'Mom, dad, can I have ten dollars for a movie Friday
night?, asks a son or daughter. 'What happened to your
allowance?' The parents reply, adding, 'We just gave it to
you on Monday!'
' If this sounds all too familiar in your family, a new
software called 'Family Bank' will help both parents and
youngsters learn how to keep track of all those allowance
dollars by establishing a virtual bank on your home
computer,' said Paul S. Richard, a registered financial
consultant (RFC) and executive director of the nonprofit
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), a San
Diego based nonprofit group helping people improve their
spending habits, increase their savings and use credit
Family Bank, a software developed by Atlanta based
ParentWare, was specifically designed for children to
learn how to keep track of their allowances, spending and
savings with the click of a mouse. Its features help young
people develop good spending skills while they're still at
home. It can also help make savings habitual, and teach
children to avoid debt.
Family Bank software is an easy-to
use tool to help parents better prepare their children to
responsibly deal with their allowances and other earned
The program establishes a 'virtual bank' on the family's
Family Bank is designed to be used by
children ages 6 through 16 and is considered very user
friendly. Parents can establish an allowance account for
each child. The account specifies the weekly allowance
amount that includes a chart of expense and income
categories, the percentage of the allowance (deposits) to
place in savings, and interest rates for savings.
Allowance deposits are made to a child's account
automatically each week.
Children use their account to write checks to their
parents. Every deposit or withdrawal is recorded in a
register, and pie charts are created to graphically show
each child's spending patterns. Older children may write
just one check a week, for *Cash*, but the program will
not deposit any additional funds into the account until
the child enters the details of how the cash was actually
The interactive software features financial literacy
activities that show young users how to write a check,
make a deposit, and balance a checkbook. A chore list is
also included to link the idea of money to work. Parents
kick start the program by depositing their child's weekly
allowance into a new account. Parents may also set up
non-interest earning reserve accounts so the youngsters
may save money for charitable donations, holiday gift
purchases or others special purposes.
Family Bank includes a set of rules that, when agreed
to by parent and child, and just as importantly, adhered
to by the parent . . . will help children develop the
habit of sound financial management. Family Bank is a
system that, once in place, stays in place. It guides
parents and children and when it's time for a change . . .
it prompts the users.. Family Bank is unique for many
Family Bank is simple to use (a bright six year old
can use it).
It's never too late to start (16 year olds
don't find it 'juvenile' because there are no dancing
bears, it's a real application program)
Family Bank's objectives are important,
and if the rules are followed, will be achieved.
Family Bank encourages positive
parent/child interaction about money. Instead of the
computer in it's typical role of isolator, it actually
requires that the parent and child sit in front of the
machine at the same time and talk with one another.
Family Bank combines cognitive ("this loan will cost
you 12%") and experiential ("gee, if I wasn't paying 2.50
a week for that loan, I'd have enough money to . . .")
Family Bank requires almost no time
actually at the computer in order to achieve objectives.
It sets in place a process that could
(should) last throughout the child's adolescence
It alleviates family stress by removing
points of conflict and encouraging positive communication.
'Family Bank' runs on any Windows platform, the cost is $34.95
and is available through the ICFE's Web site at
www.financial-education-icfe.org. Click on the
Family Bank icon.
Family Bank software specifications and features:
Platform: Windows 95, 98,2000, ME, XP, and NT compatible
Creates as many accounts as users need or desire.
Each account uses a personalized chart of accounts, color
scheme, and assigned Wisdom Files (thought for the day)
Creates custom Wisdom Files using favorite quotes and
digital pictures Children can create Wisdom Files without
risk of damaging or deleting existing Wisdom files or
photos access to web based financial learning from within
the application. Web access for children is 'link-safe'
Family Bank account includes:
loan application and repayment.
Each account records transactions into
it's own register and displays it's own charts.
For more information on children and money,
Family Bank, plus some fun financial education books
and videos, please send $1 and a self-addressed, double
stamped envelope to:
ICFE Resource Center
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation). The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org). CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed. In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.
The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org. Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G, a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the
late Loren Dunton (creator of the 'certified financial planner' (CFP)
designation) and it is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve
their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The ICFE trains and
certifies Personal Finance Instructors for its own curriculum. It also trains
and certifies Credit Report Reviewers and Identity Theft Prevention Specialists.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that
has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It
publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, now in its 16th
printing and has distributed over one million 'Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels'
and 'Credit/Debit Card Sleeves' world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial
Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.
The ICFE is also a partner in the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial
Literacy and the California Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active
with San Diego Saves, an offshoot of America Saves, and the California Student
Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) (studentdebthelp.org).
The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE
Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from
'The Money Instruction Book,' a course in personal finance, positioned to become
among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education
The ICFE Web site at:
www.financial-education-icfe.org helps consumers with mending spending, learning about
the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and
implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and
videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free
eNews, and an online resource center of financial education learning
tools, including videos, books, software and personal finance courses.