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


Teen summer intern in bag factory.

More stash and less burn.

It’s summertime, and one of my favorite customer service questions is back in vogue:

“Can my teen get paychecks directly deposited to their FamZoo card?”

Yes! Look for the routing and account numbers on your teen’s Card Information screen. Have your teen submit those numbers to an employer, and paychecks will go straight to their card.

So, what does a typical teen do with all that extra summer cash?

Spend it. Duh.

Summer paychecks have a way of melting away like ice cream in the hot sun. iTunes here, Starbucks there. By the time fall rolls around — poof! The summer earnings are gone.

Time for a little “pay yourself first” parental intervention.

Tell your teen how a portion of your own paycheck automatically goes right to savings — like your 401(k) or TSP — and how they’d be smart to do the same.

Getting the classic teen eyeball roll response?

Try the dream-big angle. Ask your teen if they have any epic items they’ve been pining for. A guitar? A used car? Travel afar? Promote the payroll deduction as a great way to accelerate the goal.

Or, try the bribe angle. Consider kicking in some aggressive parent-paid compound interest to juice up their savings. Even better: if your teen promises to plunk some of the savings into a Roth IRA, offer a healthy match. It’s called a “Family 401(k)” arrangement, and I describe it in detail here. It’s one of the smartest financial moves I ever made for all five of my (now grown) kids.

Or, there’s always the nuclear because-I-said-so option. You just want to teach your teen the virtues of having an emergency fund, whether they like it or not. (Surely they’ll thank you later!) Mandated summer savings is a quick way to get that fund in place.

Once you’ve persuaded (or bribed or forced) your teen to accept your wise counsel, you can automate the savings “payroll deduction” in FamZoo as follows:

  1. Order a savings card for your teen to hold the accumulating deductions. Follow the steps here. (Tip: you can activate the card right away.)
  2. Set up an automated transfer from spending to the new savings account that slightly trails the timing of your teen’s paychecks. Use recurring checklist items to schedule the deductions as described here.
  3. Create a savings goal to show progress along the way. See the steps here.

By the time fall rolls around, your teen will have a sweet summer stash and, hopefully, a payroll practice that persists throughout adulthood.


The FamZoo parent community.

It takes a zoo.

Recently in the FamZoo parent community:

  • Jennifer P. asked how to pause chore checklists while the kids are away at camp. 🏕️
  • Jennifer Z. asked how to transfer funds out of FamZoo. 💸
  • Jared asked how to set up a bi-weekly auto-debit timed with his child’s direct deposit. 📅

Got an experience or tip to share? A question?



Stash then spend.

Warren would approve of our teen savings payroll deduction tip:

“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” ~ Warren Buffett

Stash first. Spend second. Help your kids get the order right.


🙏 A big THANK YOU to...

  • Everyone — who takes the time to recommend us to others and leave reviews!

    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!

  • Kris L. — for coaching us on how to dramatically improve the successful delivery of our text messages after our initial transition to Twilio. Kris works for Twilio and reached out to me after seeing the article about our switch in last month’s newsletter. Huge help!
  • Emily M. — for alerting me to an old article with some stale information about how to locate the routing and account numbers for your FamZoo card. Fixed!


Dear Bill...

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

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Best to you and your family,

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