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Valentine’s Day, a high-dollar holiday, is just around the corner. Prom, the first college tuition payments, and a summer vacation aren’t that far off.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the family – teenagers included – could tighten up the finances, sock a little extra money away, and create a budget rather than operating under an open wallet policy?, and LearnVest are among the most highly rated money management websites. But some new online tools have recently been introduced to help you and your high-school or college-age kids make better decisions about budgeting, spending, saving and paying bills on time.

One of the newest products is called MoneyStream, which was designed by a group of financial and technology experts who left Intuit several years ago to create their own product.

Launched late last year, MoneyStream’s goal is to help busy families control their money. “Our technology is designed to show you where your money is, what’s coming in, what’s going out and when,” said Christy Ross, MoneyStream’s chief marketing officer.

Here’s how it works: You provide MoneyStream with your bank account information and the service automatically gathers and organizes your bills, as well as what you have coming in on your paycheck and other income.

All the information is then plotted on a calendar, and users are alerted by email or text messages when a bill needs to be paid. In other words, no more excuses for not writing the monthly check for daycare, or for incurring late fees on the cable TV bill.

But it’s more than just a bill-paying site. There’s also a feature that monitors your monthly cash flow and alerts you if your spending is getting out of hand.

MoneyStream offers three services – a basic, free mostly do-it-yourself plan that should appeal to teens and young adults; a premium plan for $9.95; and a super plan with more electronic banking bells and whistles for $19.95 a month. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at first or your payment records don’t quite square up, MoneyStream will contact you to go over any problems – a nice customer service touch.

“This is not a service you have to babysit,” said Ross. “We do the babysitting for you.”

Next up for MoneyStream: A mobile app this spring.

MoneyStream is not the only new personal finance program. A Silicon Valley start-up called Finovera recently launched a free online service that links your bills, bank and investment statements into one secure file. Finovera collects a 12-month history of bills and statements, automatically downloads new ones as they post, and alerts you when the payment is due.

Finovera also offers a digital service that allows you to store important documents, such as insurance policies and extended warranties on gaming systems.

Finally, has added a free, bill sharing feature that allows families to link multiple banking accounts, making it easier for mom and dad to monitor their kids’ spending and go over financial issues.

So the next time your college student sends a “mom, I need more money” request, first see where all their money has gone.


Steve Rosen is assistant business editor at The Kansas City Star. To reach him, call 816-234-4879 or send email to

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Amazon Discount Code

Amazon is the largest e-commerce website in the world and website generated US$ 61.09 billion in 2012 through online sales. Amazon offers thousands of products through retailers and independent entrepreneurs across the world and brings the consumer face to face with the seller on a single platform. The consumer has several benefits of shopping on Amazon as they can get the best price for any products and also benefit from using the Amazon discount code to get savings on a wide variety of products.

There was a time when customers could get coupon codes through mail, newspapers, and retail outlets but with the advent of the Internet and the success of e-commerce websites, discount coupon codes are just a click away. Now consumers can use an Amazon discount code to buy the product they want without having to walk into a retail outlet.

Benefits of using Amazon Discount Codes

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The biggest advantage or benefit of using an Amazon discount code is that consumers can get free shipping on certain products along with the discounted price.

Most consumers shopping on Amazon are always searching for good deals on shipping and nothing can better a free shipping option. What this really does is make it very convenient and easy for consumers and provides them with a better shopping experience.

The only disadvantage of the Amazon discount code is that it is always valid for a limited period of time and if the consumer misses the validity window for a particular product then they will not be able to get the said product at the discounted price. So it is very important to keep track of the best deals on offer and the various discounts and validity period. Let’s look at an example. The Kindle Paperwhite is available on online stores for £169 but with the discount code from Amazon, consumers can buy it for £109. That’s a clear saving of £60!

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