Sunday, October 29, 2017

App Alert: "RoosterMoney"

**Disclaimer**: This is a personal review.  I am not being paid by anyone to write this post. The review is done out of my desire to share my insight about this app with other parents who might find it useful. 

My girls are getting to an age where they NEED to understand the concept of money and learn to be smart about it. I constantly look for practical ways to teach them things and in my quest, I found a wonderful app called "Rooster Money"... actually Iggy found it, but that's beside the point! ;)
While I understand that no parent wants his/her kids to "worry" about money, I wholeheartedly believe that we should raise money-conscious children from an early age since this will be something they'll deal with their whole life, so the earlier they understand basic money concepts, the better...
I want my kids to learn that money doesn't grow on trees but rather that it is a product of hard work and a constant effort; I also want them to understand that money has a value and that they must be smart about it...about how they spend it, how they save it and how they administer it.  At the same time, I don't always feel comfortable with them carrying money around or even touching dirty bills and that's why "Rooster Money" is such a perfect fit for us.
The app has a dashboard where parents can assign an allowance based on their preferences (amount, frequency, etc). Parents can also "boost" their children's account if they choose to give them rewards for an extra chore well done, good grades, birthday gifts or whatever they wish to gift their kids for. In addition to money "boosts", parents can also deduct money from their children's account whenever they decide to spend money on something  or whenever a parents believe money should be taken away.
"Rooster Money" also offers a children's dashboard where kids can set goals, whether it'd be a savings amount or money towards something they'd like to purchase in the future. Children have the option of putting money in their "wallet" or their "safe" and this allows for them to learn the concept of money to be saved vs. pocket money.
My favorite part about this app is that it's all "virtual" money and the kids never really handle "real" money; whenever they want to buy something with their money, it just comes out of my bank account and it's then deducted from their Rooster account. There are monthly statements that allow both parents and kids to see what money has come in our out of any given account.  My girls have taken it a step further and whenever they get cash gifts from friends or family, they immediately hand it to me and ask me to add it to their Rooster account so I get to have cash in my wallet (which is rare!) and they get to add their money to their accounts to save or spend however and whenever they wish without having to worry about losing the actual bills. 
This app has allowed the girls to understand basic money concepts and has also taught them better money management skills by giving them access to somewhat of a "mock" bank account that is theirs to handle without much hassle. I like that it's a way for them to visualize how cash flow is handled and why it's important to be smart about money in general.
Slowly but surely they have become more aware about money and have developed a conscience about spending and saving as healthy habits.
The app is FREE and it is very user friendly.  I strongly recommend it for any parent who is looking to teach their children basic money concepts. Check it out when you can!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

My blog is 9 years old!

9 years ago I set out to write a personal blog; I wanted a place where I could tell tales, post pictures and eventually print it out in the form of a book to give out to my kids when they grow up (I still plan on doing this!)
My little blog has seen me through 2 pregnancies (I started it after Olivia was already here), countless vents about personal frustrations, fun trips, movie reviews and a few other posts in many categories.
Through the years, my readership has grown from the tens to the thousands and even though I don't market my blog and haven't turned it into a cash cow (this is easier than people think), I have been contacted on several occasions regarding marketing and product sponsorship opportunities; for many reasons I have decided to keep it simple instead of "going big" because I've always been afraid of this blog losing the "essence" and the "rawness' that I enjoy so much about it.
At times this blog gets unexpectedly controversial and some other times it's just about a "Happy Mom" navigating through life with 3 kids; there's so much more to keeping a blog than it's visible to the eye and I feel blessed and proud to be able to keep it going for this long.  I also feel happy that I get to share my life with so many people I care about and who care about me too.
So today I celebrate another year of blogging and I hope for many more.  Even when I don't post as often, I'm always thinking of the next thing to write about.
If you're a regular visitor, THANK YOU! If you're an occasional lurker, THANK YOU too. Please know that everything I've ever written on here (and anything I'll ever write) comes from my heart.
Happy Birthday, Blog!