Free online financial tools are one of my favorite things—so I’m excited to share a new one with you: FamilyMint.com. I learned about this program at the Institute for Financial Literacy’s annual conference last week where I was honored to receive the 2011 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Award for my new book, Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Grow Rich. FamilyMint.com won the EIFLE Award in the Children’s Education Program category, and once you check it out, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s awesome.
Why Was FamilyMint.com Created?
The creators of this program say it was born out of necessity in their own families. They wanted to create an experience for their kids that would encourage them to be curious about money and to get excited about saving. If you think that sounds impossible, FamilyMint.com may be the answer to your prayers!
What is FamilyMint.com?
FamilyMint.com is a web-based tool for kids that teaches financial literacy while they budget and track their own money online. Even though it sounds like another online tool that you may know about—Mint.com—they’re not affiliated in any way and are completely different programs.
FamilyMint.com allows kids to set financial goals and work to achieve them, just like an adult. This online software gives parents and kids a way to interact with money in a way that wasn’t possible before. The application is visual and interactive, which means kids are learning from the program (and from their parents) without knowing it.
Kids have fun setting goals, allocating savings, transferring funds between accounts, and getting to manage their money like a grown-up. FamilyMint allows kids to appreciate the value of money and makes life easier for parents at the same time.
How Does FamilyMint Work?
Family Mint is perfect for kids age 6 to 16. They log in by themselves and manage their own deposits, withdrawals, and transfers. They create their own financial goals, like buying a bike or saving for holiday gifts, and learn money management by actually doing it in real time. They can set up as many accounts and goals as they like.
The money in FamilyMint.com represents real money that you hold for your child. That way you become the bank and get to approve or deny your kids financial decisions. When your child wants to make a deposit, they give you their money, log it in the desired account, and will rely on you to pay it back when they want to make a withdrawal (just like a real bank).
Since FamilyMint.com is a tracking system, it’s virtual money to anyone outside of your family. In other words, no hacker could steal your money because it isn’t linked up to a live bank account. Nonetheless, FamilyMint takes security seriously and keeps your information private and safe by using state-of-the-art-encryption and secure servers. Your family’s information can only be accessed by you. So FamilyMint.com is money management software (like Quicken) that allows you to enter transactions, track them, and see a complete history of what has changed over time.
What Does FamilyMint.com Cost?
All the FamilyMint.com features that I’ve described are part of the free version. If you like the program and want to upgrade, the Premium version is $4.95 per month or $24.99 per year. You automatically get a two-week trial of the Premium version which includes these great features:
- mobile access
- parental account locking to prevent account transfers and withdrawals
- automatic matching deposits to incentivize certain goals
- automatic allowance payments
- automatic interest payments to motivate saving over spending
- automatic deposit splits into multiple accounts, like savings and charity
- no advertising
Find out what people are saying about FamilyMint.com on the site’s Testamonials page and take a Video Tour to see exactly how this innovative free financial program can help kids appreciate and save their money.