The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 11, 1997 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 11, 1997
Page 3
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.THE SALINA JOURNAL CONSUMER SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1997 T KIDS AND MONEY Allowance teaches management BRIEFLY Kids can learn to save and spend wisely with a weekly allowance • An allowance can be one of the best ways to help children learn the basics of money management. It is simply a spe- ^ •'clfic amount of money given to a child on a regular basis. Parents can start an allowance as soon as chil- '"dren grasp an understanding of the function of money. Although 4 or 5 years old may seem young, by that age children '"-'are usually ready 1 to begin learning rhow to manage ;;money. ' £-' The purpose of an allowance is '.•to introduce young children to the • idea of a fixed income and to begin ! shifting responsibilities for set- ! T CONSUMER CORNER MARY LOU ODLE KSU-Satine Count)' Extension Agent- Family and Consumer Sciences ting goals, planning, making decisions and carrying them out from you to your child. A set allowance requires a child to make choices about what is wanted most out of that income, if your child squanders allowance money at first, remember this is part of learning. Some parents think of an allowance as a wage for chores. But if children are paid for every bit of work they do, they do not learn much about the responsibilities of being a family member. By giving them regular chores without payment, parents teach children to accept responsibility and give them the good feeling of being a productive part of the family. Parents who use the allowance as a teaching tool commonly wonder what that allowance should cover. An allowance usually includes money for specified items and money children are free to spend as they please. The money for agreed-upon items teaches the costs of necessary purchases, while the remainder teaches decision making. If there are restrictions on what your child can purchase, discuss those ahead of time. The amount of allowance parents give their child should be reasonable, take in consideration family circumstances, the age and ability of the child, and the items the allowance is to cover. A good rule of thumb is the allowance should be large enough to cover basic needs plus a little extra for savings and spending, yet be small enough that it requires decision making on the part of the child. Zillions magazine reported that the median allowance for 9- to 10- year-olds is $3 a week and $5 a week for 11- and 12-year-olds. The children received some additional money as well — an average $2 for 9- and 10-year-olds and about $5 for 11- to 12-year-olds. The allowance should be given to the child on a certain day of the week — no more, no less, no sooner and no later. Children should not have to beg or remind parents for the allowance. If the allowance is given in the middle of the week instead of just before th6 weekend, children gradually will learn how to stretch their dollars until the next payday. Parents cannot come to the rescue every time their children run out of money. Parents who are constantly giving their children extra money for special occasions are teaching their children they do not really have to be responsible with their money, that someone will always bail them out. If a child overspends and asks for more money, parents can turn that into an opportunity to earn extra cash. Parents might keep a list of tasks such as cleaning out the basement storeroom or garage or washing windows that can be done for extra cash. An allowance given when children are young helps them learn the basics of money management for that time when they get their first job and eventually become self-supporting. Law guards against unsolicited credit cards | Consumer got firm to i Cancel card that had ~ftever been received '• Dear Attorney General StoVall: & short time ago, I received a lhailed advertisement for a credit pard. There were several special features offered that sounded appealing. I set the materials aside thinking I would £ead through the literature when I h'ad more time. I forgot all about it lintil I was clean- i ing my desk sever! al weeks later. I ; stopped and read ;the brochures ; fcarefully. The of' fer sounded good, ! but left me with |several unan- * ; swered questions, • : feo I threw it in the trash. I already • had several credit cards and did ' not really want another one. I i A few weeks later, I received a | Statement for a credit card annual ; fee of $18. To the best of my knowl- 1 edge, I had not ever received a ! * HEATING COSTS About the column Attorney Genera! Carla J. Stovall offers this public service to help you avoid becoming a victim of consumer fraud. Although'; ; some of the details have been changed, the cases appearing in this column are based on factual complaints. For further information or to file a complaint, please write: ' • , Attorney General Carla J. Stovall ' j ' Consumer Protection Division Kansas Judicial Center . Top6ka, Kansas 66612 Or call the toll-free Consumer Hotline, 1-800-432-2310. Leave your name, number and subject of your inquiry Vvith the, receptibnist and an agent will return your call promptly. CARLA STOVALL Kansas Attorney General credit card from this company. Perhaps I had thrown it away with some other unopened junk mail, but I know I never authorized opening an account with this company. I called the number on the statement to cancel the account, but could never get through because the line was always busy. I was really concerned that there may be a credit card out there with my name on it that could be used by someone else. When I finally reached the company to cancel the account, it of- fered to keep it open with no annual fee. I tried to explain that I did not have the card and the company finally agreed to close the account. Attorney General Stovall, I was forced to go through a lot of trouble to close an account I did not open. Credit card companies should not be allowed to simply open an account and send a card without the, consumer's authorization. I feel I was put at great financial risk. Can you get their practice stopped? Dear Kansas Consumer: The company claimed that your ac- count was pre-approved and solicited by an outside telemarketing agency. .This agency indicated that you accepted the offer. It apologized for the misunderstanding and assured you that the account was closed and you are under no obligation. The Kansas Consumer Protection Act, '. which my office enforces, protects consumers in situations like this. When a business voluntarily, issues a credit card to a person vpo has not requested or solicited siich card and has neither