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How To Set Up A Digital Envelope Budgeting System With Prepaid Cards

The envelope system is a tried and true budgeting approach for families who use cash. Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Label a physical envelope for each household budget category.
  2. Allocate cash each pay cycle between the envelopes according to your budgeted amounts.
  3. Make payments for a spending category using only the cash remaining in the corresponding envelope.

Nice and simple.

Unfortunately, the cash envelope system is also tedious and impractical in today’s digital world.

Why?

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How To Use Your Prepaid Card With PayPal

PayPal Usage Diagram

If your prepaid card has account and routing numbers that support ACH transfers (like FamZoo cards do), you can link it to PayPal just like a typical bank checking account.

Why is that useful? You can:

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How to Approve Chore Earnings Before Handing Over The Cash

Checklist, IOU account, prepaid card.

If you’re like most parents, you’re way too busy to be approving every little chore your kid checks off in real time. That’s why we’ve taken a trust-but-verify (and hold-accountable) approach with our chore checklists.

Your kid can check items off and earn rewards without your intervention. That’s the trust part.

You can get notifications when your kid checks items off — either through checklist alerts or card activity alerts. That’s the verify part. If Junior is a little too quick on the trigger finger, you can un-check an item, and it will reverse the award.

You can also let Junior know there will be repercussions for checking off items inappropriately. Maybe reduced screen time, a deposit to the family swear jar, or a financial timeout. That’s the accountability part.

But what if Junior is also quick on the trigger finger when it comes to spending ill-gotten rewards as soon as they hit the card? We’re talking real money here, and the horse has already left the barn. That’s a problem.

Here’s a nice middle ground solution that maintains convenience for parents while eliminating temptation for kids.

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Automate Transfers Between Accounts With This Checklist Trick

Card to card transfer diagram.

Let’s say your daughter wants to move 10 cents from her spending account to her savings account every day.

Or, maybe one sibling needs to pay another back for an intra-family loan and wants to schedule a weekly payment of $2.

You probably know FamZoo supports automated transfers with allowances and auto debits. The problem is, those always involve the parent’s primary funding card. It’s either the source or the destination for the transfer. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the two scenarios above.

So, how do you automate a transfer between two non-primary card accounts in a family?

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How To Deliver Allowance And Chore Payments From Multiple Parents

Mom and Dad Allowance Jars

In the FamZoo system, allowance is always delivered to kids from the primary funding card. There can only be one primary funding card in a family.

That poses a challenge for split family situations in which both parents want to provide separate allowance payments.

Here’s a solution that uses Auto Debits to have one parent automatically pay back the other.

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