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.


Ariel Balter aka The Blog Post Author

I noticed that this post is from Nov. 2016. Any word on making this more "elegant" as you say? I would like to allow my son to make is own choices to move money into and out of savings, as well as into his charity fund. Also, I'd like him to be able to borrow money by moving money out of savings even if it isn't there, so he goes into debt and pays interest. Obviously, I'd want to set a limit on that.

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Ariel, we're actually putting the finishing touches on expanding our Money Requests feature to allow the child to specify a source account (like their own savings) as well as a destination account. (As opposed to now where the source account is always assumed to be the primary funding card.)

Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

Any estimate on when this will be released?

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

We believe we are roughly a month away from production release of the Money Request enhancement.

Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

Is there any update on this post? Is the feature active? If not, when?

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

We got delayed a bit by some high priority plumbing work we're doing related to moving our servers to Amazon's hosting facilities. I think we should have it in May now.

Beckyricha aka The Blog Post Author

is it in place yet? I still don't see it in any obvious way. I also don't see whatever the "money request" feature is that was mentioned above.

Unknown aka The Blog Post Author

Is this feature finished yet?

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