.

Stash also offers financial education resources that can help you improve your financial literacy. It covers numerous topics including investing, managing, and planning money.

The specifics on the Stash banking account:

  • Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum daily balance requirement, but you do need to open a Stash Invest account to use your Stash Online Banking account1.
  • Yield: None, but you’ll earn Stock-Back® rewards on every eligible purchase made with the Stock-Back® card3.
  • Rewards and Incentives: Earn Stock-Back® rewards on every eligible debit card purchase. Earn 0.125% Stock-Back® rewards on everyday purchases and up to 25% Stock-Back® rewards upon making a Qualifying Purchase at one of the following merchants – Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, or Spotify3. Plus, you can get paid up to two days early when you Direct Deposit your pay into your Stash banking account4, and you’ll enjoy access to thousands of fee-free ATMs2.
  • Possible Fees: Fees for use of out-of-network ATMs2.

 

Best Debt-Fighting Apps for Teens + Young Adults


Saving money can be challenging at any age.

According to the 2022 Planning & Progress Study by Northwestern Mutual, U.S. adults who carry debt held an average of $22,354—and that doesn’t even include mortgages!

The more money you save, the less likely you are to go into debt. Unfortunately, even the most diligent savers run into debt when they have major expenses to pay, such as college tuition.

The following debt-fighting apps strive to help teens and young adults improve their debt situations.

16. Splash Financial


splash financial sign up

Splash Financial is a refinancing marketplace and technology platform that partners with credit unions and banks to help consumers save money on their student loans. The company carries a simple and straightforward mission: help people save money on their student loans.

My wife and I refinanced her student loans on a loan marketplace; we received much more competitive rates than we would have by going to banks individually.

We refinanced her medical school student loans and saved 515 basis points on our interest rate (8.00% to 2.85%). Over the life of this line of student loans, we saved thousands of dollars in interest!

Several lenders compete in this space, such as First Republic Bank, the bank that partnered with my employer and that we used on my wife’s second set of student loans. However, Splash Financial avoids the hassle of getting separate, personalized quotes from different lenders. Instead, you can receive personalized rates from up to 10 lenders in two minutes.

Other pros of the service include no refinancing fees, a quick-and-easy application process, and referral rewards.

If you need help taming your student loans, you might consider looking at the Splash Financial marketplace to see if you can receive more competitive loan terms through refinancing.

 

17. Tally


Tally signup

Tally is an automated debt manager that automatically works on your behalf to lower your credit card payments.

By monitoring your linked credit cards and taking stock of your payment history, the debt payoff app develops a better understanding of whether you would be best-served by consolidating your high credit card debt into a loan from Tally.

Tally aims to help you pay off your credit card debt sooner and for less than you would paying off the debt alone. Essentially, Tally’s debt consolidation product helps to make it easier for you to stay on top of your credit card balances and pay them off faster.

You link your credit cards to the Tally app and have it keep track of your due dates, minimum payments and APRs for each card. Based on what Tally finds, the app’s algorithm calculates the best payment strategy for handling your credit cards every month.

As an additional feature of the app, Tally offers late fee protection to prevent overdraft fees or penalty fees. If you remain in good standing with Tally, you won’t need to confront a late fee on a linked credit card again.

 

Best Money-Saving Apps for Young Adults


At the risk of sounding old: When I was a kid, phones were phones—they called people, and that’s all they did. They weren’t connected to the internet … and in fact, if you wanted to use the internet, you had to hang up the phone.

It’s safe to say, things have gotten a lot better since then.

You can access the internet easily, from virtually anywhere, using your phone. And because of that, phones can do just about anything—including improving your personal finances.

One improvement I love is that young adults can now use money-saving apps to trim their expenses and keep more of their money. These personal finance apps help you cut down on your spending by automatically capturing savings on your behalf or making use of money that would otherwise go to waste.

Have a look at the following money-saving apps to see if any of them might help to improve your bottom line.

18. Rocket Money


Rocket Money signup

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free, Premium subscriptions vary from $3/mo. to $12/mo.

Rocket Money (formerly TrueBill) acts as a money-saving and management app dedicated to reviewing your expenses and automating potential opportunities to uncover the true cost of your bills … and lower them.

By working as an automated financial manager, it will proactively work on your behalf to reduce your monthly bills on items like cell service, internet connection, and other utilities and on-going subscriptions.

When you employ Rocket Money effectively, the money it saves in the background causes it to double as a great productivity app.

