How To Raise Super-Saver Kids in 5 Simple Steps

Girl in superhero costume in front of savings chart.

George Samuel Clason’s 1926 classic, The Richest Man in Babylon, popularized the adage “pay yourself first” as a pillar of wealth building.

Easy to say. Hard to do. Particularly for kids.

How do we translate Clason’s undeniably sound principle into a lasting habit for our children?

Follow these five steps:


Category Codes Carry Clues to Kids' Transactions

Where did that transaction come from?

Between kids just learning the financial ropes, teens pushing boundaries, merchants deploying dark patterns, and fraudsters pouncing on vulnerabilities, parents routinely have to don their detective hats to track down the source of “mystery” charges. Occasionally it’s fraud. Most times it isn’t (see Five Flavors of Faux Fraud).

This month, we added a new tool to the FamZoo transaction tracking toolbox: merchant category codes, or MCCs for short. MCCs are defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and used to classify merchants by the type of goods or services provided. When the transaction description fails to unlock the mystery of a purchase’s origin, the MCC description just might do the trick.


Mining Declines for Valuable Money Lessons

Mining lamp shining on a decline.

Most card providers sugar coat their transaction histories. If you open up their apps, you’ll only see the successful or pending transactions listed — no failed ones.

Not so with FamZoo. We show everything: successful transactions, unsuccessful attempts, and even fraudulent hits. It’s the good, the bad, and the ugly. Why show the latter two? We believe a valuable lesson lurks in every failed transaction.

You can spot a failed transaction in the history by looking for a red DECLINED lozenge just beneath the transaction’s date in the left hand column.

Click or tap on the lozenge to reveal the details behind the failure.

Here’s a sampling of five common failures and some important lessons to be gleaned: