As a Mom with a strong educational background in business and financial management, I am thrilled to see a program aimed at increasing the financial literacy in our children. Money management is frequently absent in most public educational settings and sadly the desperate financial situation facing many adults in the United States is threatening to encroach on our children. Even my husband and I who should know better, still struggle with monthly budgeting and managing student loan and credit card debts.
There are plenty of agencies ready and willing to convince kids and adults to spend beyond their means and go into debt for material goods or the promise of a better future. If you doubt this truth, visit your local college campus on orientation day and watch as the college “kids” are bombarded with credit card applications. I’m beyond thrilled that we are starting to see financial educational tools being made available to help us educate our children to keep them safe from these types of predatory practices.
FamilyMint was founded by two Dads, Jeff Eusebio (pictured to the left with his family) and Robert Masterson (pictured with his family below) concerned about their own children’s struggles with understanding cost, credit, and goal setting. As the following statistics show, they are not alone in their need to educate their children about money!
- 18 to 24 year olds are the fastest growing age group in the U.S. filing for bankruptcy
- Three-quarters of high school seniors failed a 2008 financial literacy test given by Jump$tart Coalition…only 5% earned better than a “C”
- Only 5 percent of people ages 18-21 are confident they will achieve their financial goals
Fortunately, many parents are aware that their children are learning money management behaviors at home and realize that kids will often follow parental spending habits; both good and bad! Having a parent who understands how to handle and manage money (saving, spending, goal setting) can make a huge difference in a child’s ability to make good financial choices. Luckily, the FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program provides the tools necessary to help parents teach kids to make sound decisions about saving and budgeting.
The FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program is comprised of a workbook and an optional online software package. The workbook can be used independently of the online application and provides lessons on tracking your money, goal setting, budgeting, and growing interest. There are several worksheets and activities included with an answer key. The back cover serves as a certificate of achievement and a parental checklist for earning that certificate is included. The workbook is clearly written and easy to follow and has several fun money facts located throughout the book. Our household did notice that none of the images in the workbook are in color, but as a parent I’m happy to forgo color images in favor of lower cost.
Our favorite part of the workbook was the section on goal setting. The student is instructed on how to set realistic and achievable goals and how to track their progress towards achieving those goals. Since reaching goals is the primary motivation behind seeking monetary security, I think this is really the key to get children committed to learning the ins and outs of money management. The below picture is an example of the goal worksheet being used to save for a super cool Bug Maker!
One of my favorite applications for the Money Management Certification Program was it’s use by a family to help their son fulfill the requirements for the Boy Scouts of America Personal Management merit badge. The personal management badge requires documentation illustrating a scout’s ability to set goals, budget, and understand several principles of money management. Of note, the Personal Management badge is one of 21 merit badges that must be earned to fulfill the requirements to become an Eagle Scout.
The FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program is comprised of a workbook and an optional online software package. Although components can be purchased separately, the best deal is purchasing a workbook and lifetime membership to the online software for $29.99. Multiple children can utilize one subscription to the software package, but it is recommended that each child going through the program be provided their own workbook. Additional workbooks are available at 50% off.
FamilyMint.com also houses a blog with posts geared towards encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit and fiscal responsibility in children. Two posts that are of particular note include: Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Debt and 21 Simple Ways for Kids to Earn Money
I strongly recommend that families take the initiative to teach their children money management regardless of whether the children are homeschooled, privately schooled, or publicly schooled. I believe the FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program to be an excellent offering for families looking to educate their children on the importance of fiscal responsibility. The impact on their future is huge!