Saturday, November 16, 2013
I totally love this app.! Not that I love tracking money....I love the app. pretty much because of the opposite. I usually try to avoid it. But this app. really makes it easy to use.
You can put in any kind of account, including cash or gift cards (unlike the "Mint" app which requires you put in credit card info.).
There is a running balance of all of it together at the top and on the bottom you can slide from one account to the next. And on the main page it shows all recent activity.
All expenses are in red, all deposits are in green.
Under each account you can slide that up and get your recent activity and at the bottom you'll see the balance of that particular account. You can change the date and add notes to each entry.
If you make a mistake you can do an account adjustment.
It allows you to set up a pin number in order to access the app and you can change it on the phone.
There is no email requirement so it isn't as easy to have your info. hacked into because it's not online.
Also, some online financial sites don't have https protocol on all webpages. Unfortunately, the SparkSavings website, last time I looked, only has the http protocol on both the login and on every page after that. The difference between http and https is very important for security. The "s" stands for security and ensures that the information being transmitted on that page is encrypted. That's why you should always make sure that EVERY page of your email is under https rather than just the login page. If you notice it isn't that way for your email it would be a good idea to look into the settings and change it if it has that option.
Just to be clear--outside of the http rather than https protocol issue I DO think that the SparkSavings site is very good and very well put together. I just think that the login and every other page should be encrypted when it comes to a person's income and spending.
Back to the Moni app.....
In addition to this you can set up a color alert system based on what you consider a copacetic amount, a warning amount (time to tighten the belt amount), and what you consider the freak out-time amount.
Not American? That's fine. You don't have to keep the $. You can set your currency for your country.
What are its limitations?
Well, first of all, there is an option to export data but I keep getting an error message. So I've put in a trouble ticket but don't know yet if it's even possible for me. I'll update when I find out.
Also, it doesn't have the option of automatically inputting auto-deposits or auto-withdrawals. So you may want to simply put those on your phone calendar with a reminder attached so you can add those to your moni app. when you get the reminder.
Another aspect that would be of use is the option to mark off whether a particular check has cleared. Even though you can put that information in the notes for that entry the fact that it hasn't cleared yet isn't reflected in the total.
Despite its limitations, however, I still think this is a fabulous app to have available on the go. Even if I lose the receipt, as long as I input the amount as soon as I get the receipt or when I get to the car then I still have an accurate record of what I have to spend.
Best of all:
It's totally free!
Here's their website:
And here's their page on iTunes:
I don't work for the company and am not being remunerated for this review.
Saturday, November 09, 2013
It's called Mindbloom.
They categorize all the areas of one's life: social, spiritual, emotional, financial, career, etc. It's set up as a game with points, "seeds" that grow into trees if you regularly water it and give it sunlight. You water it with action (your to-do list checked off) or give it sunlight with inspiration (watching the pics with quotes or with just quotes). Either way, you're supposed to be balanced about it and take regular action to move forward to the next level.
Note: The instructions say that the tutorial must be viewed before the settings are available.
When setting up the tree, though, it's necessary NOT to delete any sub-categories even if you put it in by mistake because once it's deleted it doesn't show up again as far as I can see....So then your options are limited even if you wanted to re-name it.
It also has an inspiration board that is customizable (though there's a limit to the number of pictures one can upload without a premium account--which makes sense, pics take up bandwidth.) But it also offers the option of putting in appropriate or inspirational quotes...I would say that it could be used as a goal board, too, for some things--which could be made private.
There are pre-set pics and quotes but you can change the quotes on the pics.
I'm not sure about the privacy settings for the free accounts. Sometimes with free accounts they limit the number of private entries that one can have but so far it looks ok.
There's definitely a social component to it, too. You can add friends by email, Facebook, Gmail, or MSN. The more trees, the better.
There's also private messaging between friends on the site that they call snailmail. I guess a reference to the whole nature-y feel to the site so, no, it doesn't use the USPS (thank God! I'd never get my messages. Lol).
In addition to this, you can create groups of contacts within the program--for mass email and support. This can also be used for families, church groups, and other community groups that focus on holistic treatment.
On one's profile page, depending on privacy settings, there's a friend-feed for comments.
Note: Users must complete the tutorial on their accounts, or they may not show up as friends or in the search results.
