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“Tere are restrictions and they need to check with us before they make a purchase. We have open communications.” Landis believes in restrictions


as well. “I don’t think kids should be able to spend their allowances on whatever they want,” she says. “Children are minors, and parents have the right to tell them what they can and can’t spend it on. It’s impor- tant for parents to monitor the situ- ation.” Landis points to iTunes as an ex-


ample. “Parents should be able to approve or disapprove of songs their children want to buy.” What if a child buys something


of which the parent disapproves? “While most kids are with a parent or an adult when making purchases, older kids have more freedom,” she says. “Tey need to understand how money relates to the family’s values, however.” She cites technology as an example. “A teen may have saved to buy the latest technology. Tat may call for a discussion, during which time parents could explain that the child’s current technology is ad- equate and the family doesn’t need the latest new thing.” Conveying the value of money


and the concepts of saving and do- nating to worthy causes are very important and should be part of the learning process of allowances, ac- cording to Landis. “Children should be required to


save some of their allowance,” she says. “Tis is also a good opportu- nity to talk to them about donating some of their allowance, whether they give to church or a charity,” she explains. Te Wilson children give


some of their allowances to their church, and the rest is theirs to save or spend on approved purchases. “We go with them to deposit money to save. It definitely gives them a sense of pride,” Wilson says. A trip to the bank can be a great


way to help educate a child about the importance of saving, says Melissa Clayton, general manager of the Mentor Commons branch of Hun- tington National Bank. “Teaching a child the concept of ‘pay yourself first’ as a means of saving some of their allowance is an important life skill,” she says. “Parents can bring their child into the bank to set up a savings account for the child, so he or she sees the bank as a friendly, positive place. It’s important to get a child into the habit of saving at a young age so they get into the habit of building a solid financial future for themselves.” Te bottom line with allowances


is that, once parents have addressed the issues surrounding allowances, they shouldn’t beat themselves up if they don’t get it perfectly, says Landis. “As long as the kids have some way of earning or receiving some money, practicing responsi- ble spending, saving and donating, that to me is the most important point.”


Lynne Meyer, APR, is president of A Way With Words (www.awaywithwords lynne.com) a local public relations and marketing communications agency.


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