Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review: Family Mint


One thing that I really wish my hubby and I had been better at when we started out as a married couple was managing our money. It wasn't until we had been married more than five years before we heard of Larry Burkett and even longer before we became fans of Dave Ramsey and living debt free. We're fast on our way to finally being completely debt free, but we've been married almost 17 years at this point. I'm hoping to teach my sons how to manage their money better - to be rulers over it rather than letting it rule them.

Enter FamilyMint - the newest product the TOS Homeschool Crew was able to check out. 

FamilyMint is basically an online "bank" in which you play the "banker" for your children. Accounts can be set up for each child and they make deposits and withdrawals that you, as the banker, owe them. It's designed to work just like a real bank does. The point of FamilyMint is to help you teach wise money managing skills to your children. 

Currently FamilyMint is completely FREE (my favorite word). There are plans to offer an upgraded Pro Version for a fee but as of yet, that hasn't happened. 

Our family does not do allowances so I did get a bit creative on how to go about trying out this program. First, I created "Berry Bucks" which my boys love. Then we brainstormed a list of things they could do to earn them. Here's a sample:
  • Putting all clothes away in drawers $2
  • Emptying all small trashcans in the house $1
  • Cleaning up room - including all corners - and vacuuming - $5
  • Filling wood box without being asked - $2
Then we thought of ways they could "spend" their "Berry Bucks:"
  • candy bar of choice - $1
  • watch a video of choice - $2
  • 30 mins. of PC time - $5
  • 30 mins of Wii time - $5
  • 60 mins of PC time - $8 (their favorite)
  • 60 mins of Wii time - $8

FamilyMint has some wonderful features to their program - more than even I had realized. Here are a few:
  • Kids have their own interface so they can manage their own money.
  • Parents approve all transactions - just like a bank would.
  • Automated interest
  • Matching deposits
  • Goals (my favorite)
Overall I felt this was a solid program and well done in helping kids learn how to manage money. The boys have seemed to really enjoy this and I plan to continue using this for a time. In fact, I know my oldest son will be using this a bit more. He's taken a sudden interest in starting a kid business. He just took some books out of the library today all about money. It will be fun to see what he comes up with. 

Be sure to check out all the reviews of FamilyMint over at the TOS Homeschool Crew

*Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in exchange for our unbiased opinion of the product.

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