As my kids grow old enough to use mobile devices like phones and tablets, I worry about two things: safety and savings. My main goal is to keep my kids safe from any harm that the Internet or inappropriate texting can bring them. It’s also important that as a family we stay within our plan’s data, messaging, and calling limits. Too often family members can get carried away, and when the bill comes, we’re shocked at the added fees. My daughter is approaching the age where she’ll need a cell phone. With the use of apps like these, I won’t have to worry that she’s constantly on her phone, running up my bill.  I also love that all of these apps are free! Grab one of these free tools to help you and your family save and keep safe!

1. OurPact

I love the OurPact App! It can help limit usage of your child’s iPhone. This will not only keep your child less engaged with their cell phone but also help in data and messaging usage. I have begun to limit screen time with all of our household devices, and there are times as a parent that I forget that I should have confiscated the iPads!

You can now be confident that they’ll stop going over the amount of time you’re comfortable with or over your mobile plan’s limits. Another added benefit is that you’ll be able to limit their access to the App Store so that there are no unnecessary purchases. There have been a few times that I have found charges on my card from the App Store that I did not approve of! This can be frustrating for sure!

Related: 7 Great Chore Apps to Keep Your Kids Motivated

2. Kids Place

If you are like me, you have a few preschool games on your phone to hand to your child in those tough moments where it’s hard to keep them patient. While they play, I’ve worried that they may accidentally call or text someone on my contacts list. With this app you won’t have to worry about that. The Kids Place is great for toddlers through teenagers. Its safety and money-saving features include blocking the purchase of apps, incoming and outgoing phone calls, as well as texting. Controlling these features gives you peace of mind and keeps your wallet safe from unauthorized cell phone fees.

3. MMGuardian

MMGuardian is geared more for teens or preteens to monitor their usage and block inappropriate websites. I have myself googled a certain topic only to find the results were not even close to what I was looking for. I cringe to think of my kids having this experience, especially at such a young age. I also like that this app will block calling or texting features. Plus, you can see who your kids have been talking to and for how long.

4. AppLock

AppLock rings true to its name in that you can lock many features on your child’s cell phone (like calling and texting). Set time limits, track the phone, set times that the phone will be locked and unlocked, monitor texting, and control app purchases. When my school-aged kids are old enough to need a cell, I don’t want them looking at their phones instead of paying attention in class. Applock can “lock” them out of those tempting features and ensure they’re as involved in school as they should be.

This is a guest post by Amber from Waynesboro, PA.


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