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FamZoo Review: One Of The Best Financial Tools For Kids

If you are looking for a financial tool that will help teach your kids about financial responsibility, then this FamZoo review is for you.

FamZoo Review: One Of The Best Financial Tools For Kids

Money matters is not a very easy thing to discuss at home especially with kids. But, it is essential so younger generations learn how to properly handle their finances in the long run.

As parents, it is your responsibility to teach your kids how to handle money wisely. Teaching them young is the most ideal thing to do as it will absolutely affect how they handle their finances in the long run.

The earlier they learn about financial management, the better.

We understand how challenging the task can be. Thus, we are not quite surprised that in the 2017 T. Rowe Price Survey, it was found that kids are actually not learning about financial literacy at home.

In fact, 69% of parents are reluctant about discussing financial matters with their children. Out of all the respondents, only 23% of them, indicated that they often talk to their parents about money matters while 35% stated that their parents are not comfortable about discussing financial stuff at home.

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Meanwhile, according to research conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 40.2% of young people with low levels of financial literacy rely on their parents, friends, as well as acquaintances when it comes to gaining financial knowledge, while 20.8% are financially literate.

So, you see, whether you like it or not, as a parent you have to work on teaching your kids financial literacy.

Here’s the thing, unlike before, today, thanks to the advent of technology, there are actually a lot of available tools online that you can use to teach your children financial management.

One of the many platforms to choose from is FamZoo, a prepaid card that specially designed to teach kids the fundamental principles of good money management.

In the next few sections, you will learn more about the FamZoo as we specifically answer some of the most important questions about this tool, which include:

  • What is FamZoo?
  • Who is FamZoo best for?
  • What does FamZoo offer?
  • How does FamZoo work?
  • Are there fees involved?
  • How to open an account with FamZoo?
  • Is FamZoo safe?
  • What are the upsides of FamZoo?
  • What are the downsides of FamZoo?

WHAT IS FAMZOO?

FamZoo is a prepaid card company that was founded in 2006 by Bill Dwight. It is an online virtual family bank that can be used, obviously, by parents and children.

It specifically focuses on helping teach kids the fundamental principles of good financial management.

By using FamZoo, your kids will learn how to earn, save, as well as spend money sensibly.

What’s nice about FamZoo is that it was specifically made with children in mind.

In fact, Dwight initially created it to help his own children understand the importance of handling money wisely.

With FamZoo, parents and children can track spending and save through its website or its mobile app. Meanwhile, families can use IOU accounts to track spending.

FamZoo comes with a prepaid debit card that does not charge overdraft fees. It also does not drain the children’s parents’ actual checking account by accident. If you have lots of children, each of them gets to have their own IOU as well as debit card accounts.

Know more about FamZoo and what makes it work for young people based on a user’s perspective in the video below by Marble Jar Channel:

WHO IS FAMZOO BEST FOR?

FamZoo should appeal to parents who want to teach their children how to manage their money wisely. In the same way, it is best for children who want to learn financial literacy as early as now.

FamZoo is open to any family. All you need is to open one account per family. One parent will be the primary account holder, and they will be the ones responsible for transferring money to their kids’ debit cards as well as IOU accounts.

Children, as well as teens who earn an allowance or have a side job, may benefit the most from FamZoo as they may already have a basic concept of saving and spending money.

Although FamZoo primarily appeals to younger people, some families even use IOU accounts as well as debit cards for their college-aged kids.

Again, if you are a parent who finds teaching your kids financial management very challenging, FamZoo may just make your life so much easier.

Also, it is important to know that FamZoo is available for children who are 13 years old and above. For children below 13 years, FamZoo allows parents to get “on behalf of” debit cards.

For children below 13 years old, FamZoo expects that a parent is present when the child is making a purchase.

WHAT DOES FAMZOO OFFER?

FamZoo offers two products — the Prepaid Card Accounts and the IOU Accounts.

Prepaid Card Accounts

As mentioned, FamZoo offers a prepaid card that is ideal for children from preschool up to college.

It is a financial product that is made to be supervised and managed by parents or guardians.

