Image courtesy of Ly-Ruuh

It can be really tempting to overspend on apps for your mobile device. There are not only a lot of great apps out there which you can pay to have, but once you get apps, you may be able to pay for additions to them which can cost money too. It can actually add up quickly and it may even be hard to keep track of because it just goes on the credit card. In fact it can be easy for some families to spend a lot more money than they realised.

Children can be part of the problem as they may not realise that they are spending real money or how much they are spending. It can sometimes be confusing to know whether you are spending game money or real money or the children may just not understand the implications of their spending. If they have their own mobile devices then make sure that they have no credit card associated with their app store and then they will not be able to spend any money. If they are using your device then you can deactivate the credit card as well. This could help you to spend less too as it will take some time to reactivate the card and you may decide that it is just not worth the hassle.

It can be worth always trying out free apps before buying any. There are a lot of free apps available and you could find that you will enjoy those as much, if not more than paid apps anyway. Some ay have advertising in, but it can be worth putting up with this so that you do not have to pay anything for the app.

If the children do want to pay for things then encourage them to ask for app store vouchers when it comes to birthdays and Christmas. Often people want to know what to buy children, especially as they get older and harder to buy for and this could be the perfect answer.

Another approach is to explain to the children that they should only pay for an app if they have tried all of the free alternatives first. This could keep them entertained for a long time, so much so that they may forget that they wanted to pay for one in the first place. They may get distracted or find one that is lots of fun and decide that they do not need the other ones after all.

Some families may choose to restrict the use of mobile devices and then as there is less time for using them, there is less need for apps. Obviously this is a very personal thing and it will depend on whether you feel this is important for your children or not. It will probably depend on how much they use them and what other things they do in their spare time. You may even feel that perhaps you should consider reducing how much you use your mobile device as well, particularly if it is costing you a lot money.