FamZoo is an online “virtual family bank” that parents set up to teach their ... More
FamZoo is an online “virtual family bank” that parents set up to teach their children (ages 5-18) about personal finance through hands-on practice. The parents own the bank, hold the real money, and set the ground rules.
In just a few minutes, parents can put in place any of the following learning tools:
Virtual accounts to track income (typically from things like allowance, household chores, odd jobs, birthday checks, change found in the sofa, lemonade stand earnings, etc.) and expenses.
Allowances that are deposited automatically and can be split between multiple accounts such as spending, savings, and charitable giving
Budgets for tracking and controlling specific expenses like clothing
Automatic Debits for recurring expenses like online gaming subscriptions and cell phone plans
Compound Interest to encourage good saving habits
Chore Checklists to pay for work that’s completed (or to deduct for work that isn’t)
Savings Goals to help plan for larger purchases
Loans to allow the purchase of big ticket items that are paid back over time
Last updated 1 Dec 2011
Published 16 Sep 2011
How often have you heard the cry “kids just don’t know the value of money these days”? Quite often I suspect but if you’re a cynic like me you probably think it comes from parents who are generally only too happy to open the wallet when junior screams for a new pair of trainers.
For parents serious about teaching their kids the value of money and prudent budgeting however FamZoo.com could do just that and perhaps do it with a bit of fun as well.
The site does two basic things. It acts as a virtual family bank where kids can learn about managing their allowance, achieving savings goals, creating budgets and even something unimaginable like paying Mom and Dad back for stuff! It can also act as a shared family checklist for any number of tasks and chores.
Everything is virtual and you can set up any number of accounts covering all aspects of family life and these will be credited and debited with virtual dollars. Pay for stuff for your kids in the real world and then simply adjust the virtual position in their account to reflect it.
Automatic credits for things like weekly or monthly allowances can be set along with repayment reminders and alerts. There is also a section illustrating the importance of evaluating good causes and sensibly putting money aside for charitable giving.
Parents can control the level of detail their FamBank.com account provides. After all, the secrets of compound interest are probably not going to interest too many 6 year olds but would be useful information for teenagers about to go out into the real world.
The site is free for two months and $5.99 a month thereafter for the whole family. There are also prepaid plans available which can reduce the price down to $30 a year. These costs can of course be virtually split across the virtual accounts ensuring everyone pays up!
Anything that teaches youngsters the importance of financial planning in these dodgy economic times has to be a good thing. The fact that this financial teaching concept is based around modern technology also means the kids will be flying around the site quicker than poor old Pop the bank manager, and that has to be fun!