How To Set Up Your Virtual Family Bank

So you’ve just registered your family on FamZoo and you’re ready to set up your virtual family bank. Let’s start by answering a few simple questions for each of your kids. Don’t worry, there’s no one “right” set of answers. What’s “right” depends upon your unique family situation, your family’s values, your child’s age, and even your child’s temperament:

1. What purchases do you expect your child to cover?
A. Miscellaneous everyday “wants”.
B. Contributions to long-term savings goals like college or a car.
C. Charitable donations.
D. Specific “needs” like clothing or school lunches.
2. What are appropriate income sources for your child?
A.   Occasional windfalls like found change, tooth fairy payments, and birthday/holiday money.
B. A regular “pocket money” allowance for everyday “wants” that’s either:
I. a fixed amount not tied to chores, or
II. a fixed amount minus any deductions for chores not completed, or
III. a variable amount calculated based on chores completed.
C. An expense allowance to cover specific “needs” like clothing or lunch money.
D. Occasional payments for extra odd jobs around the house.
E. Payments for odd jobs outside the house — like babysitting, mowing lawns, dog/cat sitting, etc.
F. Compound interest or matching contributions as an incentive to save.

How’d that go? Were you able to mentally check off the boxes that make sense for your child and your family situation? If so, setup will be a cinch. Even if you aren’t sure about some of the options, you can just ignore those ones for now. Start simple. Start with what you know. You can always go back and fine tune your virtual bank settings afterwards as your thinking evolves, your child matures, your family situation changes, your parental experiments flop, whatever!

Now that you’re equipped with your checklist, let’s walk through the setup.

Find The Blue Bubble

Would you like to use our prepaid card accounts with your kids? At least four cards come with your subscription at no extra charge, and I highly recommend the cards for eligible families. They’re super convenient, widely accepted, and safer than cash. Kids love the responsibility, and parents love the fact that there’s no risk of overdraft or debt. Interested? Jump over to our post on getting started with your FamZoo prepaid cards to learn how to complete your initial bank setup with prepaid card acsounts.

Setup Help BubbleOtherwise, if you’ll be using our IOU accounts with your kids to track money that you’ll be holding elsewhere, just look for the blue bubbles that appear on the Overview page right after you finish registering your family. They’ll lead you through adding your family members and completing your initial bank setup.

Check Out Your Options And Fill In The Blanks

Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Click through each plan.
  2. Review the brief description.
  3. Fill in the blanks to match your child’s situation.
  4. Click Save to create any accounts, allowances, and chore lists associated with your choices.

Quick Setup Steps

Cheat Sheet

Hopefully, you’ll find the setup pretty self explanatory — please let us know if you find otherwise! But just in case, this cheat sheet graphic shows where to look on the setup diagrams for each option listed on the survey at the top of this post.

Quick Setup Options

Having trouble? Don’t see an option you need for your family? Need a more sophisticated setup? Don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll give you a hand.

Here are some sample Virtual Family Bank setups that might give you some inspiration. Steal the ideas you like, and tweak the settings to match your family’s unique situation.

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