How to start a blog

Despite the popularity of social networking sites, serious Internet commentators still share their thoughts with the world via blogs. Twitter may be fun for a quick chat or to stay on top of daily trends but it’s hard to discuss a topic in-depth using 140 characters or less!

The Web 2.0 revolution brought with it a multitude of sharing and collaboration applications, opening up the world of blogging to anyone with a high-speed Internet connection. You no longer have to worry about things like domain hosts or server capacity. Now, if you can put together a few coherent paragraphs, then you can publish a blog!

Here’s how to get started:

Choose a topic

Before you start a blog, you should have a clear idea of what you’re going to write about. Whether it’s politics, fashion, food or just the occasional get-it-off-your-chest rant, make sure your blog has a consistent theme.

Also, ask yourself whether your chosen topic is going to provide enough material to sustain a blog. If your subject matter is very specific, then you may be better off with an occasional contribution to BlogHer, Tumblr or another communal site.

Select a hosting service

There is a wealth of choice when it comes to hosting your blog. Most of the main hosting sites offer similar tools and customization options. One thing to keep in mind: Make sure the option you choose has good exporting tools should you ever want to move your blog in the future.

Here are some of the more popular choices:

  • WordPress – One of the first open source blogging projects, WordPress is still the market-leader and is the home for tens of thousands of bloggers both big and small.
  • Blogger – Owned by Google, this end-to end blogging service boasts strong tools and the ability to add all Google’s traffic monitoring and site analysis options.
  • Xanga – Part blog, part social network, Xanga offers some extra community-oriented features.
  • LiveJournal – Like Xanga, LiveJournal features some extra social components.

Once you choose your service, you will be asked to register and set up an account. All the above sites are free to join, although some offer additional services if you upgrade to a paid account.

Customize your blog

Once you have set up your blog, take some time to customize the look and feel of your new site. Most providers offer a variety of templates. Choose something that fits your personality or topic of interest.

The blog platform with the most – and, arguably, most creative – templates is WordPress. There are hundreds of websites dedicated to showcasing themes for WordPress blogs, and many of them are free. If you see a blog with a design that you like, scroll down to the bottom and look for a link to the designer responsible.

Next, decide whether your blog is going to be public – and searchable – or private. If you want to go the private route, then most blog sites will give you the option of password-protecting your posts so only those who you approve can see what you’ve written.

Once you’re happy with the basic look of your blog, you can choose to trick it out with widgets, social media badges, and guest maps and guest books. Twitter widgets are a popular choice, as are widgets that enable readers to repost your content to their Facebook accounts.

Next steps

Once you are up and running, start blogging away! The trick is to blog consistently, so when people come back to your site there is something new for them to see.

Here are some more tips on content:

  • Get into a blogging routine. You should aim to update your blog at least two or three times a week. Pick out a time of day when it’s most convenient and you will be at your freshest. Make sure that updating your blog is a pleasure and not a chore or it will be reflected in your written text.
  • Pay special attention to what’s going on around you and start looking at things with a reporter’s eye. Everyday events can add color to a blog and allow your readers to relate. However, avoid turning your blog into a ‘Dear Diary’; the fact that you dropped off the kids at school in the morning and then picked them up again in the afternoon might not be so interesting to a mom doing exactly the same thing.
  • Link to other relevant blogs and web sites – and let those blogs know you have used them as a reference. Cross-linking between blogs is one of the quickest ways to get noticed.
  • Make sure you spell check your blog entry before you post. There is nothing more off-putting to a reader than spelling mistakes and bad grammar.
  • Try and use pictures and video whenever you can, but make sure the images are high quality and are relevant to your post.
  • If you are lucky enough to be paid to endorse a service or product, follow the FTC guidelines on disclosure. Always be truthful in what you write and do not intentionally mislead people.
  • Be yourself! Find your own style – don’t try and copy someone else. Your blog will succeed because it’s a reflection of you, not because you are re-writing what someone else has already written.

Spread the word!

People can’t visit your blog if they don’t know about it. Start by sending a link to friends and family and ask them to send it on to their friends. In the beginning, they will be your most loyal readers. Bookmark your blog on social sites like Delicious and StumbleUpon and start talking up your posts on Twitter.

Submit your posts to blog aggregators like BlogHer, Tumblr and LiveJournal, where they will be searchable and grouped with similar submissions.

