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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kids Wealth Money Kit Review

It was funny that these Kids Wealth Money Kits were actually being discussed by several members of my homeschool group the day they arrived on my doorstep. One mother had seen them at the homeschool conference but not bought them and was now trying desperately to remember the name of the program so she could order them online. Another mother chimed in with not only the name, but a glowing review. So you can imagine I was excited to open the package and dig in when it arrived on my doorstep later that day!
I was not disappointed. Kids Wealth is exactly what I have been looking for and more. For years, I had been looking for a system of allowing the kids to allocate their money into different categories. My sister even saved her formula containers for us so each kid could have 3 piggy banks-"bank", "church", and "stuffmart". Bank was obviously for long term savings, church was their tithe, and stuffmart was for spending on whatever they wanted. The problem? I have 4 kids, and 12 formula canisters take up more room than we have anywhere. The kids were too young to keep them in their rooms without me finding money everywhere, so unfortunately, our system fell by the wayside.
Below is some information directly from their website since they explain the kits better than I ever could:
The KidsWealth™ Money Management Program is a roadmap for parents striving to teach their kids the value of money and have them form wealthy and successful habits around managing money. This program will provide you with a quick and easy three-step plan that will guide your kids toward a wealthy future – one that they deserve. The KidsWealth™ Money Kit contains everything that you need to help your kids develop successful habits that are a foundation of financial success.
Parents Guide: Teaches you the simple 3-step program to set up the KidsWealth Money Kit which takes only about 30 minutes to get started.
Kid's Guide: The Kal & Pals characters teach your children what each Account Wallet is for and how to use them properly.
Account Wallets: The five account wallets are color-coded, durable and portable; perfect for young kids getting hands on experience with real money.
Kid's Pay Calendar with Kid's Pay Stickers:
Because our program recommends parents pay their kids once or twice a month, the calendar and stickers allow the kids to keep track of their Kid's Pay days, decorated with wonderful scenes of Kal & Pals.
Kid's Pay Agreement: An agreement between you and your kids saying that you'll pay them their set Kid's Pay consistently and that they'll allocate and manage their Kid's Pay according to the Program.
The Money Kit also comes with 5 KidsWealth Pencils, a Calculator and decorative Kal & Pals stickers.

Kids Wealth is a totally different idea from any other money system you've ever seen. The idea is to actually teach kids how to manage their finances from an early age. Their five wallets are divided as follows: Wealth-30% of their money goes into a wallet (and then eventually into some investment mechanism of your choice) for long term provision, Learn-20% goes into their Learn wallet and is meant to be spent every month on some educational based product like books or zoo tickets or field trip souvenirs, etc., Fun-20% goes into their Fun wallet for them to spend on whatever they want like a new toy or candy at the checkout line, etc., Plan-20% goes toward planning for a "large ticket" purchase-something they have to save up to buy, Angel-10% goes toward an Angel fund whether it's tithing to your church or giving to a favorite charity or buying a toy for Toys for Tots, etc. All these wallets, and the calculator, pencil, and other program materials fit into the portfolio so they are stored neatly. Each child MUST have their own Kit for this to work.
Initially, I felt like the one "con" I could see was that the money they are allocating into these wallets is meant to come from YOU, and is supposed to be half of what you normally spend on your child's "wants" each month. They give you a list of these wants in the Parents Guide. I wasn't sure this program would work for us because we don't give the kids any allowance, they don't get money from relatives for birthdays or holidays, etc., and I felt like I don't really spend much on them that isn't necessary. Plus, we are a one income, six person family and we don't ever get to the end of a month thinking, "hmmm, here's an extra $400, what should I do with that?" The examples given in the parent guide was a tad unrealistic I felt, since their easy reference charts are for $50, $100, and $150 a month-NOT going to happen in my house! But the more I reviewed the Kids Wealth list of wants, and then spent a week or so really evaluating my habits, I realized that I DO spend small amounts of money on my kids a few times a month. When we go to Sea World, I typically buy them a snack to share when we are leaving. At JoAnns, I sometimes allow them to get a piece of candy when we checkout. And from time to time we offer financial incentive for helping with extra tasks around the house. But that doesn't amount to much, so my husband and I prayed and decided $10 a month each was do-able. We also are adding to Kids Wealth's program and offering an extra $10 bonus each month for being consistent for a whole month with some task of our choosing-keeping their room clean for a whole month is the first one, but no one has earned it yet.
We are loving the Kids Wealth system and so are the kids. It is so freeing to be able to say "Yes" when they ask for something...but then follow that up with, "How much money do you have in your "..." wallet. Usually for us it's them asking for a toy or candy, and so they have to see if they have enough money in their "Fun" wallet to afford it, and if that is really what they want to buy with that money. Typically, they decide that emptying their wallet for a piece of candy is NOT the best use of their funds. And that's the beauty of this system, it teaches them at an early age the skills they will need for financial security and maturity as an adult.
I can't recommend the Kids Wealth Money Kits highly enough. They are available HERE for $39.93 each. While that may seem like a lot, this is a tool for a lifetime, and $40 now may save you a small fortune in the future! It really is essential that each child have their own kit too, but I think in the long run it is well worth it.
To see what other TOS Crew members had to say, go HERE.
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