Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FamilyMint.com - A Review

Product: FamilyMint.com

Price: FREE for the Basic Version
Coming Soon: Pro Version (Fee not yet determined)

Co-Founders: Jeff Eusebio and Bob Masterson

Where: FamilyMint.com

Brief Overview:
FamilyMint is a tool to help parents teach their children about money management skills. To the family, the "money" online represents real money that the child owns and the parent is holding...just like a real bank. But to everyone else, it is just virtual money.

In-Depth Look:
I was asked to review a free website as part of the TOS Crew. It is called FamilyMint.com. They are working on a PRO version that will have a fee, but they plan to always offer the free BASIC version as well.

The website provides parents with the tools to help their children learn how to track their spending, saving and goal-planning (both short and long-term).

It is quick and easy to get started. The site offers "Get Started" videos. But the website is also very self-explanatory on its own.

The first step is to setup the bank with you as the banker. Then you add each child as a customer of the bank. You and your child can personalize their account with a username, password and graphic.

Many options are available. One that I like is the automatic allowance deposit. If I enter a $2/week allowance, the system automatically deposits $2 every week. No more forgetting to pay it.

The goal setting is also very nice. Your child can set a goal, such as buy new shoes for $50. He can decide how much he wants to deposit and how often. Then the system shows how long it will take to save that goal. You as the banker can agree to match up to a certain percent and also make extra bonus deposits.

Your child can easily post his own deposits and withdrawals, etc. But you, as the banker, have to approve each transaction. If you wish, you can even set up the account to earn interest at a rate you select.

Graphics, pie charts and such make the website appealing and easier for young children to understand.

It wasn't practical at this time for me to use this with my daughters. But I had a good time playing with the site and see lots of potential uses, once my daughters have a regular flow of money. Also in a few years, this would be a great tool for lots of hypothetical uses as well. "Virtual" bill paying, budget planning, goal setting, etc.

The program is free. It is quick and easy to set up. The site has helpful videos and newsletters. Lots of great tools for you and your child.

Find more reviews at this site.

Disclaimer: I was asked to review this website as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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