Tuesday, March 19, 2013

FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program

imageFamilyMint Money Management Certification Program – A Complete Step-by-step Program for Learning Money Management
Written by Robert Masterson and Jeff Eusebio
Published at FamilyMint35527_183322448458910_529576174_n

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It has been about a year and a bit that we have started teaching our kids about money and how much things cost.   Well, the two oldest ones understand it more than their younger siblings at this point in time and last year we have decided to incorporate the concept of tithing and saving.   So now our two oldest sons have a bank account where they put aside money for their future education.   They are also involved in the tithing process by deciding where they want to put their money for organizations approved by us.

But when I got the opportunity to review a complete program about money management, I thought it was a great way to introduce other aspects of how to manage your money.

Did you know that 2 out of 3 high school seniors graduate without knowing the basics of budgeting?    I am not surprised because I was part of that statistics.   I entered university and saw that creditors were quick to offer your credit cards.    I will admit that I wasn’t all wise with my money and it took me year after getting married to understand it.   Now we are both wiser with our finances and don’t buy on the spur of the moment.

We want our kids to be independent of credit and be successful when it comes to finances.  So I was delighted to be selected to review the FamilyMint’s Money Management Certification Program.  This 60 pages workbook has a complete step-by-step plan on how to develop healthy money habits at a young age.   My kids are learning to track their money, creating SMART goals, how to budget and much more.

The workbook itself contains exercises to help the kids visualize their “bank” and the money that goes in and out.    I loves seeing their imagination in writing cheques and entering bank deposit information.   Though nowadays, you don’t write much bank deposits in Canada anyway.

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One positive element I have of this workbook is the fact that the kids are learning early in life how to have SMART goals.   SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.    Right now, both boys have a desire to attend a Christian camp this summer.  We have registered them but at the condition that they raise about half of the price (it is an expensive camp…).  They agreed on this condition but there were times when they felt a bit discouraged.   So when came the time to set a SMART goal, I strongly suggested that they take the idea of attending camp.   Within minutes, they realized that it was specific enough, measurable (take the total amount divided by two to figure out how much they need to have on their own), achievable (with deadlines of mid-July and mid-August), relevant since they both wanted to attend and time-bound (again the deadlines).

Once they finished working on this SMART goal, I asked them if it was possible for them to raise the money.   One has to worked an equivalent of 20$ per week and the other about 8.33$ per week.   Both eagerly agreed that they could do it.   Now to be honest, their amount is a bit less than that since they have already started to raise the money a few weeks ago.   Going through this exercise was beneficial for them to realize that they could easily reach their goal.   Honestly, just by this exercise alone, I am impressed with the workbook.  I have learned quite a bit with SMART goals that I will personally apply this in my life as well.

After the tracking money and the goal setting chapters, we will embark in the budgeting and interest chapters.   My kids are respectively 11 and 9 years of age and I am taking the curriculum in small bites for them to digest and fully understand the concepts presented.   The program also comes with a website where you can create your family bank and allow your kids to track their money directly on the system. 

On the negative side, I find the book concentrating a bit too much on the American way of dealing with finances.   Mind you the book was written by a company in the US.  But I think it would a positive move to consider adapting the workbook to other currency like Canadian dollar or Euro.  After all there are homeschoolers there as well.   Even though the book emphasize the American money, I have no problem to use this curriculum to teach my kids about interest rates and so on. 

In conclusion, I consider this curriculum very informative and would recommend it to any homeschool families.  It is a great springboard in learning how to manage your money and be wise financial without going into debts.   I want my kids to be able to say that they were able to avoid going into debts in the future.  Having a strong  foundation in money management will allow them to develop healthy habits and behaviors concerning their finances.

At the time of this blog post, there was a special introductory bundle offer of 29.99$ which gave you a Certification Program workbook and a FamilyMint Premium for Life(normally 25$/yr)!   Additional workbooks are an additional 50% off.

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