THE 21ST-CENTURY ALLOWANCE

Find it challenging to stick with an allowance schedule? Never have any cash? Consider using technology to help dole out the dollars. You can use a service such as www.threejars.com. For $30 per year, the site lets you set a dollar limit and determine how much of the money your child should give, save and spend. Your kid e-mails you when cash is needed. www.paypal.com also has student accounts you can link to your PayPal account.

You could also load money onto a prepaid card such as Visa Buxx, but with fees for enrollment, fees for checking your balance and fees for lack of use, the card seems to be a better lesson in being nickeled-and-dimed than a good tool for distributing an allowance. Or why not just set up weekly or monthly automatic transfers from your bank account to your child's for free?



KARA MCGUIRE