FamilyMint was designed to be flexible and adapt to each family’s own style, but starting something new in any family can be intimidating. Many parents wanted a starting point so we’ve created these FamilyMint Fundamentals. The FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program workbook is also a great way to guide your step-by-step through the process of learning these key fundamentals.
FamilyMint Fundamentals centers around 4 easy principles: Plan, Organize, Motivate, and Educate:
1. Plan – Planning is the foundation on which everything else rests. A goal without a plan is just a wish!
Planning with FamilyMint is simple and easy. We recommend you start out by helping your kids set up a few accounts in FamilyMint:
- "General Savings" account - think about this as unallocated spendable money that your child can do with as they see fit. This account is created by default and cannot be deleted.
- "Charity" goal account – It’s never too early to get into the habit of giving back. Use this just as a simple container or also set a target goal amount that the children have agreed ahead of time to fulfill on a monthly basis.
- "Long Term Savings" goal account – help your child get into the habit of saving for the unexpected.
- "College" goal account – There’s no better time than now to start budgeting for college. Secondary education is not cheap and what better way to expose children to this reality. Many parents turn Matching Deposits on for this account.
After this, let your children be creative and set up additional goals for whatever they want to save for. The goal accounts are meant to be an easy to understand way for children to start budgeting for their own priorities (e.g. birthday gifts for others, vacations savings, toys, etc.).
Savings Plan (available in Premium only) greatly simplifies the savings process and helps keep plans on track.
Tip: Children learn by doing. Let them do it. Don’t do for your kids what they can do for themselves.
2. Organize – Now that you have established some goals, have your children pull together all of their money stashed in piggy banks and various crevices – including any un-cashed checks or gift cards – and bring them to you, the banker. (Warning: Some children may put up a fuss about this at first, but experience has shown that they’ll love what they can do with their money once they start using FamilyMint.)
Parents: place your kids' actual cash within a youth savings account at your credit union or bank. This way, you'll know that you'll have it when they ask for it, and you'll earn a small amount of interest on it in the mean time. Every month or two, make a deposit or withdraw from this account at the credit union to ensure the balance at the credit union reflects the balance within FamilyMint.
- After you’ve collected all their money, the fun part begins! Have them make their first deposit into their General Savings account with the description ‘Initial Deposit’. After this, you and the children can transfer some or all of their money into their various goals.
- Gift cards can be handled just like cash. Let’s say your child has a gift card for ToysRUs. They can create a ToysRUs Gift Card goal and deposit the card amount into that goal. This keeps the existence of the card in the forefront of their planning and helps eliminate forgotten cards. After they’ve made a purchase using the card, simply create a Withdraw in FamilyMint reflecting the amount spent.
Tip: Mistakes are teaching opportunities. Let them happen.
3. Motivate – FamilyMint provides many opportunities for you to motivate your children to save and truly appreciate their money in new ways.
- Interest Payments (available in Premium only) – You may set up any interest rate you want…you’re the bank! We recommend the following;
- For younger children, set the payment interval to “weekly” so they receive more frequent positive feedback.
- Make the rate motivating! If they only get a penny added to their account each week, they are not as likely to see the value of saving rather than spending the money in their accounts.
- You can always adjust (decrease) the interest rate for each child as their balance grows.
- Allowance (available in Premium only) – Done correctly, an allowance can be a powerful tool to help your children think about money as a limited resource that must be used wisely. If you choose to give an allowance, FamilyMint makes it easy. Set it up once, and FamilyMint will automatically take of it for you from that point forward.
- Matching Deposits (available in Premium only) – Match goals to provide extra motivation to save for things you consider important, such as college. You can match your child dollar for dollar for those long term goals you want to help them achieve.
Tip: Motivate and encourage to build new skills. Build skills to create confidence. Soon you’ll have confident, money-smart kids!
4. Educate – More than anything else, we hope that FamilyMint creates money-related teachable moments between you and your kids. Without FamilyMint, these moments can be few and far between. With FamilyMint, you and your kids interact frequently and naturally on the topic of money, and kids being kids, they will start to ask questions. Here’s a sample of what we’ve seen and heard:
- What is interest?
- How much money will I earn if I don't spend any of my money?
- What do you do with the money that I give you?
- Why do you put your money in the bank?
- How does the bank make money?
From setting up your child’s first goals, to explaining how interest works, to talking about how you budget and use your money in your own life, you’ll find small moments to pass along what you know. Be confident! You know more than you think! If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, we’re here to help.
Tip: It's my job to educate my children.
Tweak FamilyMint to make it work for you. The core of FamilyMint is simplicity and flexibility. We hope you love it!