Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some allowance tools

The NPR podcast has brought forth a number of online tools to assist in allowance setting and management.
  • FamZoo: this site allows you to set up virtual accounts -- which can have real world mirrors -- and offers tools to teach your kids about saving and interest. 
  • ThreeJars: this also allows you to set up virtual accounts (with real world mirrors). It looks a little less economically sophisticated with FamZoo but then again it offers some other tools to think about allowances. For instance, there is this tool (discussed here) that tries to help you answer the question "well, in my day ..." by adjusting your allowance for inflation. In my case, my children are getting too low an allowance relative to that benchmark.
  • PayJr: this one has similar management tools but also a Visa card for teenagers.
  • SmartyPig: again allows online management but also seems to use social networks to foster goal keeping habits. I guess that makes it more for older kids although the design seems targeted at younger ones.
  • NetworthIQ: you might be thinking, hey, maybe I could use some online tools like these. It turns out that this site, featured in the NYT Magazine can do just that.
There are also a few iPhone and iPad apps that can help too including Kids Allowance and Rewards, iRewardChart, and BeGood.

Of course, you can just use Google Docs as this post suggests. I haven't really tried any of these but if anyone has, feel free to leave your impressions in the comments.