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10 Good Money Habits to Teach Your Kids in 2014

Resolve to Teach Your Kids Good Money Habits in 2014
2013 is coming to a close, and it’s time to make those dreaded New Year’s resolutions again. Pffft! Are you tired of making and breaking the same old promises each year? You know: lose weight, exercise more, quit your favorite vice, blah, blah, blah. Not.

How about switching it up with something new this year? Something that can really change the lives of the people you care most about. Something concrete and doable. Here’s my simple suggestion: resolve to teach your kids good money habits.

Don’t know where to start? Intimidated? Here’s a list of 10 simple habits that will put your kids on the path to financial responsibility:

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A Thoughtful Way to Give Kids Cash as a Last Minute Gift

It’s down to the wire, and you need to find a quick gift for a kid. Maybe it’s your own child. Maybe it’s a grandchild, a niece, a nephew, or a godchild. Perhaps it’s the child of a good friend or relative. Think. Think. What’s the easiest last-minute gift that kids of all ages are sure to love?

Money, of course. Duh.

Problem solved, right?

Not so fast. Just giving cold, hard cash feels pretty shallow, doesn’t it? What messages are you sending the recipient? Something like: “Hey, I didn’t have time to really think about you, so I’m sending you a quick wad of moolah. Now run out and spend it on something — anything — OK?”

Yech, that doesn’t feel quite right.

What if there was a truly thoughtful way to give a kid some money? What if there was a way that taught important financial skills and lessons over an extended period of time — like how to be fiscally responsible, how to save patiently, how to give thoughtfully, how to spend wisely, and how to earn diligently. Now, that would be a positive message. One that says: “Hey, I’ve been thinking about how important it is for kids to learn personal finance skills, so I’m giving you money in a way that will teach you the good money habits you’ll need to thrive in the real world.”

Yeah, that feels right. Perfect.

Order a FamZoo Gift Subscription

So how do you do give money to a kid in that way? With FamZoo. Give a gift subscription to FamZoo.com, and, optionally, some starter cash as an initial deposit. What is FamZoo? It’s a virtual family bank that fills the gap between the rudimentary piggy bank and adult-oriented banking products like checking accounts and credit cards. FamZoo supports both IOU accounts and prepaid card accounts. For eligible US families, up to 4 prepaid cards are included in a FamZoo subscription at no extra charge. FamZoo is specifically designed to help parents teach kids good money habits in a hands-on way. Think of it as training wheels for online banking. In other words, you’re giving a kid some money wrapped in an ongoing financial education. Questions? Learn all about FamZoo here.

Buy a FamZoo gift subscription.

What’s the best way to present a FamZoo subscription to a kid or a family? Here are some ready-made printable templates along with some suggestions for how you might fill them in for some common gift scenarios.

Your Very Own Online Bank Account! Love, Grandma

Use our account announcement template to let a kid know she’s receiving money in her very own online FamZoo account, like this:

FamZoo Sample Account Certificate from Grandma

Click here to download printable template.

Your Very Own Online Bank! From: The Bergmans

Use our bank announcement template to let a family know you’ve given them a virtual family bank they can use to teach their kids good money habits, like this:

FamZoo Sample Bank Announcement

Click here to download printable template.

Your Own Allowance Card! Love, Mom

Use our card announcement template to let your son know he’ll be receiving his allowance on his own MasterCard prepaid card that will be arriving shortly in the mail. (See our cardholder requirements first.)

Sample FamZoo Card Certificate - Christmas Theme

Click here to download printable template.

Your First Payroll Card! Love, Dad

Use our card announcement template to let your daughter know she’ll be receiving her “payroll” on her own MasterCard prepaid card that will be arriving shortly in the mail. (See our cardholder requirements first.)

FamZoo Sample "Payroll Card" Announcement

Click here to download printable template.

Buy a FamZoo gift subscription.

Do those examples match your situation? Do you need a tweak to a template or a different style? Do you have suggestions for improving the FamZoo gift experience? Do you have a fun sample you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you!

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Counterbalance Consumerism on #GivingTuesday

For Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and, sadly, even Thanksgiving Thursday, it’s shop, shop, shop; buy, buy, buy; spend, spend, spend.

Sigh. What’s next?

Thankfully it’s #GivingTuesday — today December 3rd — a day that’s all about giving instead of spending. #GivingTuesday is a national campaign to inspire personal philanthropy as we head into the holiday season.

Make an #UNselfie on #GivingTuesday

How can you counterbalance the onslaught of consumerism and help your kids participate in the #GivingTuesday movement? Here are a few ideas for FamZoo families: