How to use Apple Cash Family for kid's allowance and spending

When kids get older they want to start spending money on their own out in the real world.

If (yes - this is a a big "if") you are an "Apple Family", we think that the simplest way is to set up your kid to spend money is by using Apple Cash Family. It takes about 5 minutes to set up, and lets you give your kids a certain amount of money that they can spend with their iPhone or Apple Watch at any place that accepts Apple Pay - which is getting pretty close to everywhere.

You send them money as an attachment with a regular Apple Message, just like this:

Attach Apple Cash to an Apple iMessage
Attach Apple Cash to an Apple iMessage

And then you get an alert when they make a purchase and can see a complete spending history. It's powerful, yet simple, but surprisingly it does not seem to be used much by families, as most people I tell about this feature didn't even know it existed. (Also - we are not affiliated with Apple in any way!)

An Apple Cash alert generated by a new transaction in the real world
An Apple Cash alert generated by a new transaction in the real world

I set my daughter up for Apple Cash at Age 11 when she started walking home from school, and I wanted to let them purchase an after school snacks (with her own money!) or school supplies if they needed. My daughter has a three-year old iPhone with a lot of screen time restrictions, and she can use Apple Cash with TouchID to make payments at every local retailer in the Boston neighborhood where we live. (By the way - there are very cost effective ways to get your kids started with an iPhone - we'll cover this in detail in a future post - but the short story is to buy a used device / use one of your old devices and sign up for a minimal ~$5/month plan. Oh and make sure you are draconian with your screen time set up!)

Why did we start using Apple Cash Family instead of just giving them cash? I do like them to keep an emergency $10 in their backpack. But, other than that, we didn't want to deal with cash and worry about them losing it. And do we really believe that when our kids get older that they will be paying for goods with cash? Not to mention, cash doesn't earn any interest, and our kids need to learn about how money is not just for spending but also for earning!

Another option is to sign up for one of several "Kid's Debit Card" apps and products on the market, those are complicated to set up, they cost money, and then your kid needs to remember (and not lose!) their card and install another app on their phone. And the apps don't really offer any additional features beyond what you can get for free from Apple Cash Family when used in combination with The Parent Bank.

So Apple Cash is a good spending option for your kids, and then we like to think that The Parent Bank makes a good savings option - we are the "Savings Yin" to Apple Pay's "Checking Yang"! ☯️ With The Parent Bank, kids can earn interest at a rate that you specify and they can earn allowance at an amount and cadence that you specify, so they learn about the value of saving money, and having their savings earn more money.

And then when they're ready to go out and spend some of that money in the real world, you can give them a withdrawal to their Apple Cash.

When you make a withdrawal from The Parent Bank, the Parent Bank generates the withdrawal message that you can easily send to your kid's along with Apple Cash. All in, it takes about 10 seconds to withdraw money from The Parent Bank and send it to your kids via Apple Cash. Here's a quick animation of what that looks like from your own Apple device:
Withdrawal from The Parent Bank -> Apple Cash

One more note - we recommend have a standard multiple amount that they can withdraw - something like $20 minimum (similar to ATM machines that disperse in $20 bills), so you don't end up with too many withdrawal requests. You could also have a rule like "at most 1 withdrawal per week" which would encourage them to do some math to calculate how much to ask for.

- Matt, Founder of The Parent Bank