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Monday, September 30, 2013

FamZoo, September Recap: Allowance Answers, Chores To Go, Shoutouts, Class Clowns & more

Allowance Answers

Allowance FAQAllowance is one of those topics that always seems to get parents fired up. Lots of questions. Lots of strong opinions. Lots of conflicting answers.
One definition of allowance we’ve always liked comes from KJ Dell’Antonia who writes for the New York Times Motherlode blog. She encourages parents to think of an allowance as “a very tiny piece of the family budget to manage.” We like how that puts the emphasis on skill building and shared responsibility.
Do you wrestle with any of the following allowance questions?
  • Should you give your child an allowance?
  • What age should children begin receiving an allowance?
  • How much should they receive?
  • Should you give your child a prepaid debit card?
  • How should your child spend their money? How should they save it?
  • Should you pay an allowance in exchange for chores?
  • Are allowances appropriate for teens or young adults?
Check out our responses and compare them to answers from the “experts” here.

Chores To Go!

Yee haw! We rolled out the new mobile screens this month for accessing FamZoo checklists while on the go. Now you can get at your shared family checklists (which are great for chores, wish lists, grocery lists, honey-do lists, you-name-it) through a user interface that is designed specifically for the smart phone.  
You can:
  • See a listing of all your own checklists as well as checklists shared by other family members.
  • Tap on a checklist to see all of its items.
  • Change between views of a checklist to show either all open items, just items due today, or any items due this week.
  • Add new items to a checklist.
  • Tap on the arrow to the right of an existing item to update its settings or delete it.
For a quick taste, here's what the mobile form used to create and edit a checklist item looks like:
FamZoo mobile checklist design.
Soon, you'll also have the ability to create new lists, edit list properties, and manage list alerts — all from the new mobile UI.
To access FamZoo mobile, just:
  • Visit FamZoo.com on your mobile browser,
  • sign in, and
  • save a bookmark on your home screen to make returning just one convenient tap away.
If you're on an iPhone or iTouch, you can also access FamZoo mobile through our app.

Special Shout-Outs

Our special FamZoo shout-outs for the month of September go to:
  • Andy R. - for the quick bug report on the first release of our new mobile screens. Andy alerted us to the fact that sometimes the new green navigation bar along the bottom would interfere with the ability to credit and debit an account. Doh! Fixed. We really appreciate your bug reports and frank feedback. They help us make FamZoo better for everyone.
  • Tarrel Story (SVP marketing, Northwest Bank) - for the nice FamZoo shoutout during the prepaid card session at the American Bankers Association marketing conference. Tarrel caught Bill's presentation in a pre-conference workshop and kindly helped us spread the FamZoo word to other community banks. Much appreciated!
  • Laurie W. - for posting the awesome unsolicited testimonial on our Facebook page. We appreciate the kind words about FamZoo and loved hearing about your creative use of checklists. Thank you!

Funny Money Videos

Since all of the kids should be back in school by now, we'll close out this newsletter with a tribute to class clowns. Here are some classic funny money videos suitable for sharing with your kids:
  1. Bill Cosby delivers a little financial education to Theo on The Cosby Show. The closing is priceless. WATCH NOW
  2. Chris Rock lobbies his dad for an allowance on Everybody Hates Chris. “An allowance!? I allow you to...” Uh oh. Bad call, Chris. WATCH NOW
  3. Don Friesen discovers it's expensive raising kids these days in this bit at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. “Have you started saving up for your kid's college yet? I haven't even paid for my own college yet.” Ouch! WATCH NOW
  4. In this classic SNL skit, Steve Martin and Amy Poehler can't quite wrap their heads around the abstract notion of not buying stuff they can't afford. “Read the book. It's only one page long.” Confusing!! WATCH NOW
Admit it. You found a chuckle in there somewhere. Go ahead: share that smile with your kids.
Dogs Playing Football
The FamZoo Crew
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FamZoo Stat of the Month:

Mobile Traffic Percentage
of the visits to FamZoo this month came from a mobile phone. See what our mobile screens look like here.

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