signedinor used the unsolicited card, that person shall not be liable for any use or misuse of the card if it is ; lost or stolen. However, once a person accepts the credit card by signing and/or using it, whether that person requested the card or not, the card is no longer considered "unsolicited" under the law's definition. In summary, if a person receives an unsolicited credit card, but does not sign or use it, that person is not liable for any use or misuse if the card is lost of stolen. If the person signs and uses or renews the card, that person is as responsible as he/she would be for an account they requested to have opened. Chrysler recalls minivans, cars AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Chrysler Corp. is recalling several makes of minivans and automobiles because of potential seat belt and steering problems. Seat belt buckle covers on the front and rear seats of 1991-1993 minivans may dislodge and cause the seat belts to be only partially latched, the company said. Included in the minivan recall are the Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan and Plymouth Voyager and Grand Voyager models. Chrysler said it will contact 1.1 million owners in the U.S. as well as about 214,000 owners in Canada and abroad. Also facing a recall are 1995 Dodge and Plymouth Neon models. Tests on those models revealed that severe damage to the Neon's undercarriage could separate the steering column and cause a loss of steering. The Neon recall effects about 375,000 U.S. owners and 100,000 owners in Canada and abroad. Vehicles will be serviced at no charge. Fans pose fire risk, should be returned WASHINGTON — Envirotech Electric Inc. fans are being recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and at least nine retailers. The electric oscillating fans' plastic enclosures pose fire and shock hazards because they contain power cords that can come apart and expose live electrical parts, the commission said. The $13 to $35 fans were sold nationwide from January 1997 Staying warm should be less expensive this winter ; By The Associated Press • \ WASHINGTON — The warmer iitemperatures that blanketed !!much of the United States last i;winter will be felt in the form of ; ;lower heating costs this winter, i • The Energy Department's Ener- l!gy Information Administration ;!said this week that the relatively ; ;mild winter of 1996-97 left supplies ; ;of heating oil, propane and natur- j-'al gas at a higher level than last ^year. !! As a result, homeowners can ex' ;pect smaller heating bills this winder. The average homeowner using heating oil should save between $60 and $70 this winter, compared to last year. Natural gas bills are expected to drop about $20. And customers who heat their homes with propane can look for savings of more than $90. "It appears that the nation is in pretty good shape," said Jay Hakes, the agency's administrator. "It's a different picture than we were seeing at this time last year." Last year, the unusually cold winter of 1995-96 had diminished fuel supplies, and prices of heat- ing oil and natural gas surged as utility companies scrambled to replenish their reserves. The cold temperatures during the fall and early winter exacerbated the situation, as utilities tried to keep up with demand. Customers howled, and governments investigated the sharp price increases. But once temperatures turned warmer, prices dropped and utilities wound up with higher reserves than expected. There is enough propane and heating oil to meet the extra demand if temperatures this winter are colder than normal, Hakes through June 1997 at Hechint r Co., All-American Home Centers, Home Base, BJ's Wholesale Clwfc, Ace Hardware Corp., Marc's, "!,, Menard's, Rose's Stores and SUp- ply One. Consumers should re-*turn the fans to the stores whece purchased for a refund. Ford denies hiding info from government WASHINGTON — Ford Motofr- Co. officials has denied that the automaker concealed knowledge 1 from the government about mil-" lions of vehicles prone to stalling. Last month, the government's , highway safety agency sent Ford a rare "special order" letter. It re- < quired officials to swear they .,',V. turned over all documents relevant to several government investiga--''" tions into the vehicles in the 1980s — or explain why they didn't. ' At issue were 17 documents .;•" that Michael Brownlee, a former, top investigator for the agency,','" said showed that Ford's respond es to two federal investigations,^ in 1984 and 1985, were "less than candid." Brownlee's declaration, was filed in July in connection; with a California lawsuit. From Wire Service Reports Satellite Sales & Service , Service on all models. C-band, 1 day service , r . (785)825-7806 SPA REPAIR 823-POOL 1 -80Q-Ad9-PUJS • POOL'S PLUS' ADAMHEALYI 2075 S.0tik>, Suite 7B, 823-7713 .j* For auto, home and life Being in good hands " is the only pkce to her . Waynes ay Wi indows Financing Available Door* • Windows • Storm Doors Wayne Wetzel, Owner DougWetzel - (913) 827-5600 Carl Strecker - (913) 827-5050 When you think of Windows think ofWbyne. said. But natural gas supplies are only slightly higher than last year, meaning that they could be drained by an unusually severe winter, which would force natural gas prices higher. "If there's one variable, it would be the weather," Hakes said. The drop in fuel prices is expected to spread to gasoline. Tink's Auto Repair & 4 Wheel Drive Shop SALINAS ONLY AWHEEL SPECIALIST * Complete Service Center * Spicer Drive Train Components * New Process Transfer Case Parts * Rebuilt Transfer Cases In Stock * Jeep Replacement Parts Grand Opening Prices Nobody, sells for less! GUARANTEED OUTLET ATTENTION EMPLOYERS! Take advantage of this opportunity to meet future employees on a casual basis. Employment EXPO '97 Saturday,October 25th 10:00 am to 3:00 ptn Salina's Central Mall outlet ma Mid-State Plaza 785-452-9600 10-5 10-9 M-f iXPO '97 will feature: Promotions and Special Events for everyone • Recruit potential interns for your company • Interview for full-time, part-time or entry level positions • EXPO announced on mall marquee • Seminars on Dealing with Conflict, On-the-Job Communication, Interviewing Skills and Completing Job Applications • Resume Critiques There's no charge for you to participate, but space is limited. Please call Steve Oieber or Phyllis Anderson at (913) 827-9383. We need to hear from you by October 16. Many employers have been very successful at this EXPO. As many as 700 people have attended the Employment EXPO. One employer reports hiring as many as 50 people that he first met at the EXPO. Don't miss your chance to meet future employees! 5H1 OCCK Inc. tHuiL the Salina Journal

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