Piggy-Bank Blues

Some parents think an allowance teaches kids about money--but I don't buy it. Here's why

When it comes to money, my parenting style lies somewhere between that of the Godfather and a game-show host: after the family's needs are met, everything else is negotiable. Periodically, I've taken a page out of the Good Parent's Rule Book and given my daughter an allowance, usually accompanied by a little speech about money management, the go-go stock market and the magic of compounding interest.

Unfortunately, I also tend to poach the bills out of her piggy bank late at night to pay the baby sitter or the pizza guy. (One night I even dipped into her petty cash to...

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