Getting Financially Fit by William Summey

My wife and I launched into the new year with a renewed effort to get organized and also updated technologically with our budget. We started searching for new apps and soon landed on the Crown Financial site. I had purchased their Money Map software several years ago and was pleased to see that they had a new online Mvelopes tool for online envelope budgeting. We began their free trial and knew this was for us. We entered in our account information, income, set up a budget, and funded envelopes according to that budget. We have access through the Mvelopes app to record every purchase wherever we are to keep track of our monthly spending. We love it!

It is easy to get started but comes with many tools to help. There are great videos about managing your money and a helpful debt center. There is even opportunity to sign up for personal coaching for advice and your personal questions. We wholeheartedly recommend Mvelopes to everyone!

Check out Crown’s site for their great financial information and resources from a Christian perspective and Mvelopes in particular for their great money management app.

What are some other apps you have found helpful to manage your money?

Fun Apps & Websites for Kids


Wacky Safari — Let’s go on a safari! This app has animal sounds, fun facts, jokes, and pictures. Cost: free. Available for Apple devices at iTunes.

Word World by PBS Kids helps your child become ready to read and then become an independent reader.

School Age

Pianist — Learn to play the piano on this full 88-key piano keyboard. Cost: $3.99. Available for Apple devices at iTunes.

Club Penguin introduces virtual worlds, avatars, and online gaming.


Wreck This App — Based on the popular Wreck This Journal by author/illustrator Keri Smith, you can tap into your creativity with prompts and a variety of drawing tools. Cost: $4.99. Available for Android and Apple devices.

Bunki Munki is a safe social Website just for preteens that promotes positive thinking, self-esteem, and confidence. Parents must register their children on the site.

Cool Technology … for Parents by Christi McGuire

If you read “Cool Technology” in this month’s ParentLife, you discovered lots of apps and websites for your preschooler, school-age child, and preteen. But there’s a lot more for your family—and for parents, too! Check out these products, apps, and websites.



Leapster Explorer® by Leap Frog® ( allows your preschooler to engage in games and activities that help them build school skills, such as letter recognition, writing, reading, math, and more.

Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor: Sleep better knowing your little one is fast asleep, too. This monitor delivers one of the best visual images available. The camera allows you to zoom as well as pan vertically and horizontally almost 360 degrees. Available at

Kidz Gear ™ offers products and accessories that are child-sized but with high-quality performance. The award-winning line of Wired Headphones for Kids has “volume limiting technology” that brings a safe experience for children that limits maximum volume levels. Headphones are ergonomically designed with soft padded ear-cups. Priced economically for happier (and quieter) car trips! Available at


Wipolo: Explore the world with your friends! You can organize all your trip details in one spot—create itineraries, keep reservations, locate destinations, learn destination facts, write a travel journal, keep track of past trips, store pictures, and share it all with others.

Healthy Children: A comprehensive website powered by the American Academy of Pediatrics to support and educate parents about the physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, and teens.


SOS Rescue Me: Your child can feel safe anywhere when they are on their own. Download this app to your child’s phone, and if she feels threatened, she clicks the button. A preselected set of contacts will receive a text with your child’s current location. Cost: $.99. Available at iTunes.

Sit or Squat: It never fails–your little one has to potty when you’re out and about. This app helps you find the nearest public restroom. Cost: free. Available at

 S.O.S.: An app by the American Red Cross helps you know how to handle emergency situations, like CPR, before first responders arrive. Cost: free. Available at

Instant Playdates: Plan playdates to your Facebook friends. Cost: free. Available for Android and iPhone. Available at

Mom Maps: Find family fun places and kid-friendly locations, such as parks, playgrounds, restaurants, museums, and indoor play spaces in your area—including a map to get there. Cost: free. Available at

Holiday Gift List:  Manage everyone’s Christmas or birthday wishes and tally your spending. Cost: $1.99. Available at iTunes.