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Experts Answer Your Allowance Questions: Family Finance Picks #74

Allowance FAQThis week’s picks feature classic allowance Q&A, pearls of money wisdom from mom and dad, and a tough question for parents of sporty kids from Pete the Planner.

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Give Your Child Financial Perspective with Savings Goals: Family Finance Picks #73

One of the easiest and most effective ways to give your child some much needed financial perspective is to have them make a savings goal. That common theme runs through each of this week’s family finance picks:

Millennium Falcon Lego Set Savings Goal

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Sowing Frugal Habits in Our Children: Family Finance Picks #72

"By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest." --AgesilausYou’d be hard pressed to find parents who don’t want their children to enjoy the liberty of financial independence. So what’s the best way for parents to maximize the chances of that outcome? Perhaps the secret can be found in these wise money words from a great king of Sparta:

“By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest.”
—Agesilaus

Each of this week’s family finance picks contributes thoughtful insights on how we can start sowing frugal habits in our kids so they can reap the benefits in adulthood.

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Beyond 7 Minutes at the Disneyland of Fintech

FamZoo Wins at Disneyland Of FintechFinovate, the Leimer-dubbed Disneyland of Fintech, was the first demo-focused conference in financial technology. It’s now in its sixth year and going strong. Finovate issued their Second Quarter Report over the summer on the heels of the Spring 2013 show in San Francisco and leading up to the (sold out) Fall 2013 show in New York City. The report features FamZoo in the Best of Show section and includes the following interview with yours truly to discuss a few topics beyond what could be gleaned from our 7 minute demo.

The Interview

We chatted with FamZoo CEO and Founder Bill Dwight to ask him a few questions about FamZoo’s new Prepaid Card Family Pack:

Q: Why did FamZoo win Best of Show?

Bill Presenting Spend, Spend, Spend Parody Card at FinovateDwight: Because everyone loves Justin Bieber, right?! OK, maybe not... (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then check out the opening sequence in the demo.)

Seriously, though, I’d say the key reasons are:

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Altruistic High, Tooth Fairy Finance, Teen Prepaid Card Ideas: Family Finance Picks #71

Interesting new brain science behind charitable giving, inflationary tooth fairy payout statistics from VISA, and a Mom’s clever ideas for prepaid card usage topped the list of interesting family finance articles last week. Here’s the roundup with links for deeper reading:

Hard-Wired for Giving

by Elizabeth Svoboda on The Wall Street Journal

Charitable Giving Buzz GeneratorGet your kids “high” on..... charitable giving! Sounds a bit wrong, but check out these new science findings.

Survival of the fittest! Darwins famous findings taught us that humans are hard-wired to out-compete others for the best mates and the most resources to perpetuate their genes to future generations. So why do we bother to help others? Is it just a Darwinian extension to help ensure survival of close kin or the broader tribe?

It appears to be more than that. According to new brain studies, it looks like we’re hard-wired not just for survival, but for altruism too. The bottom line: altruistic decisions give us a “buzz”. More scientifically speaking, fMRI data shows that the decision to donate to charity lights up the nucleus accumbens area of the brain which contains neurons that release the pleasure chemical dopamine.

Finally, a “drug” we don’t have to worry about our kids getting hooked on: charitable giving.

Related FamZoo Activity: Make a charitable giving goal.
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