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by Abigail Van Buren

Checks Given to Nieces Are Meant to Be Lessons as Well as Gifts

DEAR ABBY: I have four nieces I adore. As they're getting older, preteen to teen, I give them checks for birthdays and holidays. I have told them I do it because I want them to learn about banking, saving money for college, as well as enjoying some of it. My grandmother did the same for me when I was their age, and that's how I learned to manage the money I have.

I have noticed, though, that my nieces haven't deposited their checks. I mentioned it to them a few times and their mom said they would, but they haven't. It has been five months now. Should I just give them cash in the future and forget about the banking and money-management lesson? -- LESSONS LEARNED IN WASHINGTON

DEAR LESSONS: If this is the first time you have noticed the checks haven't been cashed, it's possible that they have been lost or misplaced. If this isn't the first time, then ask their mother how she would prefer you give your nieces the money in the future, because it's possible that she hasn't set up accounts for them.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Holidays & Celebrations | Money