The latest tips, features, videos, news, and more.

FamZoo News

End of April, 2022
Preparing kids for the financial jungle.


A swear jar moved online to a FamZoo checklist.

That cursing is gonna cost you!

The swear jar is a time honored family tradition for breaking bad habits.

Letting loose with a four letter word around the house used to mean coughing up some coins for the family jar.

But now, like everything else payment related, the penalty pot is going online.

Clever FamZoo families have figured out how to use an online checklist to replace the brick and mortar cursing container.

Hear a transgression, and, boom, the penalty payment is just one tap away in the FamZoo app. No more chasing down the offender to extract cash or coins.

Here’s how you can set one up:

  1. Order an extra parent card to hold the penalty funds. You can put “Family Swear Jar” on the custom label.
  2. Create a checklist named “Family Swear Jar”. Set the list sharing to Family. Enable rewards and penalties.
  3. Add repeating items for each family member to assess the penalties. Include the family member’s name in the item’s description — like “Colby: busted for swearing.” A frequency of Daily should be sufficient. But, if your family has prolific offenders, you could add more than one daily repeating item per family member.😬 Set an Expires timeframe of 3 days or so. Fill in the Rewards and Penalties as follows:
    • When the checklist item is for the parent holding the primary funding card (yes, parents can get dinged too!), add a single Credit of the penalty amount to the swear jar card account that fires when checked off.
    • For each of the other family members, add a Debit from their card account along with a matching Credit to the swear jar card account. That little two-step will indirectly transfer the funds from the offender’s card to the swear jar card.

Want to rub it in a bit whenever someone gets busted? You can broadcast an alert to everyone in the family by either adding a checklist alert on the swear jar list or turning on activity alerts for the swear jar card.

Of course, swear jars aren’t just for swearing. Any bad habit will do. Here are just a few infractions (gathered anonymously) that have racked up demerits within FamZoo families:

  • Biting a sibling.
  • Being home late.
  • Blowing off expected chores.
  • Screeching.
  • Backtalk (A teen classic that includes muttering under your breath. And, yes, mom/dad can hear you.)
  • Slamming doors. (Another teen classic.)
  • Attitude. (The teen catch-all.)
  • Lying. (Future politicians anyone?)

What should families do with their overflowing swear jar accounts? Periodically spending the proceeds on a family outing or donating to charity are two good options.

So do family swear jars really curb bad behavior?

Who gives a shiitake!🍄 At minimum, they’re just good clean family fun.


The FamZoo parent community.

It takes a zoo.

Recently in the FamZoo parent community:

  • Paulette asked if there is a dollar limit on direct deposits to the cards. ✋
  • Evan asked if there is a straightforward way to transfer funds from FamZoo back to his bank account. 💳→🏦
  • Thomas asked if anyone else was experiencing delayed delivery of activity alerts. ⏱️

Got an experience or tip to share? A question?



Two scoops for you, one for me.

Nothing loads up the swear jar like tax day. Conan has a tip for sharing the joy of taxes with your kids:

“Just taught my kids about taxes by eating 38% of their ice cream.” ~ Conan O’Brien

Take your swear jar card down to the ice cream store this weekend, and teach your kids a tasty tax lesson. 🍦🤣


🙏 A big THANK YOU to...

  • Sarah B. — for the wonderful review you left for us on the Google Play Store: “We absolutely love FamZoo. We couldn’t deal with actual cash allowance at all. It wasn’t happening. Now my kids use their cards everywhere they go when they want something. They are already thinking about money in a totally different way. I thought they needed to see dollar bills to understand how much they had. They don’t at all, they get it. The interface is awesome.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Since we don’t advertise, your positive reviews on Facebook and the app stores, as well as your private referrals to friends (worth a bonus! 💰), are greatly appreciated!

  • Thomas B. — for launching the topic with the most engagement in the parent group for the month: Any site/software advice for doing son’s first taxes?


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

We send our newsletter to parents who registered with FamZoo and anyone else who subscribes to the newsletter directly.


1207A Vine Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448  •  (412) 326-9661