Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mosaic Reviews: FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program

I'm very excited to share my first official Mosaic Reviews product review with you.  This is what we've been checking out lately...
FamilyMint's Money Management Certification Program

Created by Robert Masterson, MBA and Jeff Eusebio, MBA to fill a need to teach their children how to be good stewards of their money, the program has collected awards from the National Financial Educators Council, Excellence in Financial Literacy Education, Academics’ Choice, Mom’s Choice Awards, Parent’s Choice, The National Parenting Center, and a number of other organizations.

Did you know?

A few interesting facts from the FamilyMint creators:
  • Only 5% of adults learned money management in any level of school.
  • Only 5 % of people ages 18-21 are confident about achieving their financial goals.
  • The 18-24 age range makes up the group that currently file for bankruptcy the most often.
  • Nearly 72% of parents surveyed acknowledged that they are their children’s primary source of personal finance education, and of those same parents, 44% admit to needing more guidance on how to best teach their children the skills necessary to become financially responsible and successful adults.

With those sobering facts in mind I sat down with this step-by-step, 2 month program to teach my daughter all about handling money in the real world.  The first thing we found out is that it takes about 2 months to create a good and consistent habit of doing something.  The Money Management Certification Program, geared to kids in grade 5 and up (ages 10+),  was created by a team of children’s money management experts and educators to foster that habit. 

What a simple way to teach a good habit instead of allowing the bad habits of not building savings and unchecked spending!

The FamilyMint program contains a 60 page workbook as well as an online Premium application (for kids 6-14 with parental involvement), both of which provide a good foundation of information, exercises, and activities.  I found this to be a wonderful way to give my daughter a feel for the hands-on of budgeting, writing checks, making deposits and making withdrawals while also teaching her about online banking applications.

One of the important parts of the program, goal setting, was the first thing we did.  We discussed S.M.A.R.T. goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.  My daughter  chose a reasonable first goal of “getting a new phone that works”.  (Apparently her phone is not living up to the abilities of the smart  phones that all of her friends are carrying around.   I thought the point of having a phone was to make and receive real-time verbal communication—apparently not.)  Anyway, having decided on a good goal, she sat down with the workbook and started learning all about budgeting and interest, keeping good spending records, writing checks and deposit slips, and saving money.  Since she is a hands-on learner I chose to have her primarily use the workbook rather than using the online application.  (We’ll be backtracking and doing more with the online application now that she has a foundation established.  Maybe we’ll attack her other two goals of buying a laptop and a car when she finally gets that phone.)

After determining how much money she had, we had a discussion of ways that she could earn money.  We don’t really do the “allowance” thing at our house, but we do reward her occasionally for “caught being helpful”, “brother patrol”, and “thanks for mom and dad alone time”.  She also has sold cards and other items she has crafted.  And, of course, birthday and holiday gifts of money were included too.  Her biggest expenses over the last year were shoes (never enough shoes), movies, music and candy.    I’m thinking she left out a few things like clothes (frugal fashionista), books, and gifts for others, but hey, we’re just starting right? 

Next we tackled the practical stuff, checkbooks and check registers.  She learned all about how to keep track of money transactions and completed sample checks and deposit slips.  She even learned some financial vocabulary.  We talked about budgeting using the “envelope system” of breaking your money into chunks (putting a particular percentage of your income into different “envelopes” which correspond to your goals) to achieve your goals.  She doesn't have that new phone yet, but she’s on her way.  
This is a very straightforward program.  My daughter was able to read through the workbook and complete most of the required activities without much help from me.  We both liked that part of program.  (Of course, being the “teacher” mom, I did monitor her reading and activity completion.) Being able to move at your own pace was definitely a great plus with the program too.   No time limits for completion of the activities took the pressure off of her learning experience. The FamilyMint Money Management Certification program covers all the basics in a fairly short period of time and has helped get my daughter on her way to meeting her financial goals. 

Pricing Options:

Option 1: Special Introductory Bundle Offer:  $29.99  
Includes Money Management Certification Program workbook plus a lifetime subscription to the FamilyMint Premium application (normally priced individually at $25)  Additional workbooks are 50% off.

Option 2: Premium online application subscription only  $24.99 annual or $4.95 monthly

Premium includes everything in the free version plus mobile ability, a savings plan, interest, a locking feature, a matching feature, no ads and no limit on historical transactions.  No Certification Program workbook is included.

Option 3: Free online application only (includes 14 day FamilyMint Premium trial)

About that online Premium application, I like it too.  The workbook was just a better fit for us.  With the online application kids learn the same material but in the setting of "online banking".  Parents set up accounts for their kids and assist them with transactions.  

Click here to see sample workbook pages and an  online application tour video.

For More Info:  

Click here to see what other members of the Mosaic Reviews team had to say about FamilyMint.

1 comment:

Dee said...

Great review, Roberta...thorough and insightful ;-)

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