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  1. Angela Mainse says:

    I am lucky enough to never have borrowed from my parents, even though I know my sister has. My mom (dad is deceased), never asked for a balance on her account, and she has never asked for mine, not even as a teenager. As a teenager she taught me money management and to look to the future but gave me the opportunity to make my own choices. We do talk candidly about our financial situations, but in general terms, not specific dollars – she is a retiree on a very tight budget and we are now a 1 income family with 1 child. I am trying to go back to school in the fall and my mom is concerned about whether we can financially sustain ourselves. Even as a result, she would never ask me for my balance, just lend support emotionally to help me on my journey.

    This person asking the question really needs a sit down with her parents and express some limits. Mr. CBB is right, if she doesn’t get a handle on it now, they may be wanting such details after marriage. It is important to set boundaries. At age 21 she is an adult and hasn’t defaulted to her parents. They need to learn to trust her and let her make her own choices and even mistakes if need be. I know I certainly could have saved more money when I was 21 and just didn’t, if I could go back I would have handled my money much differently. But my mom (and dad at the time) let me choose my path. Good luck!

    • Well said Angela I agree. If your parents wanted to have access to your account would you have let them when you were younger?

      • Angela Mainse says:

        No, I wouldn’t have let them have access based on my life experiences. But that said, they didn’t help me with my college tuition (occasionally a few dollars for groceries or gave me food) and I felt no obligation to do so. I would like to say if they did help I wouldn’t have as well, but frankly my parents just weren’t the type. My mom taught me coupons from a very early age, we struggled to get food on the table sometimes and I would help out too, money was just tight. So, she was trying to help me get a leg up and encourage my independence rather than curb it. That said, I have an account set up for my son that we’ve been saving for his university or college education, but he is aware that he will not have access to that money until he is in post secondary school. Once he is old enough to manage an account on his own, we will open a separate one for him and let him learn the same way I did.

  2. It would suck to have your parents being so snoopy! My Mom still has access to my bank account, but mostly so she can deposit money into it :-) ie- “here is money to buy X for your spouse’s birthday from us”
    My Father in law is an income tax accountant and has access to all of our accounts, but not for snooping purposes, just for tax time.
    Anne @ Unique Gifter recently posted…A Weekend Getaway Gift IdeaMy Profile

  3. My mom was this way, because when I got my first checking account, her name was on it as well. When I went to college though (they didn’t help me pay for it), I opened a new account without her. If I hadn’t, she would still be checking up on me even though I’m married!

    • WOW, you think she would still check up on you even though you are married. Amazing how far some parents would go. My mum and dad are too busy worrying about their own finances that the last thing they’d want to do is snoop into mine. Good for you getting your own account.

  4. No matter how you deal with the situation (and I do recommend dealing with it), be KIND!

    I’d say something like this,

    “I appreciate you both being concerned about my financial health. You’ve helped me get into a position where I’m financially stable. I really appreciate that. But I feel perhaps you’re worrying yourselves too much. You did well in teaching me about money. At this point I feel my finances are under control. How about in the future I just let you know if I’m having any troubles. That way you don’t have to worry about checking in. Does that sound reasonable?”

    It will be hard for them to say it’s unreasonable.

    You’re smart for taking care of this now before it permanently damages your relationship.

    I’m 24 by the way so I realize how weird it can be to sever chords with your parents.
    Will, First Quarter Finance recently posted…Become Frugal with 1 TrickMy Profile

  5. My son’s bank account is his. He lets me know now and then what he has in his chequing and his savings. I currently don’t have him helping with any of the household expenses. His bill is his cell phone bill only.

    But I know a neighbor, whose son is 22, who does monitor her son’s bank account. He assists where needed with expenses since his mom is disabled, however, when he’s out and about, she will go into his account to see what he’s been spending. Why he continues to put up with her having access to his account is beyond me. I’m sure if he knew how often she checks what he’s spending, he may buck up and put a stop to it. He’d be better paying board of so much a month in order to have control of his bank account.

    • Interesting to hear that she does that. There must be a reason beyond being nosey or she wants to make sure he’s not blowing money so there is enough to help pay with her expenses.

  6. I’m only 18 but I really appreciate having my mom on my bank account with me. Sometimes I will ask her to sit down with me so I can go over what I have and make sure I’m on track for reaching my goals. It’s a big help to have her advice and something I want. Because she is on my account she can see every transaction. I think the key for me is that I WANT her help and she is willing to help me. I have no doubt that when I am ready to be completely on my own she will respect my privacy.
    Eva recently posted…The Story Of Buying My First Car – Part 2My Profile

    • As you get older, move out and maybe get into a relationship your thoughts on having your mom looking into your bank account along with your future spouses feelings might change. Like you mention you are pretty sure she will respect your privacy and with everything you’ve learned your mom I’m sure is very proud of you Eva. You are young now and like myself I had my parents help me too until I moved out on my own.

