Teaching financial literacy to your kids is an essential part of parenting. Starting early, discussing it often, and arming them with a variety of financial tools is a surefire way to help them think about money intelligently. Apps like FamZoo make the process easier for parents and kids. In this FamZoo review, we'll share how!
Below you'll find details about FamZoo's best features, some areas for improvement, FamZoo competitors and common FamZoo FAQ. Enjoy!
What is FamZoo?
FamZoo is a software application designed to help parents teach their children and teens financial literacy. The goal is to give them real-life, hands-on experiences. By providing prepaid debit cards to all of its users, children and teens learn how to use money responsibly without having unlimited funds, overdraft fees, or atm fees to worry about.
Plus, parents can transfer money to their children's accounts quickly and securely in a matter of seconds.
Recommended for children and teens of all ages, FamZoo acts essentially like a virtual family bank. Instead of handing kids cash every week for their allowance, parents can use FamZoo to help their kids keep track of what they earn, how much they save, and where their money is going.
The FamZoo app is also highly flexible and user-friendly, so parents can determine how their family bank is run. With plenty of controls in place, parents are still running the show while teaching their kids invaluable lessons about money in the process.
FamZoo Review: Best Features
If there is one thing FamZoo does really well, it’s providing their customers with a ton of impressive features—many of which you simply can’t find anywhere else.
For an app with such a simple concept, it’s pretty amazing how many things you can actually do with this software. All of these features are specifically designed to help your children and teens become financially savvy along the way. That way, they never have to know what it's like to be drowning in debt as adults.
Reinforces Smart Financial Habits
Here are some of the best features FamZoo offers with their subscription membership:
- Completely customizable
- Prepaid debit cards for kids of all ages
- IOU accounts
- Card-to-card or cash-to-card transfers
- Direct deposit option for teens
- $15 referral bonus
- Can be given as a gift
- Card activity and declined purchase alerts
- Savings goals and missed payment tracking
- Money and reimbursement requests
- Automated allowance, family billing, and chore charts
- Chore review and chore penalty options
- A first-dibs chore chart for earning extra allowance
- Family loan tracking and parent-paid interest
Not One Size Fits All
These are just some of the benefits of using FamZoo as a family. And the best part is that it’s easy to pick and choose which features work best for you as parents based on the values and goals about money that you want to share with your kids. Then, you can completely customize the app to match these values and goals and make the most out of their product.
For example, you may choose to entrust your teen with a prepaid debit card but only use IOU accounts for your youngest child. This means that your teen would be able to use money responsibly when they go out with friends, while your younger child can keep track of the money you’re safely holding onto for them once they’re old enough to leave the house on their own.
Or, you can allow your kids to take out loans from you when they want to purchase something now and teach them the important lesson that borrowing money comes with additional interest charges long before they decide to take out student loans, car loans, or mortgages.
As your children grow, FamZoo’s features grow with them. They teach them valuable money lessons along the way while you’re still in control.
FamZoo Review: Areas for Improvement
While there are plenty of upsides to using FamZoo with your family, there are some downsides too.
Lack of Parental Control
The first downside is that parents do not have control when it comes to where their kids are making purchases or what they’re making purchases on. The prepaid debit cards offered through FamZoo can be used anywhere in person or online where Mastercard is accepted. Plus, kids can withdraw cash from ATMs which might be a concern.
No Investing Option
The second downside is that this product is used for spending and saving only. There is no option for kids who wish to invest in stocks or ETFs. This could be an important feature that's missing for parents looking to build generational wealth for their kids.
A Subscription Based Service
Lastly, there is a fee associated with using this product. And while it’s basically the same price no matter how many kids you have, there is a one-time extra charge for each prepaid debit card you order over four which does increase the cost for larger families.
There's nothing wrong with FamZoo charging for their service. It's just something parents should be aware of before committing. With free checking accounts, budget apps and investing apps, there are ways for parents to do this “financial literacy thing” for free. If time is tight, FamZoo does save parents loads of hours by keeping it all in one place.
FamZoo Review: Competitors
Some FamZoo competitors are Greenlight, GoHenry, and GoalSetter. To help you understand what each of them offers, you can view a quick synopsis of all three companies below.
Greenlight is an app geared toward children ages 8 to 18. By using this app, children and teens gain access to their own prepaid debit card that they can use both in stores and online. The funds deposited into their account on Greenlight are FDIC-insured. And there’s a monthly fee of $4.99, $9.98, or $14.98 associated with your account, depending on which features your family is interested in accessing. However, they do not currently have a discounted rate for prepaying ahead.
Unlike FamZoo, Greenlight does not offer IOU accounts, parent loans, or penalties for not completing chores. On the other hand, Greenlight does offer two payment tiers that allow kids to invest in stocks and ETFs. Plus, the premium tier offers 2% interest on savings, 1% cash back, and identity theft, cell phone, and purchase protection.
