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Give Kids Selective Control Over Money Transfers With This Checklist Hack

Move Money Between Spending And Savings

FamZoo always puts parents in charge of moving money between the family’s prepaid card accounts. Kids can initiate money requests for subsequent parent approval and execution, but they can’t perform transfers themselves. That’d be just a bit too risky.

But, sometimes parents want to entrust their kids with the authority to perform some very specific transfers: like moving money from spending to saving, or even vice versa for older kids.

We don’t have an elegant solution for this just yet, but we do have an inelegant hack that might fit your needs. It takes advantage of the reward/penalty capability of FamZoo’s checklists.

Here’s how it works.

Suppose you want to allow your child to move money from spending to saving in $10 increments. Do the following:

  • Create a new checklist. (If you aren’t familiar with our checklists, read this post first.)
    • Name it something like “Move Money.”
    • Set the owner to your child.
    • Set its sharing scope to be with the parents.
    • Check the box to allow rewards and penalties.
    • Save the checklist settings.
  • Add an item to the list.
    • Call it “Move $10 to savings.”
    • Set the due date to today.
    • Set the repeat frequency to match the most often you anticipate the transfers to be desired — perhaps daily.
    • Set the expiration time-frame to be one day. That way, old past-due repeating items won’t stay open and clutter up the list.
    • Add a “penalty” that debits $10 from the child’s spending account when the item is checked. That’s the first half of the transfer.
    • Add a “reward” that credits $10 to the child’s saving account when the item is checked. That’s the second half of the transfer.
    • Save the repeating item.

Now, to move $10 from spending to saving, your child can just bring up the “Move Money” checklist and check off one of the open “Move $10 to savings” items.

Viola! A parent-sanctioned money transfer without any parental mediation.

If you want to remain aware of any money transfers your child makes, be sure to set up card activity alerts.

The most obvious drawback to this approach is the transfer amount has to be declared up front and can’t be changed on the fly. A clunky workaround is to add multiple items on the list for different common amounts — $5, $10, $20, etc. Another downside is parents don’t have very fine-grained control over the number of transfers or total amounts allowed in a given time-frame.

That clunkiness is why I call it a “hack” and not a “feature.”

Yes, it’s a hack. But it might be just what you need while you’re waiting around for the more elegant feature. It’s working for me and my sons.

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