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Monday, March 29, 2010

Review: Family Mint


Family Mint is a new online service designed to help your children learn to appreciate and manage their money. It’s a simple accounting system, designed to be simple enough for an elementary student to use, and yet robust enough for a teenager to plan out their future financial goals. And it’s free!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was asked to use and review this free service. I received no compensation. This review reflects my honest opinion.


As the family banker, you’ll set up an account and then add “depositors.” The website provides a complete tutorial on how to use the site, so you won’t be left floundering. Each depositor can then choose an avatar and set goals for their money. The program will help them to keep track of their overall funds and their progress towards their goals. Additional features for the banker include option of adding automatic “deposits” (a regular allowance, perhaps), and interest to help motivate saving.

This is simply an online accounting tool, a way to keep track of money. It is not linked to any accounts. You’ll need to decide if the physical funds will be kept in a bank account, the child’s piggy bank or an envelope for safe keeping.


Our children are still quite young. While David (age 10) and Mary (age 6) have a good understanding of what money is and an inkling of what it represents, our family found that using an online accounting system was a tad too abstract for them. It depersonalized it too much for them. Holding the money in their hands and counting it out to determine what they can buy with it is more concrete and simply makes more sense to them at this age. While I applaud Family Mint’s mission to help children see money as a tool to achieve particular goals and to encourage them to save it, I think using an envelope system is probably more appropriate for our kiddos until they are more comfortable with seeing money in the abstract. In a few years, I’m sure I’ll feel Family Mint is an invaluable tool.

Family Mint is currently 100% free, though they may be adding more features in the future that may require a fee.

For more reviews of this product, please visit:


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