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FamZoo News

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


Empty pocket and card IOU

Short on funds?
Card IOUs to the rescue!

It’s bound to happen eventually.

Payday rolls around for the kids, and suddenly you realize you’re short of funds on your parent card. Oops!

The last thing you want to do is stiff your own kid.

No worries. We’ve got your kid’s back. No need for you to remember your missed payments or record them elsewhere. FamZoo automatically tracks all shortfalls in parent payments — like allowance, chore rewards, interest, reimbursements, etc.

The missed payments are recorded as card IOUs on the recipient’s card. The current total owed is displayed as an additional balance just beneath the card’s cash balance. Clicking on the total reveals the history and details of every missed payment.

The next time you reload your primary funding card, FamZoo will automatically repay any outstanding card IOUs in the family, but only if the IOU can be repaid in full.

Parents aren’t the only ones on the hook for missed payments. Card IOUs work in the opposite direction too.

Suppose the end of the month rolls around, and your kid suddenly realizes her card is short of funds to pay the auto-debit you set up to cover her share of the family cell phone plan. Oops!

No worries. And no nagging. We’ve got your parental back. In this case, the missed payment is recorded as a negative IOU on her card. A negative IOU total means she owes the primary funding card money instead of vice versa. As a result, subsequent parent payments (allowance, chore rewards, interest, etc) reduce the IOU debt first without adding any actual funds to the card. Only when the IOU is fully repaid will additional money start flowing to her card again.

Note: card IOUs are never recorded on the primary funding card itself — just the other cards in the family. Card IOUs are always relative to the primary funding card. A card with a positive IOU is owed money by the primary funding card. A card with a negative IOU owes money to the primary funding card.

Running short of funds as described above is the most common way card IOUs are created, but there are some other rare cases. Here are the different situations in which card IOUs can accumulate:

  1. There are insufficient funds on the sending card (as in the examples above).
  2. The primary funding card or the card on the other end of the transfer is locked.
  3. The primary funding card or the card on the other end of the transfer is inactive (typically while being replaced).
  4. An outage or system error occurs at the time of the attempted transfer.

Remember, automatic repayment of card IOUs only happens when:

  1. reloading the primary funding card,
  2. the primary funding card owes the money (i.e., positive IOUs), and
  3. an outstanding IOU can be repaid in full.

If you need to make an IOU repayment or partial repayment outside of those conditions, you can do so manually at any time using the Repay IOU action link.

Sometimes an IOU repayment is no longer warranted. Perhaps you repaid your child outside FamZoo, or the parent payment causing the IOU was an accident, or you changed your mind about some chore penalties. In those cases, you can adjust or cancel the IOU by following these steps.

You’ll find the card IOU help section HERE.


The FamZoo parent community.

It takes a zoo.

Recently in the FamZoo parent community:

  • Debbie asked why her son’s employer was insisting that our routing number was invalid and what to do about it. 🤔
  • Corina asked about delays in receiving bank transfers. ⏱️
  • Ed asked whether it’s possible to get an exemption on the card balance and transfer limits. ✋

Got an experience or tip to share? A question?



A quid quo pro that isn’t a no-no.

The holidays are the perfect time to help your child experience this magical gift exchange:

“It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wrestling with the right amount for your child to give? Check out the stats here.


🙏 A big THANK YOU to...

  • Parents — for encouraging your kids to engage in charitable giving. In the last 30 days, 0.4% of spending on FamZoo cards flowed to charitable organizations. Let’s see if we can bump that up by the end of the year.
  • Brothers and Keepers — for helping kids scarred by difficult circumstances find the joy of being a child again. We’re delighted to facilitate their new allowance program with FamZoo cards.
  • Jeff H. — for recommending FamZoo on Facebook as a way to keep things organized and conflict-free in the family money department: “Family of 7 have been using Famzoo for years now. 5 kids are from 8 to 22. Keeps everything organized and worth the money. They know not to ask me... Dad... for money unless they know what’s in their famzoo accounts. Saved a lot of arguments and conflict.”

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


Dear Bill...

Got a question, comment, concern, bug report, suggestion?

I’m no robot, just an everyday dad on a youth financial literacy mission. Hit reply, and I’ll respond.

Or catch up with me on Facebook or Twitter.

Best to you and your family,

Bill Profile Picture

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