As another powerful feature, Rocket Money can right-size your subscriptions if you’ve been upsold on services you no longer need. For example, if you subscribed to a service provider’s premium package but haven’t used many of the included benefits, Rocket Money can slash the cost by reverting you to a lower service tier. This saves you money by removing unused service offerings.

Rocket Money can negotiate your bills for you, though the service is an additional charge. You choose a percentage (between 30% to 60%) of the first-year savings as a “success fee” when you submit your negotiation request. And you don’t have to pay if the negotiation is unsuccessful.

Users also choose how much they want to pay (between $3 and $12 per month) for a Premium subscription, which includes features such as Unlimited Budgets, Premium Chat, Smart Savings, and more. Those who pay $3 to $4 per month can choose to be billed annually.

 

19. Digit


Digit signup

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free for 30 days, $5/mo. thereafter

Digit can help you save more money with little effort on your end. The app considers your expected income, account balances, upcoming bills, recent spending, and personalized preferences as a young adult to calculate how much money you can spare for savings.

Next, it automatically transfers that amount into your Digit savings account a few times a week or month, depending on your spending patterns. This eliminates the guesswork on how much you can safely save towards vacations, paying off debt, or anything else.

Every three months you save with Digit, you receive a 0.10% saving bonus.

The app prevents overdrafts by automatically transferring money to your checking account, and in the event an overdraft still occurs, Digit will cover the fee.

There are no account minimums, and you can withdraw money at any time. Try Digit free for 30 days, then the monthly cost is $5 thereafter.

 

Best Budgeting Apps for Teens and Young Adults


Budgeting is one of the most useful financial skills you can develop. Many teens and young adults avoid it, of course, because it’s not fun, and they figure because they don’t have a lot of money (nor obligations), budgeting isn’t necessary.

However, budgeting is a great way to get by on very little money in the first place. And building your budgeting skills early on, when it’s not as vital that you do so, will make you much better at handling money as an adult, when these skills become super-important.

Budgeting apps can make the process less painful.

20. You Need A Budget (YNAB)


you need a budget

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 34-day trial, then $14.99/mo. if paid monthly, $99/yr. (45% discount) if paid annually. Also includes tax where applicable.

You Need a Budget (YNAB) determines how much money you have, what your expenses are, and when your expenses need to be paid. It can track regular payments as well as budget for less frequent costs.

YNAB makes managing a budget simple. In addition to keeping track of expenses, it can help you establish goals and plan savings. And you can access your YNAB budgets on any device: computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Try YNAB for free for 34 days. After that, it costs either $14.99 per month (so, $179.88 for a year) if paid monthly or $99 per year if paid annually.

 

21. Personal Capital


personal capital landing page

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Tools are free, Wealth Management service charges 0.49%-0.89% annual fees depending on amount invested ($100,000 minimum)

OK, OK. Teens and other adults likely won’t be able to take advantage of the Personal Capital Wealth Management plan, which provides regular access to a financial advisor … but requires at least $100,000 in assets to invest.

But teens and young adults can still get plenty of use out of Personal Capital’s fantastic free tools, which have made it a popular financial app for teens and young adults. Overall, it’s used by more than 3.3 million individuals.

Personal Capital allows you to aggregate several accounts in one comprehensive view, and in fact, that feature puts it among our best stock tracking apps. It also acts as a budgeting app for young adults, its Fee Analyzer can help you understand how much your diversified funds cost you in fees each year, and it provides helpful notifications to indicate monthly progress.

Related: 9 Best Portfolio Analysis Tools [Portfolio Analyzer Options]

22. Mint


mint sign up

  • Available: Play Store, iOS
  • Price: Free, contains in-app affiliate links

Mint is one of the most well-known and comprehensive finance apps. It allows you to see all your money and bills in one place, quickly create budgets, and access unlimited, free credit scores. You’ll be notified if your funds are low, so that you can act accordingly.

Additionally, Mint will make recommendations for bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, and more, based on your goals and lifestyle.

Mint is best for young adults who are ready to take full control of their finances.

How to Choose the Right Finance App


Now that you’ve reviewed this laundry list of various money apps for teens and young adults, how do you know which investing apps are right for you?

Many of these apps offer similar features, from money management tools and financial planning software for young adults, to apps that let you invest in the stock market or cut down on your expenses. And there are so many—simply scroll through Android’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store, and you’ll be overwhelmed—that narrowing your choice down to one might be easier said than done.

