Topic: Homeschool Product Review
All right folks. I'm going to throw a few questions at you:
Have you ever thought that there had to be a better way to teach your kids about money management?
Do you always dread allowance day because your not sure you'll have the money to cover it?
Would you like a way to empower your kids to keep track of their own money?
Do you wish there was some kind of reliable tool to teach your kids what it's really like to keep a bank account?
Do your children always say "I'm going to save my money for this" or "I'm going to spend my money on that"?
Do you ever long for a way that you can help your kids set goals for their money?
Are you tired of your kids coming to you constantly asking for you to slip them some cash?
If you answered yes to any one of the above questions, then NEVER FEAR, FAMILY MINT IS HERE! Family mint is a really innovative way that you can answer all of the questions above. Here's how it works.
Family Mint is kind of like an online checking account that your kids can use. It has places for them to fill in deposits and withdrawals. It even has a place where they can set up goals. It really is like a bank account but here's the difference. You're the banker!
Now, there are some pro's and con's about being the banker. First the pro's. This isn't a real bank. There is no money kept in a safe. No records that anyone can hack and make money off of or steal an identity.
Now the cons. It really is like a real bank in that you are the banker. You set up the account with weekly automatic deposits for whatever your child's allowance is. They can move their money around in their account and can take out withdrawals if they would like. They can even deposit money that they have earned for extra things like baby sitting or lawn mowing. But of course when they doposit the money they have to give it to the banker. Of course that also means, that they can go to the "banker" - YOU - and ask for some of their money back. Which also means, if you are playing fair, that you need to give them the money for what they want. Still, you are the parent and can approve what they buy but if it's for a large purchase that they have been saving up for with your approval, then you had better have that money on hand.
Everything is really easy to set up. You, as the parent/banker would have to open the initial bank, then you and your children can set up their individual accounts. You can decide how much money to put in each week for an allowance, and, the program even allows, if you want, for you to set up interest that they can earn on their money. That encourages them to keep their money in the bank for longer periods. You can even set up matching funds for their "savings" accounts if they want.
After that, they are on their own. They can set up "savings" accounts for things that they want to save for and name that account whatever they want ~ "Computer Account", "College Fund", "New Bike Savings". The Family Mint program will even tell them how long they will have to wait if they put so much money into their savings account each week.
There is a slightly different look for the younger kids to make it more appealing, but the older kid's "online account" looks just like most online bank accounts.
Of course, everything is secure. No information is given to anyone else. There really isn't enough information on there for anyone to do anything with anyway. Remember, this isn't a real bank account and there really isn't any money so no one can actually hack into the system and transfer money from your account to theirs. It's really kind of like an online program to keep track of your kid's money.
Want to see what everything really looks like and how it's done. Here's a short video clip from the Family Mint website.
Overview from FamilyMint Inc on Vimeo.
Okay, you might be saying, "But my kids are really too young for this". My answer would be, "Are they ever really too young to learn how to handle money?" Make it like a game. If you don't want to use real money, use play money. Almost all families have point systems or something like that. Revise the point system to use play money instead. They can sit down at the computer with you and see how much "money" they have to buy rewards with. Extra time to watch TV or more time on a video game. Buy a favorite toy or a special treat. It's all up to you how you want to set it up and then they can save up their "money" for something they want to buy.
Now you might be thinking. "Yeah, but how much am I going to have to save in order to buy this crazy program to help my kids save?" Are you ready for this? IT'S FREE! There is a "Pro" version coming soon, but all of the great things that I just talked about are absolutely free! So, what are you waiting for? Check out their website by clicking here or on any of the hi-lighted links above. As always, you can check out what the other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew thought about Family Mint by clicking here. Now, since money management is something that all kids, not just homeschool kids, need to learn, I'll say Happy Educating!
Updated: Thursday, 1 April 2010 12:40 AM CDT
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