Friday, April 16, 2010

Websites that MUST be shared!


I just have to share with you two of my favorite finds...EVER!

The first is called Family Mint.  It is FREE and it is a website where you set up each of your kids's ALL virtual and there is NO real money involved.  No more running to the bank for one dollar bills!!!  It allows the kids to set up as many goals as they want and you can upload pictures.  As you make deposits into your child's account, they disperse it how they see fit and then it requests your final approval.  This has become a HUGE motivator for Dakota.  We set up three accounts for Dakota (you get to pick or upload a picture for each one)...he has his Tithe of 10%, his Retirement of 40%, and his Spending of 50%.  Remember when I told you if your child put $2,000 in retirement at age 16 and again at age 17, they would have a TON of money at retirement with no additional deposits?  Well, with Family Mint, you can match your child's savings or set an interest rate of return, etc.  So for Dakota's Tithe money, we left it as is, no special return or matching.  For his Retirement, however, we set up a goal of $2,000 with a 100% match by us!  For his Spending account, I set up a 6% return on his money.

Does this sound complicated?  It's NOT!  There is a quick five min tutorial on how to do it and I had all five kids set up in less than 20 minutes.  It's so user friendly, Dakota was transferring money and making decisions in less than three minutes.  Best part is that Dakota is doing a TON of math.  Every time he get's money, he has to figure out the percentages...then there is a "progress bar" underneath the account so he can see exactly how he's doing.  We even uploaded the game he is saving for as the picture for his Spending account. 

Anyway, I could go on all day.  Visit this site, again it's FREE, so awesome!!!

OK, my second favorite web find...actually, I love them both equally, is:

This is a place where people actually swap books!  For real!  For FREE!  So the curriculum I'm using for homeschooling is based out of classic literature, not text books...meaning I need to buy 75-100 books of all sorts each year for each kid...yes, we are talking $1,000 at least, if I find them used...sigh.  So, I put every book I need...yes, that was a chore and a half, onto Paperback Swap.  Every time another member posts that book, I get notified.  How does it work?  It's so simple really, it's absolute genius!  You post any books that you are done with and if another member wants them, you ship it to them via media mail for a measly $2 and some change.  Then you get a "credit" towards getting a book from another member.  Do you hear spring cleaning bells?  I did!  I sent out over 30 books, cleaned off my shelves, and now I have a bunch of credits sitting in my account to get new curriculum, which have been arriving almost daily!  Woo hoo!  What's more, you don't even have to swap any books.  You can buy credits, seriously, for like $3...that includes the shipping.  When was the last time you got a book for $3.  Anyway, one of my fav's, check it out and ENJOY!!!