Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Budgeting for Kids?


Several weeks ago I was asked to create a family account on Family Mint and try it out for our family in order to tell you about it.  Logging in and creating accounts for each of our boys was a breeze.  There were no surprises.  Although we were able to manage the accounts very easily on our own, we did watch the getting started video that is available to you when you log-in.  But, truthfully, I didn't need the video.  This is a very easy program to use.  But now, I have to tell you the story...

I logged into Family Mint and our two boys, ages 13 and 11, logged into their accounts that are "under" mine.  We have been giving the boys allowance since they were very young.  They have had chores around the house that are age-appropriate since they were 4 years old.  The boys are not savers.  We require that they tithe and save a portion of their allowance, but they spend everything that is left after their required tithe and savings.  The night we set up their accounts, our youngest son set to work making his "MAC" card.  He now hands it to me when he has a withdrawl that I need to approve taking money from his Family Mint account.


Recently, the boys have become very interested in an on-line game.  The game itself was free, but there were features you could purchase.  The boys wanted to spend some of their money on this game.   I didn't want them to spend their hard-earned money on a virtual item.  We told them that we did not think it was a wise use of their money.   Because we try to let them manage their own money, they were allowed to spend some of their money on this on-line game.  THEN we started using Family Mint.  And the boys' eyes were opened like never before!


On their FamilyMint accounts, the boys have to enter withdrawls when they want to spend their money.  Every two weeks, their allowance is automatically added to their accounts by FamilyMint.  Then they must go in and move their tithe and savings money into those accounts which we set up for them.  After that, the money left is theirs to spend.  When the boys want to spend money, they make a withdrawl from the FamilyMint account and I go into the master account and approve it.  But as they are making these withdrawls, the boys can see the money that has been moved into and out of their accounts over the past few weeks.  That's when the lightbulb lit.


After a day of making another withdrawl to "buy" something on this virtual game, our sons had a conference.   They came down to our bedroom late one evening and announced that they were giving up the virtual game for good.  Now, I was not upset by this at all.  I prayed that their attraction to this game would be broken.  But I was confused.  Just that day the boys were playing their game and chatting giddily about it.  Now, suddenly, they were giving up the game altogether.  "Why?"  I asked.  "I don't understand." 


"I realized how much money I was spending."  My oldest explained.  It was Family Mint!  Because the boys were seeing where their money was going on Family Mint, they were quickly becoming more aware of what money they had!  "If I had all that money I spent...I'd have a lot of money!"  My son continued.


Since cancelling their on-line accounts on this game, the boys have set different savings goals on their Family Mint accounts.  They can move their money directly into these savings accounts from their open money.


And that is why I am a fan of Family Mint.  After years of me preaching, "Spend your money wisely."  "Don't buy that junk."  "Think about where you are spending your money!"  Family Mint SHOWED the boys exactly all those things in the matter of a few weeks.


Family Mint is a free service.  I cannot sing the praises of this system high enough.  It has changed how our sons spend their money.  It has shown them where their money goes.  Family Mint will prepare them to keep a budget when they are on their own.  We will keep using these accounts until that time to get them ready.  Get your free account set up today and start your kids saving and spending consciously.  I never realized that the way we gave the boys allowance and let them spend it without any accountability was setting them up to fail financially.  Now, they use the Family Mint account and see where their money is going and how much they are spending.  It's a fantastic program and long-overdue.


To contact Family Mint for more information, go here.  You will find all their necessary contact information on that page.  To read more crew reviews of Family Mint, go here.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. What an awesome story. That's the highest level of praise we can ask for.