How do you help your kids develop good money habits? How can you overcome the challenges that simply talking about money can bring?
Bill Dwight, a lifelong software engineer, faced these questions while he and his wife were raising their five kids. So, Bill did what any reasonable person would do facing a problem such as this; he started his own company, a “Virtual Family Bank.” FamZoo, the company Bill created, integrates prepaid card accounts with family finance software to help parents and kids develop responsible money habits through hands-on experience.
FamZoo, short for the family zoo, which Bill said represented what he and his wife were going through, seeks to encourage certain money habits within kids, such as spending, savings, and giving responsibly. These are all tenants of Ron Lieber’s book, The Opposite of Spoiled. Separating your resources into functional buckets is a skill worth developing for kids and adults.
Bill, like myself, also found inspiration to help teach our kids about money through the work of David Owen and his book, The First National Bank of Dad. The premise is that kids learn best by doing and what better way to teach sound financial habits than to let kids actually have control of how they use their money.
An unexpected benefit of helping to teach your kids about money is that it can help parents deal with their own issues surrounding money. In addition, it can create great conversations about money between kids and parents and between spouses and partners.
Bill also spends some time walking us through his life transition of going from the corporate world to being an entrepreneur. A transition that resulted in the incredible gift of spending more time with his youngest son by walking him to and from the bus stop each day.
Be sure to listen to the end, where Bill talks about his favorite financial parenting hack, which I completely support!
Please enjoy my conversation with Bill Dwight.