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FamZoo News

End of July, 2021
Preparing kids for the financial jungle.


Souvenir budget.

Have card, will travel.

We’re seeing a lot more kids on the move with their cards these days. My own son is just wrapping up an out-of-state summer job stint.

If you have a teen traveling abroad, a child headed to camp or college, an athlete on a travel team, or a family trip looming with the youngsters in tow, here are some things to consider:

  1. Travel notice — if a card will be used outside the US, you'll need a travel notice on file with our card processor so they don’t inadvertently block the card for suspicious activity. Contact us before your trip to let us know the countries on your itinerary and the start/end dates of the overall visit. If you are just traveling within the US, no travel notice is necessary.
  2. Foreign transaction fees — when traveling abroad, many cards will ding you between one and three percent for each foreign purchase. Not FamZoo. We have no foreign transaction fees, so you can cross this concern off your list.
  3. Activity Alerts — if your child will be traveling on their own or making side excursions on a family vacation, you’ll want to turn on activity alerts. That way, you’ll know right away whenever there is trouble with the card. Contact us if you need help resolving an issue (like an inopportune card block due to incorrect PIN entry or atypical purchase activity).

    That said, I’ll admit that I like the activity alerts for an entirely different reason: the parental peace of mind they provide. I get to see my traveling kiddos are OK without nagging them with phone calls or texts every day.

  4. Backup card — never a bad idea to have a plan B. Consider adding a backup card to keep in a separate spot in case the main card is lost or stolen on the trip.
  5. Souvenir budget — heading out on a family vacation with the youngsters in tow? I have 6 rules for setting up a souvenir budget that will reduce whining, teach the kids some budgeting basics, and save the family money. See the rules HERE.
  6. Emergency funds — no matter how carefully you plan, unanticipated expenses always seem to creep into a trip. Make sure your kid knows how money requests and reimbursements work before hitting the road.

Bon voyage!


The FamZoo parent community.

It takes a zoo.

Recently in the FamZoo parent community:

  • Sara asked other families how they were handling savings for their teens — IOU accounts vs. savings cards vs. bank savings accounts. 🤔
  • Jason asked if the ATM withdrawal limit could be changed. 💰
  • Dawn asked about scheduling optional bonus chores. ☑️

Got an experience or tip to share? A question?



Putting money on the map.

Speaking of travel and budgets, this classic quote stands at the nexus of the two:

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” ~John C. Maxwell

Help your kids give their dollars a definitive destination with some basic budgeting skills.


🙏 A big THANK YOU to...

  • Jacqueline Gilchrist — for saying nice things about FamZoo in the Yahoo! Life article The 5 Best Allowance and Budgeting Apps for Kids. Check out Jacqueline’s site Mom Money Map where her goal is to inspire you to explore financial opportunities and create habits and systems to build wealth.
  • Stacking Benjamins — for replaying our 2018 roundtable interview about teaching kids about money. Still holds up nicely in 2021! Stacking Benjamins remains one of my favorite personal finance podcasts — always accessible and entertaining.
  • Alejandra S. — for this wonderful review on Facebook that fit right in with our travel theme this month: “I absolutely love FamZoo and my only regret is not having used it sooner. Really helps to teach your kids about responsible spending. It gives them a degree of financial freedom but at the same time gives the parent oversight. I initially used FamZoo as a way for my daughter not to carry only cash while on spring break or go cray cray with a regular credit card or bank linked debit card. FamZoo was the safest and most efficient alternative. We were so pleased with it that we have continued to use it after her trip. I totally recommend it.”

    Since we don’t advertise, your positive reviews on Facebook and the app stores are greatly appreciated!


Dear Bill...

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Best to you and your family,

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