You can have some quotes or things that only you see and others friends can see and others the entire community sees. You decide on your level of privacy for each and every entry with the exception of comments on other people's quotes, etc.
You also have the option of creating journal entries, as well.
There's a slimmed down version that's sort of an app. It's not an app found in the iTunes store but if you go to the website on your iPhone it will ask you if you want to add the app to your phone. Then you can do basic functions but not settings and so forth. The app. is also free.
Here's everything in more detail:
So, not only is it a game but it's very positive and affirming while slightly competitive to keep interest.
The video would probably explain it better than anything I've, said. So, here's the link:
(The video also plays in the program if you need to refresh your memory)
There are some aspects of it that are paid but from what I can tell so far it should still be usable and helpful without the paid options.
Also, the more you participate on the site the more "seeds" you get which you can then "pay" for some of the options that are automatically paid for with the premium account.
And regarding the app. I have had some difficulty with it letting me mark things off for the current day and have also found some blips on the site. But I've found that logging out and logging back in often takes care of things.
I also forgot to add that the inspiration board includes music as well as the quotes and images. But the music can be turned off as can the nature-y sounds that are automatically played when signing into the website.
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Ok, so I said in my update I was too tired to blog. Apparently not as tired as I thought because I decided I wanted to share this.
When I got the Nexercise app. (a fitness incentive game) it had a thing on it called mPOINTS. Basically, every time you exercise (or watch in app ads or participate in their in app surveys--the videos and surveys are optional) you can accrue mPoints. What do these mPOINTS go toward? They go toward getting a gift card for things like iTunes, Walmart, Target and so forth. They also go toward getting a prize but personally I'd go for the gift card. In fact, I decided to start off trying to work toward an iTunes card since I'm always buying music and, now, apps.
At first, I thought that the mPOINTS was something that only Nexercise did. But then I realized that mPOINTS was an app inside an app. I had to sign up for the mPoints like I did Nexercise.
This led me to try to find the mPOINTS website. I did find it, and low and behold there are other apps that offer mPOINTS. So, if you would use these apps, anyway, they might be worth checking out.
It may be a good idea, however, to use a "throw away" email address for logging into these particular apps. because they may use it to spam the heck out of you.
Lists of apps available that use mPOINTS:
New England Patriots
LiveStrong Calorie Tracker (free)
Scramble With Friends
The Weather Channel
MMA Underground Lite
New England Patriots
Scramble with Friends
I found out that even though this is the list given on the mPOINTS website, it is not a complete list. Any app developer can work with the mPOINTS company to implement this service within their app.
Also, please note that there are a lot of ads that come up but I don't believe you have to participate and accept points for them all. There is usually a link to click on at the bottom that says something like return to points or something. I'll have to look it up. I'm still new at using this app.
If there is someone reading this who is a user of mPOINTS AND has redeemed their gift card or prize please let me know in the comments section how that was carried out--what information was necessary to give, how it had to be given, etc., etc.
Just in case--No, I don't work for mPoints and I don't work for Nexercise or any of these companies, either. I just thought this was kind of a win-win with real-world rewards. They get their advertisements viewed while I (or you) get a gift card AND if Nexercise is used, the reward of good health is thrown in, too.
Also, on a side-note, for Nexercise you get more points for adding friends and doing "mob" exercising, that is, exercising all at the same time of day regardless of the distance between each other. However, I found that one can only add people via Facebook, Twitter, or in-phone texting. I only use my iPhone for the apps and don't actually have a phone account for it and I loathe both Facebook and Twitter. Oh, well. C'est la vie.
So, what do you guys think? Would you use something like mPOINTS or do you think you get bombarded enough with advertising that it isn't worth it?
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
What is RAOK? It's Random Acts of Kindness.
So here are the three suggestions:
*Start making inspiration cards by getting a stack of index cards and write inspirational quotes, encouraging words, jokes, interesting facts, and/or poetry on them. Then leave them where a stranger can find them so that, if they're having a bad day this may re-direct their focus to something positive.
*If someone is trying to get you to complain about or insult someone behind their back, refuse to participate and walk away.
*Make a kindness coupon book to give to someone and let them cash in whenever they want. Think about putting things for high fives, smiles, hugs, or anything else that can bring happiness to someone.
If you want....make some more suggestions in the comment section or give an account of what happened when you did one of these suggestions.
Get An Email Alert Each Time CYBRARYCARD Posts