A Parent's Tool for Curbing Online Spending

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If you’re ever concerned about handing over your credit card to your teenager to shop online, a new Web site could help ease your worries.

Whether your teens can’t stop shopping, or even if they just make a few reasonable purchases online, the site BillMyParents.com, launched in December, aims to help you keep a handle on your teen’s spending by having each purchase sent to you for approval.

It could even be better than giving your kid a prepaid debit card, since you’ll have some say in online shopping decisions. 

How the Site Works
BillMyParents.com, powered by Amazon.com (Stock Quote: AMZN), acts as an intermediary between you, your teen and online retailers. For 50 cents per transaction, whenever your teen places an order through the site, you receive an email notification so you can log into the BillMyParents site to approve or deny the purchase.

Teens can shop for clothes, books, computers, games, fitness equipment and other items, or they can spend money on a few gaming and social networking sites, through the BillMyParents site.

And since you store or enter your credit card information yourself, it stays safe from your teen’s urges to spend until you approve.

(Kids younger than 13 can use the site, but parents are required to place orders for their kids anyway, so save the 50 cents and shop directly through Amazon.com, or another retailer, together.)

A Teaching Tool, Too
BillMyParents.com is not just for keeping the reins on your children’s spending.  The site gives you a chance to discuss planned purchases and the difference between necessary and frivolous items.

It may even help your teen avoid compulsive shopping and help teach delayed gratification.  Just waiting for your approval online can give teens time to think twice about whether they’re really willing to spend their allowance or your hard-earned cash.


Related Stories:

MTV Launches Game to Teach Smart Spending

Money Lessons for Kids: A Budgeting Piggy Bank

Tips for Parents: Teach Money Skills at Any Age

 

 

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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