Monday, March 18, 2013

Mosaic Reviews: FamilyMint

When I was in high school, I took all upper level math courses starting with Algebra 1 in 8th grade.  By my senior year, I was taking Calculus.  In all those years of math, I never remember one time being taught about managing my personal finances.  I never remember being taught the importance of budgeting, balancing your checkbook, setting goals, etc.  Our first year of marriage was a real eye opener.  Once you've had a bunch of overdraft fees posted to your account, because you didn't balance your checkbook, you learn some important lessons about personal finance.  Needless to say, I learned from experience.  I want my children to learn from example...and practice before going out on their own.  That's why I am pleased to be able to review the FamilyMint product! 

 Making S.M.A.R.T. goals

FamilyMint is a money management program for kids aged 6-14 (The workbook is geared for ages 10 and up)  that teaches financial literacy.  It's an over-time approach to help kids learn to be responsible for their own money by helping them keep track of it.  Your children will learn budgeting, setting goals, how to write checks/deposit slips, and patience!

 Our practice checks and deposits

FamilyMint began as a collaboration between two friends with large families.  They decided to develop a product that would address a need they had for their own families and would help others as well.  Their website states the statistic:  "2 out of 3 high school seniors graduate without knowing the basics of budgeting?"  I was one of those!  

I'm determined my kids do not leave my home without the ability to manage their money wisely.  FamilyMint began as an online option only.  Then the founders decided they "needed to go low-tech to teach the principles behind the app."  Having the workbook options adds flexibility, because you don't have to have internet access to use this system.  There is also a mobile app that works on any phone.  

We used the workbook and online components of this program.  The workbook is not very long or tedious.  So, we worked through the workbook a chapter weekly.  I set up each kid an account online, and entered in their starting balances.  The online program was so easy to get started, my 12 year old basically could manage her own account with very little supervision.  The kids set goals, did transactions and really started thinking about responsible money management.  It also helped us to see  how much money our kids actually had and how they were choosing to spend it.  

What we like:

  • Visual program- Kids make goals online and pick a visual to go along with that goal.  At a glance they can see what they are saving money for.
  • Parent involvement- Kids do all their money management under your supervision.
  • Versatile- You can use this program for incentive programs in homeschooling or family life.  One person uses it in their homeschooling so kids earn "teacher bucks or points".  Kids then trade in points for various rewards.  I'm excited to try this with our Summer Ticket Program this year!   
  • It continues to reinforce good habits.
  • Encouragement aspect- Every time I deposit money into their accounts for jobs well done, there is a description box (to designate the funds).  I use that description box as a way to tell my kids how proud I am of their hard work.  When they log in, they'll see that "love note" from me.  
  • It allows kids to take ultimate responsibility for their own spending/saving.  You don't have to be the bad guy all the time.  They ask for something, you respond with a question, "Well, do you have the money?"  Then encourage them to make the goal.
  • The online app does all the work for you
  • You can add as many children as you need!

What we would dislike: 

The workbook is great and is designed to stand alone, but I don't think I'd want to do this program without the online application.  That's where all the fun is, in our opinion.  

Financial literacy can only really happen in the home. That's where we teach our kids' good habits with money through the years.  FamilyMint is a program that can help get us going in the right direction.  

FamilyMint has several options available:

A special introductory bundle--$29.99:  

It includes the workbook and a LIFETIME subscription to the online application. (This is the best deal, in my opinion!)


Or an online only  PREMIUM option:
$24.99 (yearly) or $4.99 (monthly)

Or a basic online option:
(a 14 day Premium trial is included)


 There really is an option available for everyone no matter what your budget!

For more review perspectives on this product, visit Mosaic Reviews


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