GoHenry is an app designed for children and teens ages 6 to 18. Similar to its competitors, GoHenry issues a prepaid debit card to its users with plenty of designs to choose from as well as the ability to customize. Any funds stored in your family’s GoHenry account are FDIC-insured. And the only payment option they currently have available is to pay $3.99 per month per child.
GoHenry does not offer IOU accounts or parent loans. And while it doesn’t have penalties for not doing chores, you can set it up to pay your children only after their chores are completed. Moreover, there is no option for children and teens to invest in stocks or ETFs on GoHenry, earn interest, or receive cash back on purchases.
GoalSetter is a spending, saving, and investing app intended for children and teens ages 6 to 16. Like similar apps, your children or teens will receive a prepaid debit card with your paid account which they can use in stores and online. Any funds you provide to them through this account are FDIC-insured.
Interestingly enough, there is no standard fee for using this software. Instead, the company asks users to pay what they can for the services and typically receives between $1–$10 per month from the average user.
Two of GoalSetter's standout features include their “Learn to Earn” and “Learn Before You Burn” programs. With “Learn to Earn” your children and teens can earn money by passing financial quizzes. And with “Learn Before You Burn,” parents can freeze their children’s debit cards when they fail to pass their financial quizzes for the week.
Check out our interview with Tanya Van Court, the founder of GoalSetter!
FamZoo Review: FAQ
Have even more questions about our FamZoo review? Here are answers to some of the important questions you might be asking yourself right now:
Can I use only IOU accounts or prepaid debit cards with FamZoo?
Absolutely! You can use only IOU accounts, only prepaid debit cards, or you can use both. It’s all included in the same price.
Does FamZoo store information about the bank account or card I use to transfer money into my kids’ accounts?
No. FamZoo does not store any of your personal financial information. All payments are processed safely and securely through PayPal.
How do chore charts work on this app?
FamZoo allows parents to set up chore charts, detailing the list of chores that were completed and those that failed to be completed. This helps keep kids accountable for their responsibilities and also helps them track why they did or did not receive their full allowance. Moreover, parents can even use the app to make a list of additional chores that can be completed on a first come first serve basis to make extra cash.
Can this app help my kids save more money?
Absolutely! You can use FamZoo software to set up and monitor savings goals for various categories.
How much does FamZoo cost?
After a one-month free trial, there is a cost associated with using FamZoo. The cost is quite minimal, though, so it's pretty affordable for families in most cases. Plus, there are four different options to choose from, providing a lot of flexibility to its users.
The first option is to pay a monthly fee of $5.99. With this option, you pay the fee each month and are able to switch to a prepaid plan at any time.
The second option is to prepay for six months at a time. This option costs $25.99 upfront, which works out to $4.33 per month, and you receive an extra month for free. By choosing the Prepay 6 option, you save 27%.
The third option FamZoo offers is the Prepay 12. The total cost when you prepay for twelve months at a time is $39.99, or $3.33 per month. This option also includes an extra month for free and is a 44% savings.
Lastly, you can choose the Prepay 24 option for $59.99. At this price, you are only paying $2.50 per month, plus you get an additional month for free. So, you are saving 58% off the sticker price when you go this route.
Keep in mind, each of these prices is per family, not per device. So, you pay once and your whole family has access to the software for that period of time.
What bank does FamZoo use?
All funds held or transferred by FamZoo go through South State Bank. South State Bank is headquartered in Winter Haven, Florida, but has 168 branches throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.
South State Bank is a subsidiary of South State Corporation, a publicly traded bank holding company.
Is FamZoo FDIC insured?
The funds you transfer into your FamZoo account are FDIC-insured. That means that any funds you invest, up to a total of $250,000, are protected in the case of bank failure or theft by the United States Federal Government.
Does FamZoo have an app?
FamZoo has mobile apps for both iPhone and Android. The software is also completely accessible on any browser and on any device such as laptops, desktops, and tablets.
Who owns FamZoo?
FamZoo is owned and operated by Bill Dwight. He's a former software developer who started the company in 2006. What was designed originally as an online allowance application for his own kids, eventually turned into FamZoo. It's a business built around software that, in essence, works as a virtual family bank.
With more than 13,000 downloads, FamZoo is a popular app for parents who understand just how important being a mentor and role model for kids is, especially when it comes to finances.
Final Thoughts on our FamZoo Review
Overall, FamZoo is a great app for families. It has a lot of impressive features, a relatively low cost, and only a few things lacking as far as similar type products go.
Parents who wish to teach their kids financial responsibility long before adulthood appreciate the ease of use this app provides and the many features it comes with.
Add in the flexibility to use this app like a personalized virtual family bank, and it’s no wonder so many families love using FamZoo in their homes.
What do you think of our FamZoo Review? Are you using a financial literacy and debit card for kids app?
Please let us know in the comments below.