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It seems likes more and more you hear the phrase, in some fashion, “I wish school would teach my kids life lessons such as investing, savings, and money management!”
Welcome to FamZoo, your virtual family “bank”, designed to help you teach your kids to earn, save, spend, and give money (charitable) wisely.
In the intuitive FamZoo app, you, the parent(s), are the “banker”, and your kid(s) are the customers. You can assign chores, pay allowances when chores, or tasks, are completed, and even set up personal budgets.
When you feel your child is ready, you can integrate a prepaid debit card where you, the parent, manage it fully.
Any family can join FamZoo. First, you need to decide if you want to incorporate prepaid debit cards or stay with just a virtual family bank using what FamZoo calls “IOU accounts” (essentially virtual currency).
Do not worry. If you choose to start with the IOU accounts, you can add prepaid debit card accounts at any time.
Once you decide which option you want to start with, you “register” on the FamZoo website or on their app that you can find in Google and Apple app stores, where you create a family username, parent sign-in name, create a password and input your email.
One parent will be the primary account holder who controls the transferring of money to either the prepaid debit card or the IOU child accounts.
Each child can have their own sub-account. Here is the breakdown of both options so you can make an educated decision on what is best for your family.
FamZoo gives the first four Prepaid debit cards free. Any additional card after that is a one-time $2 fee. Since these are prepaid debit cards, think of them as gift cards. You do not need to worry about any overdraft fees, declined transactions, or credit approvals.
However, you need to be at least 13 years of age or older to use the card. If your child is younger than 13, and you would like them to still have a card, FamZoo lets you get them “on behalf of” cards which the child can use when the parent is present.
Children 13 years or older can have their name on the card, and children under the age of 13 will have the parent’s name on the card.
The first prepaid debit card ordered will be by the parent, which creates the “banker”. This will act as the main account, so any time the parent funds a child’s prepaid card, it is deducted from the parent card. There are no additional card fees, and cards can be used at any location Mastercard is accepted.
Although the parent cannot restrict the card to be used at certain stores, there are real-time notifications on when the card is used.
The parent can also lock and unlock the card, set up automatic payments to the card (e.g., at the end of the week), or make payments (send money) to the child’s cards at any time.
This is all controllable by the FamZoo portal. If you are not ready for Prepaid debit cards just yet, stick with the IOU accounts.
Unlike the FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card, the IOU accounts do not allow child accounts to spend actual money.
The best way to think of the IOU accounts is a virtual currency that is assigned, collected, and spent within the FamZoo portal.
Each account can see its account balance and can input amounts and memos (the reasoning), which is like writing a check.
This is a great setup as children do not need to handle money with the risk of losing it. If they receive money from grandma and grandpa or for their birthday, they can give the parent the money, and the parent can credit their IOU account.
The child can then see how each time the money is used affects his or her account balance. The parent can even set up a parent-paid investment account for the child account to encourage investing—more on that below.
Within their great app, FamZoo offers many features and benefits.
As previously mentioned, FamZoo offers a two-month trial period. After the trial period, it is just $5.99 per month.
However, if you pay for 6 months at a time, that cost goes down to $4.33 per month. Paying for 12 months at a time will bring the monthly cost down to $3.33, and if you want the best deal, paying for 24 months at a time will drive the price down to a minimal $2.50 per month.
Where else can you get life lessons for $2.50 a month!?
Greenlight calls themselves “the debit card and money app for families”. Teaching real-world lessons in financial responsibility, greenlight kids can set their own goals and learn the power of savings.
According to a survey in March of 2020, 89% of parents said Greenlight has helped their children with financial responsibility.
Kids as young as 6 can get the Greenlight debit card that starts at $4.99 per month and has no minimum balance nor transaction or overdraft fees.
Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard is a reloadable prepaid debit card that can be used anywhere that Mastercard is accepted.
Brinks is more expensive than most competitors at $9.95 per month, but some options can lower this. However, Brinks offers more member benefits than most.
From prescription discounts to savings accounts, you can definitely get more than the monthly fee back in benefits.
>> More:Brink’s Prepaid Card Review
Do you find yourself using Western Union regularly? If so, it may be time to look at their low-cost reloadable prepaid card.
Although the monthly fee is $9.95, the card can hold a limit of $15,000 and is issued by FDIC member MetaBank.
This means your funds are 100% insured, and this is important if you are having your paycheck sent to your Western Union Netspend Mastercard, which you can gain access to up to two days earlier than traditional banking.
FamZoo has been around since 2005 and is backed by FDIC insured Four Corners Community Bank.
Furthermore, educators worldwide use FamZoo to run a virtual banking system and economy for students in the classroom, per FamZoo.
FamZoo uses FDIC insured Four Corners Community Bank
Yes! With FamZoo being backed by Four Corners Community Bank, which is FDIC insured, your funds are insured up to $250,000.
While the parents can pay interest to child accounts within the FamZoo portal, FamZoo themselves do not pay any interest on funds stored with them.
Go to www.FamZoo.com and chose if you would like the Prepaid Debit Card or IOU account, and then follow the registration process. If you decide to start with the IOU account setup, you can add the Prepaid Debit Card(s) at any time.
FamZoo offers an intuitive app that encourages families to teach their children about financial responsibility.
You no longer need to worry about if your child or children will lose the money they received on their birthday.
Using the IOU account setup, you can handle all their money and allow them to see, virtually, how transactions look when they buy something.
Within the app, you can also teach them the importance of saving and what that looks like when you give them interest payments for not spending their money. Last but not least, you can also set up, edit, and keep track of chores within the FamZoo app!