My kids get an allowance... but the actual "distribution" of the allowance has been haphazard, at best. This has a lot to do with the fact that we've become semi-cashless ourselves, so don't always have the correct coinage on hand. So we have moved into a "figure it out 2 or 3 times/ year" method, but that is time-consuming and not very accurate.
Imagine my delight (And that of my kids... well, "Delight" might be a little strong to describe their feelings...) when the TOS Crew members were introduced to Family Mint. Family Mint is a free online program that has great potential to help teach your children about money management.
The concept is that we, the parents, are "The bank", and the children are our "Customers".
You can set up an account for each child with multiple options:
- "direct deposit" (for their allowance, if you wish)
- Regular deposits (for other cash, gifts, etc...)
- Goals (like charity, gifts, big ticket items, and "Spending money")
- Transfers (Between "Goal accounts")
- Savings Plan (Automatic deposits of specific percentages)
- The ability for the "bank" (That's us...) to motivate our kids to save by paying interest, and/or by "matching" a percentage of the funds being saved for a certain purpose or "Goal"
Talking about the "Goals" section~
JDP1 wants to spend what he has, most of the time, but he did manage to save up for a professional skateboard, with our previous, haphazard, "enforced" savings allowance method. Now, he wants to save up for an ipod or an itouch. Having the Family Mint keep track of his allowance for me (So that I don't have to go "figure it out" on a regular basis), AND allocate a specific percentage to the itouch category is great! Then, when Birthday and Christmas gifts come in, he can add those directly as well(those cash gifts are a great thing, too, because if he had to rely on his allowance it would take him YEARS to save up for a big ticket item). There is a nifty little tracking bar that shows how much has been saved in each goal category, which is helpful for them to actually SEE their progress.
Now he can check on a weekly basis, and hey, if he has the money "in the bank", sure... he can spend it on gum... OR he can decide to put that bit towards his goal, or towards some other option(like charity..) It just puts it out there in black and white. The great thing is that I don't have to do the figuring, and keep it in a safe, but accessible place. Family Mint does that for me. :) (we just have to remember to make the "withdrawal")
So, FamilyMint can help my kids
- Organize their finances
- Create Goals
- Plan for the future
- SEE their money at work for them
If your family is like mine, it is also a grand way to keep track of those "phantom allowances", and make sure that your kids' spending hits THEIR pocket books, not yours! :)
Be sure to check FamilyMint out, and also my fellow Crew mates' reviews. Some of them used FamilyMint as a very CREATIVE tool! :)
I hope that this review of FamilyMint.com's free program will SAVE your homeschool budget a little, AND give you a useful tool in teaching your children how to budget wisely.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."