Visit related sites and include links to your blog in the comments section of relevant articles. Don’t feel discouraged if no-one visits your blog in the first few weeks. The key is to keep producing quality content and people will find you.

Happy blogging!

Do you already have a blog? Share the link with The Online Mom readers!


Going to the mall? The stores are watching you…

While this week’s news that Nordstrom and other stores have been tracking customers’ smartphones as they enter and move around various retail outlets might come as a surprise to some shoppers, it is part of a growing trend of merchants and advertisers targeting consumers based on their constantly changing locations.

Coming in the wake of the furor over NSA surveillance programs, the idea that stores or indeed any third-party can track our physical movements might be unnerving, but the stores are only playing catch up with their online counterparts like Amazon and Google Shopper, who use cookies and sophisticated analytics to track the shopping habits of millions of Web visitors.

In fact, the stories emerging this week indicate the so-called brick and mortar stores are still some way behind online retailers in that they are mostly using tracking data to analyze store layouts, frequency of customer visits, and in-store movement, rather than trying to link it to purchase activity. But it’s not hard to imagine a future where stores recognize us as we enter, instantly access our buying histories, and upload special offers and bargains to our smartphones while we are still browsing the aisles.

Suddenly the personal shopper experience is available to everyone. Stores know what brands we like, what our price points are, and what times of the week or year we like to visit. It takes smartphone shopping to whole new level of convenience and efficiency.

But what about privacy concerns? Don’t the stores and their partners have access to our personal phone information? Once they have a phone number, they have an identity, and not everyone wants to join a brave new world where you share personal information just by walking into a store.

For now, there is a simple solution. The tracking technology works by collecting Wi-Fi signals. If you don’t want to be tracked when you visit a store, you can simply turn off the Wi-Fi option on your phone.

As for me, I say let them track. Anything that makes a visit to the local mall more efficient is OK by me. Besides, with my barcode reading app, my price comparison app, and my coupon-finding app, I already know when I’m getting a bargain!

How to speed up your PC

It’s a familiar situation for countless PC users: you love your trusty old computer or laptop but it seems to be getting slower and slower. It takes longer to power up, programs take longer to load, and overall performance just isn’t what it used to be.

The easy answer is to dump your old PC and buy a new one. But what if you can’t afford it? Or what if you’re not ready for Windows 8, the new but very different operating system that’s installed on all the latest machines? Well, luckily all is not lost. There are a few things you can do speed up your computer and put off its demise for a few more months. Here are some suggestions:

1. Check the storage space

Start out by checking the free space on your hard drive. You do this by clicking on the Windows Start button and selecting Computer (Windows Vista or Windows 7). Windows XP users can double click on the Computer icon on the desktop.

Once you have identified your hard drive – often designated as Drive C – right-click on that drive and select Properties. You will see a colored disc, indicating the amount of Used space and Free space. If the free space is less than 10% of the total capacity, then that’s probably a contributing factor to the slowdown.

However, if your free space is rapidly diminishing, all is not lost. You may be able to free up additional space by deleting files or programs you no longer use. (See below).

Something to keep in mind: if your total hard dive capacity is less than 100GB, you might want to start thinking about upgrading your computer anyway. Even mid-performance laptops now come with 500GB of storage space. If you handle a lot of media files or are still using XP or Vista and are thinking about an upgrade, then you will need the extra space.

2. Delete old files and programs

Go through your main folders and delete files you no longer use. Particularly look for videos, Photoshop files, or anything else that eats up lots of space.

Also, uninstall programs you don’t use anymore. Older computers have a habit of accumulating unnecessary software and programs – everything from that Barbie game your daughter hasn’t played in years to copies of out-of-date tax software.

To do this, go to the Windows Start button and choose Control Panel. (Windows XP users will see it under Settings.) Select Uninstall a program or Add or Remove Programs, depending on your version of Windows. Run down the list of programs. If you see one that you recognize and you know you don’t use it, click Uninstall. If you are unsure about a particular program, then leave it alone.

3. Delete temporary files

Every time you visit a web site, your computer stores information so next time you visit, the page will reload faster. This information is stored in temporary files, which have a tendency to mount up, clogging space and possibly slowing down your computer.

