Sunday, March 28, 2010

Family Mint ~ TOS Review

Family Mint is a FREE online program you can use to help teach your children to appreciate money, and to manage money properly. Family Mint is not a real bank. My kids call it a "pretend" bank. In our family, the parents are the bankers, and the children are the customers. They come to us to make deposits or withdrawals, and we store the money for them in one safe place.

My husband and I named our bank H&N Bank. Each of the children opened up an account of their own. In order for the children to make their first deposits to their accounts they had to go to their rooms and gather all their money. I realized at that moment how their money was stored everywhere. They had money in dressers, jewelry boxes, wallets, and purses, and that is not a responsible way to store money. Family Mint has helped us stop this horrible habit and learn a better habit. Each child has an envelope with their name on it, and their money is stored inside the envelope in a safe location in our home.

The children each have their own account. In their individual accounts, you can see the money they have in general savings, money for charity (special offerings), and an account for something special they are saving up for. For instance, one of my daughters is saving up to purchase rabbits for Gospel for Asia. As she gets closer and closer to her goal, a bar graph fills up. This makes it easy for her to see her progress. I set up an account for my husband and I so the children could watch us get closer and closer to our goal of buying a second vehicle. The children are seeing first-hand how Mom and Dad also save up before they buy things.

Family Mint truly does help teach kids to appreciate money, like their motto states. In the short time our children have been using it, I believe they have learned to better appreciate money. Their money is now stored in one safe place. They are learning to set money aside for tithes and offerings, keep money in savings, and to set goals and save money before you purchase an item.

We have recently started using a feature on Family Mint that allows us to add 50 cents each week to our children's general savings for their allowance. But, they also know that if a week goes by when they do not do their chores, that Mom and Dad can remove their allowance. It is teaching them that you only get paid, when you work.

Recently, my 7-year-old daughter got $1.00 for losing a tooth. She handed the dollar to me and said, "Here Mom, please put this in our fake bank." I was so proud of her because usually she would ask to go spend it at the Dollar Store!

I believe Family Mint is a wonderful tool for families to use to help teach their children how to manage money properly. Take a moment to look around the Family Mint website, and remember you can sign up for FREE!

If you'd like to read more reviews from other TOS Crew members, click over to the TOS Crew Blog.

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