Carolyn Self, and daughter Ava Crouch, 11, now are extra careful to make sure Ava doesn’t make any unnecessary purchases online.
Carolyn Self, and daughter Ava Crouch, 11, now are extra careful to make sure Ava doesn’t make any unnecessary purchases online.

My daughter racked up a massive iTunes bill

One in three parents admit their children have spent money on digital services without getting permission.

There's no denying younger generations are more tech-savvy than ever before but it sometimes ends up leaving a hole in their parents' pockets.

Research from MyState Bank found parents aren't all that pleased with the digital economy - 67 per cent believe the move towards a cashless society would leave their children worse off.

Mother-of-two Carolyn Self was left on two occasions with whopping bills after her 11-year-old daughter, Ava, accidentally made purchases online using Mrs Self's iPad.

Her daughter purchased a giant lolly, a 1.2m gummy worm for $100 from eBay leaving her mum gobsmacked when she found out.

Carolyn Self and her daughter, Ava Crouch, 11, looking at an iPad. Ava accidentally purchased items on the iPad that ended up costing her mother hundreds of dollars.
Carolyn Self and her daughter, Ava Crouch, 11, looking at an iPad. Ava accidentally purchased items on the iPad that ended up costing her mother hundreds of dollars.

Mrs Self managed to recoup the money from the seller, until another purchase happened.

"Ava was playing on the iPad and was really into dragons and she downloaded the game because it was free," Mrs Self said.

"Then she came running up to me because she had the whole collection of dragons, then my phone beeped and I'd made a $330 purchase.

"I have password security on absolutely everything now so there's no way my children can make a purchase without me putting my password in."

Just last week former AFL footballer Brendan Fevola revealed to his horror his nine-year-old daughter, Lulu, racked up a $4000 iTunes bill without his knowledge.

Carolyn Self, and daughter Ava Crouch, 11, now are extra careful to make sure Ava doesn’t make any unnecessary purchases online.
Carolyn Self, and daughter Ava Crouch, 11, now are extra careful to make sure Ava doesn’t make any unnecessary purchases online.


MyState Bank spokeswoman Heather McGovern said parents needed "parental controls in place" on digital devices.

"Kids need to understand if they are spending money digitally in the first place," she said.

"Money isn't that tangible to when many of us where growing up."

She said giving children physical pocket money was still really important because "when it's gone it's gone and it helps with their maths skills".

Ms McGovern urged parents to also "make sure your kids understand they are spending money and they are accountable for it".

Brendan Fevola with his daughters, Mia, Lulu, and Leni. Picture: Jay Town
Brendan Fevola with his daughters, Mia, Lulu, and Leni. Picture: Jay Town

Money Savvy Kids founder Dianne Charman said many parents had a PayPal account linked to some apps and said with many games parents initially enter their credit card details.

"You need to go back in and take out those details," she said.

"A lot of the time these purchases happen by accident where they spend money and they don't click and realise they are spending."

Ms Charman also suggested when children want to buy credits for online games they should go to their money box and hand over cash to their parents, so they understand the cost.

"While we still use cash it really helps with the lessons that there is a finite amount of money here," she said.

"Once they hand it over it's gone, or they tap their card it's gone."

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth


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