Let's face it. Everybody out there -- before you were a parent you were somebody's kid. And when it came to spending their buck, you were all for it. Nothing was too good for you.
Once the tables have turned however, it's a whole other story. As parents, you do what you can for your kids -- maybe spring for one pair of designer jeans or a fancier backpack than usual -- but for the most part parenting is about saying no; a lot. One way you can grease the wheels and spare yourself from a few minutes of high-pitched whining is to say: Well, I'll pitch in X amount of dollars, and if you want that fancy Y over there, you can use your allowance to make up the difference.
Some kids will jump on it -- their money's in their hands faster than you can blink. Other kids will turn into unbelievable tightwads -- they'll glare at you and solemnly say no dice. Whichever kind of kid you've got, congratulations. You've probably distracted them and you've saved yourself some cash.