Stocard: All your rewards cards in one handy app

Stocard

Do you have a ton of rewards cards for different stores? Do you forget what stores you have rewards cards too? Do you feel guilty every time you’re holding up the line trying to find the right rewards card?

Of course, the answer is yes. Sometimes reward cards are great, but when you can’t keep them all straight and have more than one for a store, they become useless.

That’s where the Stocard app comes in. It’s a pretty simple app that provides a lot of value. You add your cards to the app by choosing the store and scanning the barcode. Then the next time you’re in a store, you just pull up the app, select the store and the barcode appears for them to scan.

The app has a tons of stores built in, but if they don’t have one you’re looking for, you can create a custom card and add a logo.

For those of us who are forgetful about which stores we have reward cards to, the app can show you your cards based on where you are. That means the next time you’re in a store you’ve got a rewards card for, you can find it easily. The Android version has a widget for displaying them this way. I’m not sure how the iOS version does it.

I’ve been trying it out for a week now and I haven’t had a ton of opportunities to use it, but I plan on keeping it installed for a while to give it a thorough try. So far, I’ve had one custom card that didn’t scan when I tried to use it. Honestly, I’m not surprised since it wasn’t for a store. The other card I tried was one that I changed after scanning it in, so that might be why it didn’t work. I’m hoping for better results the next time and I’m not going to give up on it that easily.

Have you tried the Stocard app? If you have tried it or do, let me know how it works for you in the comments below. If you have any other apps that help you to save money or keep your life organized, let me know in the comments below as well.

Parenting Moment – Our “Current” Reward System

Kid with Money

I could have called this a parenting tip or parenting advice, but that would mean I know something more about parenting than anyone else reading this. That certainly isn’t the case.

We’ve got two daughters, ages 6 and 4. One day they returned home from shopping with mom and announced that they were each getting a LeapPad. I guess the guy at the store told my wife that they would be extremely discounted in the next few weeks because a new version would be coming out for Christmas. Anyhow, we can’t let something they’re so excited about come without somehow turning it into a learning opportunity.

The reason I called this our “current” reward system is because, like most parents, we’ve probably tried a hundred different ones by now. This one has stuck for more than a few days, so I figured it was worth sharing.

So, we started with a goal in mind: a LeapPad (or Kindle Fire for the 6 years old). We told them that in order for them to be able to get their prize, they had to earn 100 kid dollars. I was able to find some great printable play money at freestuff4kids.net. We started printing out several sheets on 1, 5, and 10 dollar bills. Each kid got an envelope to put their money in as they earned it.

We’ve tried giving the kid’s money for doing different tasks around the house before. It didn’t last long since they didn’t have a specific item in mind to use the money for. Besides, they technically didn’t lose anything if they decided not to do what we asked them to do. They never had the money in the first place, so it was no real loss.

This time, we told them that they have $5 at the beginning of every day. When they choose to fight, take something from their sister, hurt each other, or do something else they know they shouldn’t do, they lose one of those dollars. On top of that, they also lose a dollar if they come downstairs after being put to bed. They’ve went to bed more than once with all $5, only to lose a good portion of them in about 30 minutes.

So far this has worked pretty well. Whenever things start to look like they may be degrading, we simply ask them “do you want to lose a dollar?” In most cases they stop what they were doing since they know that means it will take them that much longer to get that special item they’ve been wanting. Hopefully they’re thinking “is starting this fight worth losing a dollar?”

We have run into one issue with our 6 year old. She had a breakdown one evening on our way home from the babysitter because she didn’t understand how close she was to the $100 goal. She knew how much she had, but she couldn’t visualize what that meant. To solve that problem, I made a simple graph on the outside of their envelopes and we started filling it in whenever they get their dollars from the previous day. (In our setup, they can’t lose dollars that they’ve earned from previous days.) That seems to have helped quite a bit since she can now see how close she is to getting her Kindle.

I’m not going to say that this approach is right for everyone. I’m sure there are a bunch of you out there finding all sorts of flaws with this or have your own systems. If so, feel free to leave something in the comments below.

Featured Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net