Unlike other prepaid cards in the market, what makes FamZoo unique is that it offers a way to set up and divert money to different accounts for categories such as saving, investing, spending, and giving.

FamZoo debit card offers a few more perks, including:

  • No overdraft fees
  • No hidden fees
  • Free card loading options
  • Support major digital wallets, which include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay

With FamZoo, parents get to retain control of the card as well as the account all the time. More so, they can set up special accounts for monthly allowances or for certain payment chores.

Unlike a typical prepaid card or debit card, a FamZoo card can be ordered online without a credit check.

The Prepaid Card Accounts come with a monthly fee, which varies between $2.50 and $5.99 per month depending on your preferred subscription.

Here’s the price breakdown per subscription:

  • $5.99 per family when you pay each month
  • $4.33 per family when you pay $25.99 in advance for six months
  • $3.33 per family when you pay $39.99 in advance for 12 months
  • $2.50 per family when you pay $59.99 in advance for 24 months

IOU Accounts

With IOU Accounts, parents get to track funds they are holding elsewhere for their kids. While FamZoo still keeps track of them, parents handle the transaction of cash and inform FamZoo about it.

The fees are similar to the Prepaid Card Account. However, instead of one month, you get the first two months for free.

For your reference, here are the four different IOU budget plans to choose from:

  • Starter Plan– This allows young children to track occasional deposits and purchases.
  • Simple Allowance/Chore Plan– Parents may opt to pay for chores or a regular allowance, which makes it easier to track their child’s earning.
  • Spend-Save-Give Plan- This plan emphasizes splitting income between saving, spending, as well as giving accounts.
  • Teen Budget Plan– This plan allows division of income between different budget percentages for the present as well as for future expenses.

HOW DOES FAMZOO WORK?

To be honest, FamZoo is like a serious play.

You are probably wondering why. Well, it’s because using it turns parents into bankers for their kids.

You get to use FamZoo by buying a subscription. In the subscription, each family gets a primary card, which is controlled by the parents, as well as additional cards. The number of cards depends on how many your children are.

The primary card is like the bank. It is the one that is responsible for funding the children’s cards. Meanwhile, the primary card is funded by a different bank account owned by one of the parents.

Your children’s cards can also be funded by another bank account, which makes it ideal if your kids are planning to do a part-time or a summer job.

Like a typical debit card, each of FamZoo cards does have its own routing and account number, which means you can use it to set up direct deposits or bank transfers.

It is also important to know that your children are not limited to having just one debit card. In fact, your kid or each of your kids can have several cards. It’s like having several piggy banks for different spending goals.

To make it easier for the cardholder to identify which one is for a specific spending goal, the cardholder can use the custom label embossed beneath the cardholder’s name.

As mentioned in the previous section, FamZoo does not require a credit check, which means regardless of your credit standing, you can open one for your family.

With FamZoo, both parents and children get to view their account activity on a shared dashboard.

This platform can also be used by parents to set allowances as well as give rewards to their kids for doing certain duties.

Parents can also withhold money so their children can save cash for a rainy day or give it to a charity of their choice.

Furthermore, FamZoo also enables parents to add interest to savings as well as create penalties for certain behaviors. They may also offer loans like what banks do.

With IOU accounts, parents will have the ability to track funds they are holding on their children’s behalf. IOU accounts provide information on how much money is owed to your kids. Similarly, parents may also set up IOUs for cash owed by their kids. Expense sharing may also be set up with IOUs.

Another thing is that, with the cards, children can spend money at the same time, record where it was spent. This allows parents to see exactly what their kids are spending their money on.

FamZoo is compatible with both iOS and Android mobile apps. If case mobile apps are not your cup of tea, you may opt to access your account via the company website.

Additionally, you may also opt to text or email commands to FamZoo if you are unable or not in the mood to use the mobile app.

For text commands, all you need to do is send a text message to 41411 using this format: “famzoo [quick-command]”. You will then immediately receive a reply. You may opt to check the quick command reference guide on the FamZoo website to know every single command that is available. Text commands come in both short and long versions.

ARE THERE FEES INVOLVED?

Just like in a typical bank, it is important to look into the costs involved.

