Growing up, I counted down the days to Saturday, when I would finally get that crisp $5 bill from my parents and either swiftly spend it on Lip Smackers or save it up for a big-ticket item like earrings from Claire's.
But kids today (oh man, I'm officially old) may never know those feelings of anticipation thanks to Amazon's latest feature, which lets teens make purchases — and then sends the bill to their parents.
The program, which launched Wednesday, works like this: Parents create an Amazon account and link their preferred payment method; then, they invite up to four of their kids to create their own logins. After the kids create their usernames and passwords and download the Amazon app, they're free to buy as they please — within the parameters their parents set up.
Parents can set a spending limit per order, and opt to approve each purchase before it's processed. For the latter, parents will receive a text message including a description of the item, a photo and the cost, which they can either approve or deny. Kids can try to sway their parents by attaching a message to their request.
While the program is intended for teens ages 13 to 17, it's up to parents to decide at what age they'll give their kids spending power. Parents' Prime membership applies to the kids' purchases, as well.
With this feature, parents could essentially set up digital allowances for their kids, letting them buy what they please, whether it's the latest toy or game; or they could encourage them to take greater ownership of their personal purchases, like school supplies, sports equipment or lunch staples.