“Nobody taught me about money until I was much older and had made a ton of mistakes.”
Does this sentence sound familiar?
Our wildest guess is that your answer is yes.
In fact, there is a 70% chance that at least half of you reading this post have said this! You might have discovered this website in your quest to become better with your finances.
The sad reality is that very few of us are taught the important money lessons that will help us manage our finances better as adults.
The good news is that if you have kids, they don’t have to learn these frustrating money lessons the hard way. You can teach them how to have excellent money management skills right now.
FamZoo is a virtual family bank that helps you teach your children about money.
Here’s the idea behind it. As the parent, you will set up a virtual family bank for your children. You are the “bank owner” while your kids are the “customers.”
You can create an account for each of your “customers” and have them deposit money they have earned and money they want to spend in their individual accounts.
Using the FamZoo app, your children can sign into their individual accounts and manage their accounts.
- Virtual family bank to teach your kids about money
- Easy way to manage your children's allowance
- $5.99 per month
Two Types of FamZoo Accounts
FamZoo allows you to set up two types of accounts for your children.
You can set up an IOU account or a prepaid card account.
An IOU account simply tracks the money you are holding elsewhere for your child’s account. If your child earns money for performing chores or they hand you the money they just earned from mowing your neighbor’s lawn, and you deposit that in your account, you can transfer that money directly into their IOU account.
On the other hand, if you need to deduct money from your child’s account for “penalties” or a shared expense, you can do so using the IOU account.
A prepaid card account is exactly what it sounds like. Using a prepaid Mastercard card, your child can pay for purchases without getting into debt.
You can order one card for each child. You will have a parent card with which you can make transfers to your child’s card.
Or, you could order multiple cards for multiple financial goals. Examples of that include a card for lunch money, saving for a trip, or a card that is only used for buying clothes.
Here are advantages of the prepaid card compared to cash:
- It teaches children the art of owning a card responsibly.
- It’s safer. If it gets lost or stolen, the FamZoo card can be locked immediately.
- It’s convenient for online purchases — something that has become more common and preferred.
- Money can be moved between parents and children within a matter of minutes without hassle.
- Transparency. Since your accounts are linked, you can see what your child is doing with their card and seize those teachable moments to talk about wise spending when the need arises.
- A card is just cleaner. Cash is handled by so many people in its lifetime and could be carrying a few million bacteria!
How Do You Get Started with FamZoo?
Signing up for FamZoo is easy. You can sign up for their service directly here.
FamZoo is also partnered with a number of financial institutions. Your financial institution may also have special perks for signing up for FamZoo through them. This is an opportunity to take advantage of them!
Ask your financial institution or bank if they allow you to sign up for FamZoo with them.
How Much Does FamZoo Cost?
FamZoo costs $5.99 per month.
You could also pay upfront for their six-month, one-year, or two-year plan.
Our Take on FamZoo
We think FamZoo could work for your family if:
- You want to track your children’s spending hassle-free. No complicated spending spreadsheets or checkbooks involved.
- You want to easily transfer money between accounts without having to go to the bank or make a call to customer service.
- You want to give your children their own cards so they can learn valuable spending, saving, budgeting, and earning lessons.
- You want to set up customized money goals for each of your children.
- You want all of this for an easy monthly fee.
FamZoo is a nice and simple solution for helping your kids develop good money habits.
If you want to skip FamZoo because of the monthly fee, an alternative would be to go with a free checking account with your bank.
The biggest challenge here, however, is that it may not be as easy to track the money going in and out of your child’s account.
Secondly, in the FamZoo app, financial goals like saving and budgeting are easily visualized with attractive graphics so your kids immediately get the big picture of their finances. This helps them with their financial decision-making. Your bank’s checking account may not have this feature.
On top of these, because FamZoo was started by a dad, the company has a “family feel” to it and they offer excellent customer service. They even have a private online community where you can ask questions and interact with other parents working to teach their kids important money lessons.
Have you used FamZoo? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
- Pricing and Fees - 60
- Ease of Use - 80
- Customer Service - 100
- Features and Options - 80
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.