FamZoo does not charge overdraft fees as well and does not have hidden fees.

However, it does have a per-family subscription fee.

The subscription fee costs $5.99 per month. But this can be reduced to $4.33 per month if paid every six months, $3.33 per month for payments done annually, as well as $2.50 per month if you pay a one-time payment for 24 months. The latter choice is definitely the best deal available.

Also, FamZoo offers a free trial so you get to check first if the platform works for you or not before you start subscribing to it. Also, FamZoo allows you to switch plans at any time. All you need to do is contact FamZoo.

Additionally, FamZoo charges a one-time shipping fee after the fourth card, which costs an additional $2 for each card.

For your reference, here’s a list of fees you should be aware of:

  • Overdraft Fee – $0
  • Reload fees – $0 for direct deposit, digital wallets, and FamZoo card transfers. Up to $6 for bank account transfers and retail stores.
  • Inactivity Fees – $0
  • In-network MoneyPass ATM withdrawals – $0
  • Out-of-network ATM withdrawals – Varies (However, FamZoo doesn’t charge an extra fee.)
  • Foreign transaction fee – 3%

HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH FAMZOO?

In the previous sections of our FamZoo review, we talked about the most important details you need to know about this platform.

This time, let’s talk about how to actually open a FamZoo account.

To sign up, all you need to do is visit the FamZoo website and click the “Sign Up Now” button. You will then be asked to choose between Prepaid Card Accounts and IOU Accounts.

As mentioned, while both charges the same, Prepaid Accounts offer a one-month free trial only, while IOU accounts offer two months free trial.

To start your subscription, you will need to provide some personal information including your name, email, phone number, as well as your preferred password.

The whole process is quick and simple. You can finish it in just a few minutes.

IS FAMZOO SAFE?

Your personal data and account safety is important. Thus, in this part of our FamZoo review, we are going to see how secure this financial platform is.

For those with Prepaid Card Accounts, it is important to know that you can lock them at any point if they are either lost or stolen.

In addition, parents can also lock the cards if they worry about their kid’s spending habits.

As mentioned, children aged 12 and below cannot have their own cards. However, it is possible for them to use cards under their parents’ names.

All funds under Prepaid Card Accounts are stored in financial accounts that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). With prepaid card accounts, all information is stored with TransCard.

Meanwhile, for IOU accounts, there really is not money at risk when you opt for this.

So, is FamZoo safe? Definitely, it is.

WHAT ARE THE UPSIDES OF FAMZOO?

We are almost done with our FamZoo review. But first, here are some of the advantages of using FamZoo:

  • Teaches Kids The Value Of Money – FamZoo is specifically designed to teach kids how to efficiently handle finances. So, if you are a parent who finds it hard to instill financial literacy by simply talking to your kids, this is the best way to do it instead.
  • Intuitive User Experience – Both the online and mobile platforms are easy to use.
  • Service Can Be Customized – FamZoo can be tailored based on your specific needs and requirements to help your kids better appreciate financial values and expectations.
  • Parental Controls – Although your kids get to access the account, parents still have control. In fact, parents can lock their children’s cards if they find it necessary.
  • Digital Access – FamZoo is available both online and mobile.
  • Low Fees – Although there is a subscription fee, generally, it still is low as compared to other financial platforms available in the market.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF FAMZOO?

To complete our review on FamZoo, here are some of the downsides of this financial platform:

  • No Free Plan – Unfortunately, FamZoo does not offer a free plan. The cost of the monthly subscription may be an added cost for families with a meager income.
  • Manually Input Transactions for Non-FamZoo Debit Card Purchases – To manually input transactions for non-FamZoo debit card purchases can be quite a daunting task.
  • Prepaid Cards are Available in the US Only – The FamZoo financial platform is only available for those living in the US. Outsiders can only avail of IOU accounts.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON FAMZOO

FamZoo is a financial platform that is specifically designed to help teach kids how to handle their money efficiently. It’s a great tool parents can use to instill in their children the right knowledge on financial management.

Given all the information we provided, do you consider using FamZoo?

With this FamZoo review, we hope you are able to gauge between the pros and cons and decide if this platform is ideal for you and your family.