Thursday, February 25, 2010

Family Mint (Review)

Family Mint is a free online money management application for kids, where the parents hold the money and act as the banker. You are not putting your money in an on-line bank, you are simply using an on-line tool to keep track of your child's money.

This is a very simple program to use. It took me all of 3 minutes to set up our bank, enter the kids info and get started. When I say entering the kids info, there are safe guards in place on the site. You must enter the child's year of birth, and no child under the age of 13 can enter an email address for contact purposes.

Family Mint is designed for the parent to be the actual banker (read, you hold the money and are responsible for NOT spending it). Children are able to enter transactions (deposits, withdrawals, transfers), but the banker (parent) must approve each transaction prior to it being finalized.

For each child, you can set up goal accounts. For example if your child wants a new computer, you can set up a savings subcategory and enter the goal amount and how much the child is to put into this account each deposit. The website will then give you a projected date of completion for this goal. You also have the option of matching the child's deposits, based on a percentage that you choose.

To be honest, although both girls do have savings accounts, we haven't started giving allowances yet. However, now that we have this handy dandy tool, we may have to dive into the realm of real money on a regular basis...holidays and birthdays aren't adding up too quickly!

I really like this product! It's simple to use, teaches children goal setting and to be good stewards of their money. These are some of the important life skills that need to be instilled early on to avoid financial hardships later in life.

There will be an additional Pro version coming later in 2010 that will have a fee related.

To read reviews of other Crew members, click here.

Disclosure: This product was provided to our family for free as members of the 2009-2010 Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homeschool Crew. Reviews and opinions expressed in this blog are our own.

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