Set Up an iTunes Allowance for Your Child

1
Log into the iTunes store.

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The iTunes store, which offers music, movies, TV shows, games, and other goodies for downloading, allows you to set up an allowance for your child -- a monthly deposit made to an iTunes account that your child can spend in the online iTunes Store. If music is highly motivating for your child, an iTunes allowance is a good element to add to a behavior plan. And if you set up an account for your child that uses only the allowance and gift cards for payment, not your credit card, it's a good lesson in money management, too. When the money placed in the account is spent, nothing more can be purchased until the next deposit.

This step-by-step will take you through the process of starting a new iTunes account using an allowance as the payment method. If your child already has an iTunes account, you can still follow along to set up an allowance for that account, but you can skip some steps.

You'll need an iTunes account of your own to arrange the allowance, and that one will need a credit card attached. Rather not have an account yourself? Buy iTunes gift cards -- available at many brick-and-mortar merchants, including The Apple Store and Target -- to serve as your child's allowance, and use my step-by-step for starting an account with gift cards.

Now, log into the iTunes store using your own account, and you're ready to set things up for your child. (If you don't have iTunes on the computer you're using, download it from the Apple site.)

2
Click on "Buy iTunes Gifts."

Starting an iTunes Account With an Allowance - Step 2
The iTunes Store. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

Allowance set-up is done from the iTunes Store gift page. Find the link that says "Buy iTunes Gifts" on the right side of the storefront and click on it.

3
Scroll down to the allowance information.

Starting an iTunes Account With an Allowance - Step 3
The iTunes Store gift page. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

Scroll down to the section on allowances -- look for the piggy bank on the right -- and click on "Set up an allowance now."

4
Enter the allowance details.

Starting an iTunes Account With an Allowance - Step 4
Allowance set-up form in the iTunes Store. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

Fill out the form to set up the allowance for your child. Some pointers:

Names: "Your name" and "Recipient's name" are for the purpose of the e-mail sent to your child announcing the allowance deposits, so you can go with the names you would use for each other, not your iTunes user names.

Amount: Unfortunately, you can't customize an amount, but have to choose from set figures from $10 to $200. Keep it to the lower end of the scale, and you can still give your child little gift certificates during the month to recognize special achievement. You can easily adjust the allowance amount later through your iTunes account information.

First Installment: Payments will be deposited on the first of every month. If you're doing the allowance set-up after the first, you can decide whether your child still gets a payment for the current month -- payable immediately -- or has to wait for next month's money. Be aware that the new account you will be setting up will not be available for use until that first allowance payment goes in. For immediate use, either start the allowance immediately or set up the account with a gift card instead, and add the allowance later.

Recipient's Apple ID: If you will be setting up a new account for your child using the rest of this step-by-step, click in the circle that says "Create an Apple Account for recipient." If your child already has an iTunes account, click on the circle that says "Use recipient's existing Apple Account," and enter the ID and password information.

Personal Message: Write a little something congratulating your child for hard work and earning this allowance. It will appear in the e-mail sent to your child announcing the allowance.

Terms and Conditions: You can scroll down and read all of the fine print; if appropriate, go over it with your child as well.

When you're done, click "Continue."

5
Sign in to your account again.

Starting an iTunes Account With an Allowance - Step 5
iTunes Store sign-in screen. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

Since this allowance represents a payment from your account, you will be asked to provide your Apple ID and password again. This is the information from your account, not the one you will be setting up for your child. Enter the information and click on "Setup."

6
Create an Apple Account for your child.

Starting an iTunes Account With an Allowance - Step 6
Form for creating an account. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

Here's where you'll set up the account for your child. You'll need an e-mail address for your child's Apple ID, and it can't be one you've already used for your own iTunes account. If your child doesn't have an account already, follow my step-by-step for creating an e-mail account you can monitor, allowing you to keep track of your child's purchases and account correspondence. Enter the e-mail address, your child's first and last name, and your child's birthdate. Select a password that both you and your child will be able to remember easily. Then click "Create."

7
Confirm your purchase.

Starting an iTunes Account With an Allowance - Step 7
Purchase confirmation screen. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

You'll have one last chance to make sure this allowance is something you really want to go ahead with. Check all the details. If you want to change something, click on "Back" and go through the previous steps again as needed. If everything's on-target, click on "Buy." Note that you will not actually be charged for the allowance until the first payment is made -- now, if that's the option you chose, or on the first of next month.

8
Receive confirmation of allowance and account set-up.

Starting an iTunes Account With an Allowance - Step 8
Allowance and account are successfully set up. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

You'll end up at this confirmation screen, affirming that the allowance and the account set-up has been successful. Remember, though, the account does not actually exist until the first allowance deposit goes into it. If you've scheduled that to happen at the first of next month, the new account will not be available until then.

9
Find the e-mail allowance notification.

Starting an iTunes Account With an Allowance - Step 9
Confirmation e-mail. Screenshot of message in Google Gmail

There should be a notification in your child's e-mail inbox announcing the allowance, the amount, the start date, and the Apple ID and password for the new account. Your child doesn't have to do anything -- the money will automatically be deposited.

10
Adjust allowance information as needed.

Starting an iTunes Account With an Allowance - Step 10
The iTunes Store. Screenshot of Apple iTunes application

In the future, if you want to change an allowance amount, suspend an allowance, remove an allowance, or start a new one, click on "Account" from the iTunes Store, then on the "Manage Allowances" button in the right column of the page, below "Purchase History." You'll find a list of allowances you pay for, and options for change.

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