Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Family Mint (TOS Crew Review)

When I was growing up, I remember my parents telling me, "debt is a way of life... you'll always have a car payment."  When I married, we discovered the Dave Ramsey way of doing things, and life was so much better!  However, it is hard to completely shut out the training of one's youth, and my husband and I have both struggled at points with a case of the Wants.

When we received the information for Family Mint, I thought, "okay, this is going to help us teach our kids what we want them to learn about managing money - so they will not have to overcome a self-destructive foundation."

I signed our family up for an account right away.

Then, honestly, I forgot about it for the most part.

The kids each have savings accounts at the local bank, and the oldest (10yo) helps fill out deposit slips and do balancing.  They know how much they have in there and they know how much they are putting in (we haven't taken any out yet) each time, so we keep a running total of how much they have saved.  Money comes in for birthdays and Christmas, and those months are long past by this point in our year, so we haven't had money to deposit lately.

The oldest takes 10% to church (if the younger one went to church, he would, too, but that's a different tangent) and spends less than half of everything she gets.  She's my saver.  The younger one (7yo) is a spender - money is like underwear - temporary and revolving.  I definitely need to work on that.

Okay, so with Family Mint online, you can get a free basic account, and the parents act as the bankers.  The kids can each have an account, and "money" is deposited and tracked.  Interest accrues in the manner you set it up to do, and allowances can even be automatically set to accrue.  Additionally, your children (and you!) can set goals: short-term and/or long-term.  That's pretty helpful for the spender!

In actuality, we used this very little, but I have had a strange couple of months and am not altogether organized right now. (currently working on that)  I see real potential with Family Mint, however, and I think it is a valuable resource for parents.  For our family, however, it was a bad time of the year to try it with real money and it didn't occur to me how to use it any other way until this week.

In fact, my daughter is currently reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and apparently the mother uses play money to help the kids save toward goals, rewards, or real money.  We have been talking about implementing just such a policy, and Family Mint would make a wonderful resource for that!  'Course, many are using it to track their real money.  Just check out my fellow Crew Mates' reviews here.

* Disclaimer: Family Mint provided a free account to me as a member of the 2009-2010 TOS Homeschool Crew for the purposes of reviewing it.  This review is my own honest opinion, and no compensation has been provided.

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