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Controlling a teenagers spending with a credit card.

With the ever changing technology we can now give our children a credit card which will control spending.

An Arizona company has introduced a debit card, which uses a V-chip-like computer control, letting parents set spending limits, review statements and even select where it can be used. For example, parents can make sure their children’s debit cards work at gas stations but not liquor stores. This card is called the Allow Card.

For the parent it is a way to teach the child about money and for the child it is really easy to use and they do not have to worry about carrying money around.

Being able to trace their transactions is a good way to help children learn about expenses and allows them to see and understand what their spending habits are. With this information they can control their money.

If, for example by the 15th of the month, the allowance has been used, visiting the Allow Card Web site lets the family review the records so they can figure out where the money went. In addition to providing financial information and controls, the Allow Card Web site has lessons in personal finance designed for teens.

Attempts to launch similar cards have failed in the past, but the designers of the Allow Card think they have found a way to make their offering succeed — by marketing it through interest groups such as PTAs while splitting the fees it generates up a chain of distributors. The card costs $20 to activate and $3.50 a month.

The creators of the card decided on a debit card for teens with a fixed amount of value that could not be overspent. Working with a card processing company in Texas, they also developed software that lets parents set limits. $1.2 million was raised from about 10 investors to start Allow Card of America Inc. in Mesa, Arizona two years ago.

The first model of the card required the user to enter a personal identification number (PIN) to make a transaction, but that feature was a problem, so late last year, Allow Card teamed up with MasterCard to put out a product that can be used without a PIN, like any credit card.

Today, Visa offers a debit card aimed at teens through banks called Visa Buxx. It allows parents to see how the money is being spent but does not give them the ability to block its use at particular stores. However, fees for Visa Buxx are lower than for the Allow Card.

Time will tell if this type of card would come under unclaimed property laws if lost. All states hold unclaimed property, but the laws do differ. If you want to know if you have any money or personal assets that have not been accounted for, go to www.CashUnclaimed.com and find out. It is as easy as entering your name and waiting for the results. Many have found their lost funds.

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