Saturday, February 20, 2010

TOS Review: Family Mint

Financial education is a must for kids. I'm sorry--I know that for most people learning about how to handle money falls well below the three Rs. But it shouldn't. Why? Because stewardship is an important Biblical concept for a reason, folks. And hey, even if it wasn't ... do you really want your kids looking to you with their hands out when they're thirty? Sobering, isn't it?

How you go about teaching your kids to allocate money wisely can be as low-tech as labeling some Mason jars and letting them divvy things up as they will. Or, as it turns out, you can tap into a high-tech, FREE resource called Family Mint.

Family Mint, in essence, replicates the online banking experience. The catch? Mom and Dad are the bankers, setting everything from interest rates, to income. Kids manage their accounts, set goals, and even make virtual withdrawals--all with the bankers o.k.

The layout and ease of use is clean and easy. Even techno-phobe parents who still do pen and paper banking will find the site easy to navigate and use. Kids will have a leg-up on their peers, too, by already utilizing the online concept in financing, something that just isn't going to go away. :-)

The downside? No actual, real money is represented. Why is this a downside? Well, for our family, seeing the money has been an essential teaching tool. The concept of numbers and, therefore, cash amount, is an elusive thing to many children; Holding a wad of ones that they've slaved to save brings home a concrete lesson that can't be beat when you're contemplating whether that chemistry set is really worth it. For this reason and this reason alone, Family Mint wasn't a smashing success here--more of a fun learning tool with real-life application.

However, for most families, I can see this being a hit. And did I mention that it's FREE? Yes--nothing is easier on the pocketbook than financial education that doesn't cost a dime!

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this product for review purposes. Refer to my general disclaimer for more information on my policies regarding reviews.

No comments: