I have two kids older than 13 but younger than 18. One is 16+. As they start making their own purchasing decisions, I'm trying to set things up to be convenient for everyone. My current problems are:
- I have to give the kids allowance in cash, meaning constant trips to the ATM.
- Cash isn't so useful anymore; much of what they want to buy is online.
- When they buy online, it's usually attached to my credit card, which is then hard to track among my own purchases, and even then they give me the cash, which is then a pain for me to manage. (I categorize expenses, and wads of cash mix together and become hard to track.)
The kids have bank accounts, to which I could transfer allowance funding electronically, but they aren't very accessible. The 16+ account has an ATM card, but that still means a trip to the bank. The younger child account does not allow withdrawals unless my child and I go to a branch in person. And then, again, the child has cash, which is not so useful.
How can I set things up so I can give them allowance electronically, and they can spend it electronically (or convert to cash), without needing me as a clearinghouse? Can children have their own credit or debit cards, secured by an account that's theirs to manage?
(I should add that my kids are competent and trustworthy; this is only about funding mechanics, not oversight or protection, which I intend to handle via education.) Also, I'm in the United States.