How to choose the right finance app, then, comes down to cutting through the clutter by thinking about what you specifically need to accomplish, then avoiding any apps that don’t do that. After that, it’s about finding the right set of features.

So if you’re trying to whittle down a long list of money apps, here’s a quick four-step strategy that should help you settle on one.

  1. Focus on the goal you’re trying to achieve
  2. Consider your time and money commitments
  3. Review the features offered and determine if they’re worth the price (or time)
  4. Compare apps’ scores and reviews

With these guiding principles in place, sift through the list of financial apps above. If one of those apps will help you achieve your goal, not cost you too much time and/or money, has the features you want, and is well-thought-of by current users … well, it’s probably time to download it and give it a try!

Financial Planning for Young Adults


The investing apps for teens listed here aim to address one or more financial problems you might face. This can include financial automation, notifications, management, expense reduction, increasing your saving contributions, and much more.

While none of these money apps can instill financial literacy overnight, nor can they serve as a substitute for sound financial decision-making, they all work in some way to encourage good financial behavior.

If they didn’t, I wouldn’t have included them on the list.

However, it doesn’t hurt to learn a little bit right now, so here are a few financial tips for young adults:

  • Learn to live within your means
  • Develop a sense of self-control
  • Don’t financially handicap yourself by not saving for your future
  • Understand where your money comes from and where it goes
  • Save for your retirement now
  • Start an emergency fund
  • Don’t skimp on your health and investing in yourself
  • Protect your wealth with the appropriate insurance (e.g., life insurance, etc.)

You’ll also want to invest in your future by learning about teenage investing and stock trading for kids.


Terms and Conditions for Fidelity® Youth Account

The Fidelity® Youth Account can only be opened by a parent/guardian. Account eligibility limited to teens aged 13-17.
1 Limited Time Offer. Terms Apply. This offer is valid for new or existing Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC (“Fidelity’) customers who open through the following link https://www.fidelity.com/go/starter-pack and fund a new, eligible Fidelity account with a minimum of $50 on or after 07/20/2022 and have not otherwise previously taken advantage of Fidelity’s $50 for $100 cash offer. Offer is limited to one bonus award per individual.
2 Limited Time Offer. Terms Apply. Before opening a Fidelity® Youth Account, you should carefully read the account agreement and ensure that you fully understand your responsibilities to monitor and supervise your teen’s activity in the account.
3 Zero account minimums and zero account fees apply to retail brokerage accounts only. Expenses charged by investments (e.g., funds, managed accounts, and certain HSAs) and commissions, interest charges, or other expenses for transactions may still apply. See Fidelity.com/commissions for further details.
4 Your Youth Account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using the Fidelity® Debit Card at any ATM displaying the Visa®, Plus®, or Star® logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited. Please note, for foreign transactions, there may be a 1% fee included in the amount charged to your account.
5 Venmo is a service of PayPal, Inc. Fidelity Investments and PayPal are independent entities and are not legally affiliated. Use a Venmo or PayPal account may be subject to their terms and conditions, including age requirements. 
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

Terms and Conditions for Stash

* Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures. Nothing in this material should be construed as an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell any security. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. Promotion is subject to Terms and Conditions: (https://lp.stash.com/promo-offer-tc/). To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the bonus, you must complete the following steps: (i) click through the link above, (ii) successfully open a Stash Invest Account (otherwise known as your personal portfolio) in good standing, (iii) link a funding account (e.g. an external bank account) to your new Stash Invest Account, AND (iv) initiate and complete a deposit of at least five dollars ($5.00) into your Stash Invest Account
1 Stash Banking services provided by Stride Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. The Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard® is issued by Stride Bank pursuant to license from Mastercard International. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Any earned stock rewards will be held in your Stash Invest account. Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value.
2 For a complete list of fees please see the Deposit Account Agreement for details. Get fee-free transactions at any Allpoint ATM, see the app for location details, otherwise out-of-network ATM fees may apply. For a complete list of fees please see the Deposit Account Agreement for details.
3 All rewards earned through use of the Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard® will be fulfilled by Stash Investments LLC and are subject to Terms and Conditions. You will bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the investments that you earn, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash. In order to earn stock in the program, the Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard must be used to make a qualifying purchase. Stock rewards that are paid to participating customers via the Stash Stock Back program, are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value.
4 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on when the payor sends the payment file. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

Terms and Conditions for Step

Step is a trademark of Step Mobile, Inc.
About the Author

Riley Adams is a licensed CPA who works at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University, Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.