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The Bank of Boogie: FamZoo Mom Sandra H. Describes Her Virtual Family Bank

The Bank Of BoogieFor the last two years, a mom named Sandra H. has been using FamZoo with her son, Kellan — aka “Boogie.” (And, no I didn’t ask about the origin of that nickname!) Sandra’s been pleased with FamZoo, so she decided to tell her good friend K., a fellow parent, how it works in an email.

Sandra was kind enough to forward a copy of the email to us. I was blown away. It’s the most epic referral ever. A few of my favorite quotes:

This software doesn’t make you go in every day... There are times I don’t go into the software for weeks at a time, but it is up to date as soon as I log in.
It is a great tool to show them how to NOT throw away money.
He will look and see if he really wants to spend his own money on something, and quite frankly he treats it better when it comes out of his own account.
I really love it. Of course, I still buy things for Kellan but when he wants something just because he wants it, it is interesting to see just how much he truly wants it and whether he will spend HIS money getting it.
No “I didn’t ....yes you did....blah blah blah.” It is all right here.
For a while, I was splitting the fee with him, but then I showed him I would pay for it as a gift. But the gift is actually for me. This thing is awesome.

Sandra gave me permission to share the full email. So, in Sandra’s own words (verbatim including screen shots from her actual email), here’s how the “Bank of Boogie” works:


From: Sandra H.
To: K.
Date: Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Subject: have you seen this.....

hi...i will talk to you about this more, but i wanna show it to you because it is actually very cool. it is famzoo.com boogie and i have been using it for about 2 years. it basically is a really fun on-line accounting of allowances/gifts/earnings.... great colorful website with fun avatars and colors and graphs to keep it interesting. it allows you to set a specified amount and distribute it into the accounts on the time-frame you choose. for example....boogie gets $10 a week....here is how it plays out. you can set the amounts/percentages and accounts however you would like. i have it set for 4 accounts and it drops in midnight each friday. here is how his $10 a week allowance plays out......

Allowance Allocation

$5 goes to general spending, $4 goes to long term savings, 50cents to charitable (which by the way paid for the bicycle donation to the xmas family last year)

Bicycle Donation Transaction

and 50cents to tax (just to get him used to earning money and seeing it leave his account for absolutely no good reason whatsoever other than ‘cuz you have to’......) i make up for it though by giving him 2.7% monthly interest on his long term savings account (yeah....THAT’S how to groom a future Deal Structure Banker!!!!)

Monthly Savings Interest Deposit

there are things that became ‘problematic’ in our household (leaving clothes in front of the shower door) and as soon as i checked it two times in two days and kellan ‘saw’ the red color subtract money out of his account, amazingly enough, he quit throwing his clothes on the floor. we have ‘agreed upon penalties’ in the defaults. this software doesn’t make you go in every day, just on the days you want to add or subtract an amount....click the box and it applies it...in red...for all to see. that’s the best part. you set up the defaults and if you need to check to add, check it. or if you need to check as a penalty, it will do that too. there are times i don’t go into the software for weeks at a time, but it is up to date as soon as i log in. the shower thing made me check in each day but it solved the problem in 48 hours too, so that was well worth it.

Penalty Transactions

it is a great tool to show them how to NOT throw away money. kellan was sitting with my dad one night and he rubbed his feet. he asked me to rub his feet and i said no. he said “i will give you 20 bucks to rub my feet for 1 minute”. i explained how ridiculous that was and what a waste of money it was and yet he still agreed to the charge...so i rubbed his feet. then i posted this

Foot Rubbing Charge

and he SAW the impact spending 20 bucks had and i can assure you, he has never ever done something like that again.....especially when he also saw he could have used his 20 bucks again like this....

Lego Purchase Transaction

kellan bought minecraft yesterday, so we went in and added it as a debit to his general spending account.

Minecraft Purchase Transaction

and he is okay with that. the number to the right is the new balance in that account. it has a pretty big impact. he will look and see if he really wants to spend his own money on something and quite frankly he treats it better when it comes out of his own account.

anyway...i thought you might want to see it. you can go in at any time and see totals....

Account Listing

and you can see these in pie charts, bar graphs, historical charts or a number of ways.

Allowance/Account Diagram

the key is....i don’t carry cash. handing boogie cash does NOTHING to show him fiscal responsibility. zip. also....it’s “uh, did i get my allowance....” or “no, you just bought a lego last week”....no “i didn’t ....yes you did....blah blah blah”....it is all right here. for a while i was splitting the fee with him (5.99 a month SEE BETTER OPTIONS HERE) but then i showed him i would pay for it...as a gift...but the gift is actually for me....this thing is awesome. it doesn’t put actual MONEY in the account, it puts the accounting into practice. so as long as i currently have $883.58 (according to the chart above) in an account somewhere, then i am good.

sorry for the long email...it’s just a very cool thing that maybe you want to play with for a couple months with your kids.... i think they even have a free two month trial period...no obligation. cancel any time. but i really love it. of COURSE, i still buy things for kellan but when he wants something just because he wants it, it is interesting to see just how much he truly wants it and whether he will spend HIS money getting it...

and heck...not picking up clothes in front of the shower alone is worth it!!!!!

haha. talk to you soon.


Sandra, you tell the FamZoo story better than I ever could!

Thank you for being such a fabulous FamZoo ambassador, and, more importantly, thank you for using FamZoo with your family.

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