How to create an iTunes allowance for your kids

How to create an iTunes allowance for your kids

Thinking about creating an iTunes allowance for your kids this holiday season? If they've got an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad you may not want to give them unfettered access to your own iTunes account (Justin who--!?! Smurfberry what--?!?!) but do want to let them learn a little about personal finances and opportunity cost. iTunes allowances can be a great middle ground and we'll show you how to set one up, after the break!

  • Launch iTunes on your Windows or Mac computer
  • Click on the iTunes Store in the menu on the left
  • You will see the Quick Links menu on the right hand side of the iTunes Store
  • Click on Buy iTunes Gifts
  • Scroll down till you see Allowances and click set up an allowance now
  • Fill in the form and voila you have set up an allowance for your kids to use

If they don't already have an Apple ID, you can create one for them.

Allowances can range from $10 to $50 (?!) a month. Also, according to Apple:

You can set the allowance to begin immediately or on the first of the coming month. Amounts not spent in one month roll over into the next, and you can close the account at any time, withdrawing any funds currently in it.

Have you used an iTunes allowance with your kids? If so, how's it working out? Let us know in comments!


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There are 12 comments. Add yours.

Mrsoul says:

Cool, I never knew. Good idea for my soon-to-be 13yo son. Beats buy the cards all the time. Thanks!

Paul says:

Wow that's freakin awesome!! Thanks for the tip!!!

MacDad says:

Does the account created for the allowance function as a sub-acount to my main iTunes account? Can is share application licenses with the main account, just as you can share apps with up to 5 iOS devices under the same iTunes account?

MooPenguin32 says:

Can you use this for your own account? This would be good to keep me from spending all of my money on apps. Right now, I buy an iTunes gift card and buys apps with that until my balance is depleted.

Brian Tufo says:

@David yes. You can choose the amount up to $50. If you have money left over at the end of the month it just rolls into the next month.

Rahat Maini says:

Do you need a credit card or does it work with cards

LzarEus says:

Never knew about this. Sounds great since I constantly buy iTunes gift cards to replenish funds in my account.

Rick Anderson says:

This is great. Anything to help control spending is well worth it. I wish I knew about it a year ago:)

Graham K. Rogers says:

Not in all stores apparently. I guess this must apply to those with music, such as US, UK. App stores do not appear to have this.

Fred says:

A friend of mine is becoming a multiple-iOS device family (1 iPhone and 4 iPod touches). He and his wife each have separate iTunes accounts, and the kids devices are split between the two accounts. The kids are starting to make significant investments in apps and music, I'm just wondering if they will regret one day having it setup that way, as I don't know any way for the kids to break out their individual app and music purchases into their own accounts once they are old enough to do so. Was wondering if anyone else had a similar experience, and what others recommend. I like the idea of sub-accounts that would be tied to the parents iTunes, but could be spun-off into an individual account at some point in the future.

Jo Holmes says:

Would love to read any responses to Fred and MacDad. Both of their questions are relevant in my household.

simon Cavill says:

THIS PROCESS DOES NOT WORK - Typical Apple takes the money but I cant create an account for my son as he is too young (11) and his date of birth is rejected when setting up an iTunes identity.
Round and round in a stupid lawyer-driven loop... Thanks for nothing Apple!