Go back to the hard drive Properties window, as described in 1. above. Click on Disk Cleanup. After running some checks, your computer will present a window with options for clean up. Check the box against Temporary Internet Files, leaving the other boxes unchecked. Click OK.

4. Keep your software up-to-date.

Microsoft periodically releases special security updates that can help speed up your computer by closing possible security holes. In Windows, make sure automatic updating is turned on.

5. Scan for viruses, spyware, etc.

Finally, after deleting old programs, files and temporary files to free up space and making sure you have the latest software updates, you should run up-to-date security software to check for viruses, spyware and other bugs. If you have been having trouble with e-mail – it’s slow and unstable – then that’s usually a sign that viruses are present.

If you don’t have security software installed, buy or download software from one of the reputable security firms. Stay away from companies that offer online software to run free security checks. They will usually present you with an incomprehensible list of problems and then suggest you buy expensive software to “fix” the problems.

Once you have taken these five steps, your computer should be noticeably faster. If everything works out, repeat these steps every three months or so to maintain optimum performance.

The Best Smartphone Games

I love smartphone games! If I have two minutes to spare – or two hours – you will more than likely find me reaching for my smartphone and firing up one of my all-time favorites games. Whether I’m chasing a new high score in Temple Run or trying to take down one of my girlfriends in Words With Friends, there is nothing better than losing myself in a little mobile distraction.

If you’re interested in smartphone gaming, then here are 10 of my favorites, which include some of the more popular classics. Most of them are free or cost just a couple of dollars, so all you need to do is make a quick trip to the app store and your 4G network or Wi-Fi connection will take care of the rest. Happy gaming!

  • Tetris

    tetrisOne of the most popular games of all time. Just move the shapes to clear the lines and keep going for as long as you can. The latest touchscreen version adds a welcome new twist to an old classic.

    Platform: iOS, Android
  • Bejeweled Blitz

    bejeweled-blitzThe one-minute version of the popular Facebook game, Bejeweled Blitz is the perfect game for that back-of-the-taxi ride or when you want to kill a few minutes. Line up the jewels for points, and speed bonuses, star gems, “hypercubes” and “multipliers” will all add to your score.

    Platform: iOS
  • Words With Friends

    words-with-friendsPerhaps my all-time favorite, Words With Friends is a strategy word game that is a lot like scrabble. You can play with Facebook friends, the person sitting next to you or random players online. Use the seven available letters to make a word – and make sure you hit those premium squares!

    Platform: iOS, Android
  • Where’s My Perry

    wheres-my-perryA beautiful game with highly polished graphics and a wonderful storyline. Help Perry navigate a treacherous path through the underground maze. A great game to play with kids, although you may end up playing it more than they do!

    Platform: iOS, Android
  • Temple Run

    temple-runAn incredibly simple game that can be incredibly difficult to master! Use swipe and tilt controls to make sharp turns and jump over stumps, gaps in the path and other obstacles, all as you are chased by the Evil Demon Monkeys. In hundreds of tries I have yet to come close to my 12-year-old’s high scores!

    Platform: iOS, Android
  • Doodle Jump

    doodle-jumpAn oldie but goodie, Doodle Jump is a classic platforming game that rewards dexterity and imagination. Look for the propeller hats, trampolines and jetpacks for an extra boost. An immensely satisfying game for beginners, as your high score improves almost every time you play!

    Platform: iOS, Android
  • Cut the Rope

    cut-the-ropeHelp the adorable Om Nom get his candy by cutting through the swinging ropes at exactly the right time. Another progression puzzle that starts out easily enough but gets devilishly difficult as you move through the various levels.

    Platform: iOS, Android
  • The Sims

    the-sims-freeplayYes – you can now play The Sims on a smartphone! The Sims is an open-ended game where you build characters and neighborhoods and then nurture them through various life stages. The Sims FreePlay allows you to design homes, care for pets, grow gardens and a whole lot more. The game requires a 350MB download, so you may want to use your Wi-Fi connection.

    Platform: iOS, Android
  • Fruit Ninja

    fruit-ninjaNeed to get rid of some pent-up energy? The popular Fruit Ninja game allows you to chop, slice and dice your way through watermelons, oranges, pineapples and other assorted fruit, all with the swipe of a finger. A networking feature allows you to play head-to-head with friends.

