iTunes: Setting Up an Allowance for Your Kids

If you've got kids, giving them your Apple ID password (or your credit card info) so that they can buy music from iTunes is a bit risky. You never know when one of them will go crazy and decide to purchase the entire Grateful Dead back catalog, do you? In any case, if you'd like to protect the little buggers' college funds, you can use what are called iTunes Allowances to give them a certain amount of credit every month.

To check it out, either use this link to be taken right to the Allowances page in iTunes, or open iTunes and go to the Store (it's the button in the upper-right of the window by default in iTunes 11).

Then choose Send iTunes Gift from the links on the right.

On the window that appears, select the link at the bottom (Learn More About Gifting).

Then you can scroll down to the Allowances section and choose Set Up an Allowance to (finally!) get started.

Once you're on the iTunes Allowance screen, you'll fill in all of the relevant info. How much money do you want to give to your kiddo every month? When do you want the first installment sent? And does the recipient already have an Apple ID, or would you like to create one?

That was a lotta steps, but as you can see, it's a pretty simple process. There are a few additional details to be aware of, though. First, your kid won't be able to go over the monthly amount without you adding a credit card to his account. I see that as a very good thing! Also, you can cancel the charge any time you want to by visiting your Account page (you can see that choice in my second screenshot above, underneath Quick Links).

And lastly, the amount you give will be automatically deducted from your credit card every month, so if the recipient doesn't use it all, the money will stay as a credit in his or her account. So your seven-year-old could save up to buy that season of Archer she's been dying to see.

What? Archer is completely appropriate for children. Not that I have children, or know any children, or even know what's appropriate for anyone, really. In fact, you all should probably have stopped listening to me a long time ago. It's for the best.