Thursday, March 21, 2013

FamilyMint a review

Online banking is all the rage.  It seems that humans rarely deal in cash anymore.  For someone who has mostly gone to a cash system it is sometimes hard to get another to accept cash. Why? Because cash is hard to deposit with your smartphone.  It is hard to track with a check #.   Now our kids deal all in cash because we pay them in cash.  Our oldest will occasionally get a check for a babysitting job which we have made out to us, hand her cash and then use our smartphones to deposit.  See electronic banking!  Familymint brings online "banking" to the kids.  At first I was not impressed because my kids deal in cash.  The website asks the bankers to be the parents, depositing the kids money into a jar.  Knowing myself I had the kids hang on to their own money:).  Having cash sitting in a jar on my dresser was asking for it to be "borrowed" by ::ahem:: me.  Come on I know I am not the only one!  So my kids retain their cash and we proceded with the program online and the workbook.
As a part of the review I received a premium membership which will run you $29.99, this includes the workbook.  Familymint is running a special introductory offer in which you receive the workbook and a lifetime subscription for this same price.
I used this program with my newly minted 10 year old.  He had quite a bit of holiday money and birthday money in his possession and had goals in mind.  I had him work the first chapter in the workbook.  He came back to me exclaiming that it was fun and he enjoyed writing checks!  I then plugged him into the website with his username and password and he had fun moving his money around.  (mommy brag alert) he hit his spend goal and moved the extras to give with no prompting from me!Here is a screen shot of my son's account.  The red transaction was a lesson on what happens when you click the white box :) Neil has continued working in the workbook and proclaims it is right up his alley.  Not difficult but it makes him think.
Topics in the workbook include, but are not limited to,Tracking your money,

Goal Setting, and Budgeting.  On the back of the 58 page workbook is the certificate of achievement.   
What I liked about  My son really got into it.  The workbook was geared perfectly for his age.  The parent has options to lock transactions so the kids can't mess with them on their screen.  I could create a savings plan that portioned out any money deposited into his goals of spend, save and give.  I did not have to do the math and chop up the deposit myself.  It gave my son a sense of control over his money.  I loved that allowance is automatically deposited each week.  I don't have to keep track of it :)
I can't think of much that I didn't like other than my own hangup of  just another thing for him to be on the computer for.  But if it creates a fiscally responsible 10 year old who can set monetary goals than I can be ok with extra computer time.  He has almost worked the entire workbook himself and at 10 was moving money around his account.  I think that is a step in the right direction.  I think I might be taking him out later tonight to buy that flash drive he was saving up for!

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