    Platform: iOS, Android
  • Angry Birds

    angry-birdsNo list of popular smartphone games is complete without the ubiquitous Angry Birds. Download the original to help those irritable avians destroy the pigs or try one of the spinoffs like Angry Birds Rio or Angry Birds Space. Either way, prepare to join the millions of people that have Angry Bird addiction!

    Platform: iOS, Android

Networking for a Better Education

If you thought online social networks were a waste of time, you might be interested to know that Twitter has just been voted the #1 learning tool for the fifth year in a row by the Center for Learning and Performance Technologies (CLPT). According to Jane Hart, founder of CLPT, a learning tool is “a tool for your own personal learning or one that you use for teaching or training.” The Top 100 learning tools list was compiled from the votes of over 500 learning professionals worldwide.

Here’s what one learning professional had to say about Twitter: “I use Twitter as a Personal Learning Network. I share daily information on resources and tools that I have found, and I select networks of people to follow that provide me with their tips, guidelines and tools that they have found.” And another: “Twitter is the most powerful professional development experience I have ever had.”

The fact that a once-derided micro-blogging service can command such devotion among learning professionals is a testament to how far social networking has come since the early days of MySpace and Facebook. It’s also a measure of the popularity of smartphones and tablets – devices that are particularly well-suited to on-the-go observations that are 140 characters or less!

The Top 100 learning tools list also featured a number of software tools for organizing and sharing educational content, including Articulate, Edmodo, Blackboard Learn, and the open source management system Moodle. Such collaboration tools are revolutionizing how educators connect with students and how students connect with each other. With these tools, coursework and homework blend seamlessly together, allowing for a far more structured learning environment.

And networking for a better educational experience doesn’t end with high school. Most higher education establishments have well-developed networks for both coursework and the social side of college life. Remember, Facebook was started in a Harvard dorm room!

After graduation, alumni associations can be an invaluable way to stay in touch with students and faculty, and even find a job. They also provide opportunities to give something back to your old school through mentoring programs and other voluntary work.

There have never been more opportunities to network for a better education and a career path that is both fulfilling and financial rewarding. The social networking skills that our kids learn today will prove invaluable for their futures!

Watch Out! Your Wristband Is Tracking You…

I love my gadgets but very few recent devices have caught my imagination like the current wave of activity and sleep trackers. Devices like the Fitbit Flex wristband and the UP wristband by Jawbone have the potential to change our lives by monitoring two of the most important elements that factor into our overall health: exercise and sleep.

The Fitbit Flex and the UP attach comfortably to your wrist but there are other activity trackers like the Fitbit One that attach to a belt or any other convenient item of clothing. Once activated, they literally track your activity every minute of the day. They record how many steps you take, how many calories you burn, how many minutes per day you are active, and, most importantly, how well you are sleeping.

Most activity trackers are compatible with the iPhone, iPad and a growing number of Android devices. Set up couldn’t be easier. You just download the relevant app from your app store, set up your account, and sync your phone with the activity tracking device. (The UP wristband syncs by plugging into the headset jack on your phone, while Fitbit devices sync wirelessly.)

As part of the set up process, you will be asked to set both movement and sleep goals. On the UP band, the default movement goal is 10,000 steps per day, which works out around 5 miles for the average person. Similarly, the default sleep setting is 8 hours, but you can set it to anything you want. After that, the activity band tracks your progress, giving you a detailed breakdown of how you are doing against each goal.

Even though 10,000 steps a day might sound like a lot, you will be surprised at how quickly those steps mount up. Remember, the activity tracker is monitoring every step you take, so even if you just get up to answer the door, that’s another 40 steps in the bank. Of course, the real goal is to get you to exercise and activity trackers are amazingly effective at doing just that. You might find that your dog is getting a lot more evening walks as you make sure you hit your daily goal!

Just as fascinating are the nighttime readouts. Not only do activity trackers record how long you slept but they can also tell you how long it took you to fall asleep, the amount of light sleep versus deep sleep, and how often you woke up during the night. After just a few days of use, you start forming habits that promote better quality sleep, which may ultimately be the biggest benefit of using one of these devices.

In addition to its automatic movement and sleep tracking capabilities, the activity trackers allow you to manually input and track various other activities, including your food and drink intake, your workouts, and even your moods! As with most connected device these days, you can also share your data with friends via Facebook or Twitter.