  7. I just also downloaded the CBB Budget Spreadsheet because I only use a mobile application. My parents paid my full tuition when I was in my college days until I graduated, my mom doesn’t snoop on my bank account. Right now, I help my family because we are a one income family, my father was the only one who was working for our family and now I need to support my family “mom and sister”, even in a little ways.
    Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way recently posted…Tackling the Investors: How to start upMy Profile

  8. Christine Weadick says:

    In spite of the teaching our older boy is not good with money, not sure but his impulsiveness might be related to his Asperger’s. I still talk to him about his money just to keep an eye on things. He’s OK with this as he does realize he needs that over-sight.
    When our daughter went to college she needed help with school so we co-signed a student line of credit for her. Hubby could check the balance online as his name was on it, but the only thing we could do was make a payment on it. That has since been paid off so we do not have any more access to the account.
    When the younger boy got his first savings account he was young enough that I went in with him. Our deal was that my name was on it and he could deposit Birthday money or what ever but he needed my signature to withdraw money. When he wanted to go shopping for Christmas or other times I went in with him to take the money he figured he needed out. Once he was older we removed the requirement for my signature. We found out after that my name was still on it and when hubby and I went to the bank for things like the mortgage his account balance showed up on the print out of our accounts. We talked to the bank and the only way right now to stop that happening is for him to shut down that account and open a new one.He decided to leave things the way they are, as he felt that going that route was too much of a pain in his fanny. He simply doesn’t care that I can easily find out his balance. To be honest I don’t bother looking to see what he has, it’s his business. I just need to remember what that account is when ever we get that printout…..
    He and his sister are capable of looking after things themselves. The older boy, not so much, but he doesn’t mind showing me what he has as he knows he needs that help. He and I talk about things before he gets anything beyond his smokes. That is just the way it has to be.
    Each one of our kids is different in style and temperment as well as ability to handle the finances. As a parent it is my job to give what help is needed and to know when it isn’t. Not every parent can let go that easily or know when they need to back off. This parent does need to back off some. The best idea might be to get what this person owes her parents paid off as quickly as possible in order to prove, if possible, that they are capable of handling their own affairs. That said, the parents may not be willing to back off then but will need to be told, gently, that it is no longer their concern…

  9. I am really surprised in the comments how many parents still have access to their adult children’s accounts! I would recommend to your reader that they get a new bank account without a parent’s name on it, and keep the details private. A parent could use just the account number to deposit gift money, but not have the password to check balances online. Or just change the password if the parent’s name isn’t on the account. The conversation could then be, “Here’s what I’ve decided to do.” I’m sure it would make the parents feel better if the reader provided updates voluntarily (such as “I started an emergency savings fund and it will be paid up by the end of the year”) or asks for advice (such as “I have $500 in my savings now and I’m wondering if I should open a TFSA?”) Probably the parents want reassurance and like to feel needed!

    I have a 21-year-old who is financially struggling but I don’t have access to their account, nor want it. I’d rather have conversations, than do surveillance!
    Dar @ anexactinglife recently posted…Summer SelfMy Profile

  10. This is a tough situation to be in. I was lucky to have my parents fund most of my college education – I was responsible for incidentals like books, parking etc. I unfortunately had a lack of judgement with my money twice in my life and my parents have bailed me out both times, BUT I paid them back. I’ve since learned that borrowing money from family is not a good idea and I’ve sat them down and had a discussion that I will no longer accept ANY money from them. I’ve told them politely that I need to fail, learn and figure it out on my own. It’s unfortunate but when you borrow money from parents it gives them the impression that you need constant financial advice and that they’re entitled to regular updates as to how much you owe and what’s in your bank account. I’m 38 and I get treated like a high school kid, or I did until I had that talk with them.
    Michelle recently posted…Rafael Nadal, The French Open and FinancesMy Profile

  11. Crystal, I think it’s wonderful that your parents raised you to be money smart and careful with how you use your money. In addition, they offered you some financial support to help pay for college, which you are the process of paying back. From your remarks, it sounds like your payments to your parents are going well, meaning that you haven’t missed a payment or been late, which I could understand that alarming your parents. My guess is that your parents – like many parents – are having a hard time letting go. They want to make sure you’re okay, which is lovely but at the same time it’s understandable that you also want some independence and privacy. As others suggested, I would sit down and have a heart-to-heart with them. Be incredibly respectful because from what you described is doesn’t sound like their nosiness is meant to be hurtful but more like habit. Thank them for their generosity and for teaching you how to value and use your money wisely. Because I believe much of their nosiness is out of concern, give them one final walk through to soothe their concerns, then ask them to respect your privacy. Reassure them that if something changes or you need sound money advice, they are your first call, but thanks to their help and lessons, you are ready to manage your finances by yourself. Hope that helps and good luck!

    And thanks, Mr. CBB for the shout-out. I am a hands-on parent but I definitely want to raise my girls to independent. I’m not going to be giving them wake-up calls in college to make sure they get up in time to go to class or call their professors to complain about a bad grade. Yikes!
    Shannon @ The Heavy Purse recently posted…Ebook Review: How To Teach Your Kids about MoneyMy Profile

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