Activity trackers are one of those breakthrough categories that use state-of-the-art technology to completely transform an everyday activity. Try one and I guarantee you’ll be hooked!

ESRB releases mobile app for easy access to video game rating summaries

Now it’s even easier for parents to get the information they need before buying a video game. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) – which assigns the ratings for video games – has released a new version of its free mobile app, which allows parents to get an in-depth rating summary of a game by taking a photo of the game box with their iPhone or Android camera.

Rating summaries, which are available at but are not displayed on game boxes, provide parents with a detailed, straight-forward explanation – including specific examples – of the content that factored into a game’s rating. By using the ESRB mobile app to access rating summaries, parents can make truly informed game choices for their children.

“When buying a video game for a child it’s important to check the game’s rating and understand its content to determine if it’s the right choice,” says ESRB president Patricia Vance. “With our new mobile app all you have to do a snap a photo to access the rating summary right from the store, where this information is usually needed most. By using the ESRB ratings – and tools like rating summaries – parents can be confident that they’re giving games this holiday season that are not only fun, but also appropriate.”

The ESRB mobile app is available for free via the Apple App Store or the Android Market. It offers easy access to ESRB rating information for over 20,000 titles by either taking a photo of the game box or typing in the name of the game. Rating summaries are available for all games rated since July 1, 2008, including most of the games that are likely to appear on kids’ wish lists this holiday season.

ESRB Video Game Ratings Explained

It’s one of the toughest day-to-day problems 21st century parents face: choosing which video games our children should be allowed to play. Where should you start? With your own values, of course. Next, step back and look at your child: every child’s different. Then, get some help (heaven knows, these days, we all need as much help as we can get!)

Here’s one place to get the help you need: the ESRB rating system.

ESRB is the Entertainment Software Rating Board. It’s the self-regulatory body for the videogame industry (just like the organization that rates movies, the MPAA). Nearly every game sold in the U.S. and Canada gets an ESRB rating: many stores won’t sell an unrated game and the major console manufacturers (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony) won’t publish unrated games for their systems.

What the ratings tell you

ESRB’s ratings are intended to provide general guidance about a game’s content and age-appropriateness, but some games allow for online play that can let users add and change a game’s content in ways that may not be consistent with its ESRB rating. And, as soon as a player goes online, he or she might be competing with other players who don’t “fit the profile,” and might use the various chat features (text, voice, and in some cases video) available on many online-enabled games to harass other players, sometimes using harsh language.

Games that allow these types of online interactions among players carry a notice on the package as well as on the game’s opening screen that reads “Online Interactions Not Rated By The ESRB,” as a warning to consumers that these features may allow for the introduction of content not factored into the game’s rating.  All that being said, the ESRB ratings will give you a good general sense of whether you’ll be comfortable bringing a game into your home, just like the MPAA ratings do for movies.

There are six levels of ratings, from “Early Childhood” all the way to “Adults Only” games that shouldn’t be sold to anyone under 18. You’ll find these ratings on the front and back of the game box (and if you’re buying online, most e-commerce sites display them, too). Official rating category definitions are available on the ESRB’s website, but here’s our breakdown:

child Early Childhood
For age 3 or older; nothing inappropriate here! Example: Jumpstart Advanced Preschool Fundamentals
everyone Everyone
For age 6 or older: you might find a little “cartoon, fantasy or mild” violence and the occasional mean (but not obscene) word. Example: Super Mario Galaxy
everyone10 Everyone 10+
For age 10 or older: these titles are likely to contain a little more violence, a little tougher language, and maybe the occasional “suggestive” theme. Example: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
teen Teen
For age 13 or older: more violence and suggestive themes, crude humor, a little blood, some simulated gambling, and the occasional “strong language.” Example: Medal of Honor: Heroes 2
mature Mature
For age 17 and older: may have intense violence, blood and gore, and/or sexual content or significant strong language. Example: Halo 3
ao Adults Only
Should not be played by anyone younger than 18; may include “prolonged scenes of intense violence” and/or “graphic sexual content and nudity.”

There’s one more rating you might see, but only for games that haven’t been officially rated and released yet:

rp Rating Pending
Make sure to check back when the game goes on sale for its final, official rating

Why it got that rating

So why did that game get the rating it got? What type of content might we as parents be interested in knowing about?  Look on the back of the box for the details. ESRB uses over 30 “content descriptors”: everything from “Comic Mischief” to “Use of Tobacco” to “Strong Sexual Content.”  Using both parts of the rating (the age ratings on the front and the content descriptors on the back) helps to give good guidance as to whether a particular game is right for your child.  But again, use your own judgment and knowledge of your child to make the best choices for him or her.

Rating Summary

If you’d like to go a bit deeper, the ESRB also offers a supplementary source of information about game content called “rating summaries,” which provide a brief explanation of the context and relevant content that factored into a game’s rating.  They’re a straight-forward, objective snapshot of exactly what parents would want to know about when deciding if a game is one they deem suitable for their child.  Rating summaries are available when searching for games on the ESRB website, via the ESRB rating search widget, as well as right from the video game store by logging onto ESRB’s mobile website at  They’re also available through the ESRB’s free ParenTools newsletter, which provides subscribers with a bi-monthly list of recently rated titles complete with rating summaries and customized to their selected preference of rating categories and game platforms.

Finally, a tip: don’t let your child tell you “everyone’s” playing that M-rated game. It’s just not true. Six in ten parents “never” allow their children to play M-rated games, and another third of them only do so “sometimes.”  In fact, parents of children under the age of 13 are more than twice as likely as those of older children to never allow their child to play an M-rated game.  If they’re not ready, stand your ground!

And there’s no shortage of games rated for younger players, either. A couple of years ago, only 6% of all ratings assigned by ESRB were for games rated “M” for Mature, and those games were responsible for only 15.5% of sales. In contrast, more than half of the ratings assigned by ESRB were “E” for Everyone.  E-rated games dominate the top-selling games each year, so there’s plenty of game choices that are both fun and appropriate.

Shopping with your smartphone

By Nicole Freeman:

I’ve always been a fan of online shopping: I’ve bought and sold dozens of items on Craigslist and eBay; I’m always looking for bargains on daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social; and I’m not ashamed to admit that most of my Christmas shopping is done at Amazon.

But these days, I’m no longer hunting for bargains in front of a computer screen. My online shopping has gone mobile and my smartphone has become my money-saving friend.

In many ways, taking my smartphone to the mall provides me with the best possible shopping experience. Instead of relying on screen images, I get to browse a real store, see the latest trends, and feel the quality of the merchandise. And if I see something I like, my smartphone can read the barcode and instantly let me know where I can get the lowest possible price. Some apps will even hunt for coupons and let me order the item right there and then.

If you love to go to the stores but still want the lowest possible price, then smartphone shopping is definitely the way to go. Here are just a few of my favorite smartphone shopping apps:

  • Google Shopper

    Google_Shopper_TNProbably one of the most popular shopping apps, Google Shopper does it all: it reads the barcode, tells you all about the product, searches for the best price at nearby stores or online, and lets you order right from your phone. You can use Google Shopper to comparison shop for virtually anything, including groceries. The latest version includes daily deals from Google Offers and features to bookmark bargains or share them with friends.

    Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android
    Price: Free
  • Red Laser

    Red_Laser_TNOne of the original barcode scanners and still one of the best. Almost impossible to come up with a product it can’t find. And it also reads those funny new QR codes. The Red Laser app searches for prices using Google,, eBay, American Express, and more. A new feature now allows in-app purchasing for home delivery or in-store pickup.

    Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Yowza!! Mobile Coupons

    Yowza_TNYowza!! is one of the first of a rising crop of mobile couponing apps, which let you just show your smartphone at checkout to take advantage of the discount. Thousands of coupons can be searched by category or store. The only drawback is that most of these couponing apps are signing up merchants from the big cities first, so although you will find some coupons from the national chain stores, local independents may not be so well served. The Coupons App and CouponSherpa are other highly-regarded couponing apps.

    Platform: iPhone, iPad (requires iOS 5), Android
    Price: Free
  • Lemon

    Lemon_TNIf you really like to shop, then you might need an app to help you stay within your budget. Lemon scans all your receipts and organizes them into easy-to-understand categories and reports, telling you exactly what you have been spending your money on. If you don’t have a receipt, you can still enter a purchase manually. Lemon will let you establish up to 10 accounts, so you can track spending for every member of the family.

    Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry
    Price: Free