Accessing kids bank accounts??

Alyssa - posted on 04/04/2011 ( 28 moms have responded )

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A few Mums I know admit to accessing their childrens bank accounts either to pay their bills for them or to check where they are spending their money. Ages of the children range from 5 to 34!!

Have you or do you intend on accessing your childrens bank accounts...and why?

How do you think this benefits children? Do you do this for your children's benefit or for your own peace of mind?

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Charlie - posted on 04/07/2011

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Ive used money from my two year olds account when my partners work burned down and we had no other option , I dont feel bad , my kids were fed and if we ever have an emergency like that again ( lets hope not ) then I would do it again .

Happy - posted on 04/07/2011

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Our children age 15 & 5 both have a savings account which used to have a couple hundred dollars each. They now hold 19 and 21 cents respectively. Why, we had an unexpected medical problem and need that money to pay bills. What good is money in the savings accounts if the kids are living on the street. As far as adult children...Why are parents involved in their money at all?

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Kristi - posted on 07/26/2012

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Yah, I know this post is a year old, but I'm going to comment anyways.



I have used my child's money to help with groceries, gas, etc. I've been basically a single mom for most of the last 13 years, whether married or not. My first husband "owned" his own "construction company." This is code for "I can build stuff all by myself" and interestingly enough, the construction field was over saturated with liscensed builders and contractors. Code for "I don't feel like working, right now." We survived on my $9.10/hour job for the 5 of us. (his 2 daughters from his 1st marriage and my daughter) None of them had savings accounts.



When Grace was a baby, I used her "gift" money when we needed it. I always felt like such a douche. I talked to my mom about it and she said she and my dad had to do the same thing before my dad got a good job. She said family is family, from the youngest to the oldest and family helps family in times of need. I still hated doing it but after my mom told me that, I didn't feel quite as guilty.



And now, I'm no longer with hubby #2. Unfortunately, I can't work anymore. Fortunately, I am able to receive disability. (as opposed to being unable to work and receiving nothing) It's not much and I do use her SSI check to help make ends meet. I would love to be able to save it all, but if we don't have utilities or food then I can't do anything for her.



Now, I don't need to use her "gift" money. At this point, she is old enough to decide what she wants to do with it. I do make her save half because inevitably she'll want to make a big purchase, like last week, she wanted a whole bunch of clothes so she paid me to put them on my card. I just transfer it from her account to mine. Ironically, today, she asked how old she had to be to get a job so she could help pay for things. It was bitter-sweet. I hated that she felt worried about finances, as they are my responsibility but I was so proud of her for being so selfless.



When she is older (18+), her money will be her business, unless she asks for help, which is highly unlikely considering she is already much smarter than I am! ; )

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In true emergencies, yes, it would be okay to take money from their accounts. (I mean, who put the money in there in the first place?) My kids don't have accounts yet. We plan to start college funds just as soon as we build up our own emergency fund of 6 months expenses. That emergency fund will keep us from having to access their accounts if a true emergency should occur.

I use my kid's birthday money to buy her things that she needs. Her birthday was last month and I got her a new bag to hold her bathtub toys (the old one was moldy) and new tennis shoes. She's got a little left...I may let her choose something on her own now that she's a big three year old!

Tammy - posted on 06/10/2011

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I don't touch my kids accts because I know how feels and I swore I would never do that to my kids

Tammy - posted on 06/10/2011

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I don't touch my kids accts because I know how feels and I swore I would never do that to my kids

Stifler's - posted on 04/07/2011

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I don't really see it as wrong if you're taking money you put into their account out to buy food etc. It's a legitimate reason. Spending their birthday money no but money you've saved into it and stuff especially if they're a little kid and need something and you don't have the money is not that wrong.

Jodi - posted on 04/07/2011

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I taker money from my son's account, but it is all in consultation with him, LOL. My son is 13 and has his own bank account, and also has his own debit card. His allowance gets paid into it, as well as anything he has earned that is paid work, and he can use it, but I still like him to consult me before taking money from it. I do check on it from time to time, and when we add credit to his phone, it comes from his money - I pay it from my credit card, and then transfer it from his bank account to mine. I am still a signatory on the account.

Funny thing though, when we went to get his debit card (they allow kids to have them from age 13), they nearly flipped out when he and I worked out his PIN together. They told him he wasn't allowed to tell ANYONE including me. I just laughed and said, well, it's on my Internet Banking anyway, so if I'm going to clean out his account, I could. But I wouldn't. It is his money. He really doesn't use his account that much.

Amy - posted on 04/07/2011

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My kids do have their own accounts. I had one when I was a child also. I would only take money from them/access funds to feed them or keep a roof over their heads if finances ever got that bad. They have full and complete access......but they are 2 and 4. Not likely they will be pulling $ out.

I know from working at a bank that there are UTTMA accounts that you can put in child's name but child cannot just go pull tons of money out until they are either 18 or the parents signs for it with them. Helps to keep their money there and not use it irresponsibly. Which I'm only for if it's the parents' money that's going in there and not the child's paycheck/birthday money/etc.

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I, of course, have access to my girls accounts since they are minors. Once they are 18 I won't have any reason to have access. I don't touch their money (they only have $100 each), but I do tell them all the time that if they lose/break something due to carelessness... THEY will be taking the money out of the bank to pay it back.

Lori - posted on 04/07/2011

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Right now I have access to my kids accounts and will until they are of legal age.. But once they are legal their accounts are their responsibility.

Right now I just deposit money into them.. and forget about them.

The only reason I could see for looking at an adult childs account is if they ask me to because they need help. Just to sign in to see what they are doing is wrong.

Mel - posted on 04/05/2011

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Thats wrong Sarah my nanna always gives our kids money as shes too old to get out to get anything we take them to buy something, or with the little one we just chose something ourselves

Bonnie - posted on 04/05/2011

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Taking money from a child is wrong IMO. Checking up on the account I don't see a problem with especially when they are under 18. A 34 year old's bank account should be left alone. That just doesn't make sense to me.

Sarah - posted on 04/05/2011

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This reminds of someone I know who takes the birthday/xmas money out of her kids cards and keeps it for herself!! She says that most of it will end up getting spent on them anyway, so it makes no difference!

If our kids get money in cards, they get to go out and choose something to buy with it.

Anyway, slightly off topic I guess, but similar! :)

Toni - posted on 04/05/2011

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I have bank accounts for all of my 3 boys but it is only me who puts money into it. I have them so I always have money to buy them their birthday/christmas presents. If I'm running short some months, then yes, I'll take money out to buy a few extra groceries or sometimes even to take them to the cinemas. No birthday or christmas money from grandparents or aunts/uncles etc goes into it, only my money so I figure I have the right to decide what it gets spent on.

Becky - posted on 04/04/2011

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Our boys both have accounts, which we do have access to. We put money they get for gifts and the money we get from recycling our bottles into them. Because they are only 1 and 3, yes, I do access them. Right now, it's only depositing money into them. I wouldn't ever withdraw money from it to pay our bills or anything, but to pay for something for them, like the play centre we're building them this year, we will. Once they are a couple years older, they will get an allowance and will be expected to save some and deposit it into the bank, and at that point, they can start doing their own withdrawals, with help.
For a parent to access their adolescent or adult child's account is wrong, IMO. that's a total invasion of privacy!

Johnny - posted on 04/04/2011

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My daughter (who is only 2 1/2) has a savings account that I require access to. The purpose of having this access is in order to transfer money from it to her RESP. As someone else said, anyone can deposit money into this account. And her grandparents, great-grandma and aunts & uncles do. It is my responsibility to transfer it to her RESP at the appropriate time. Sometimes her grandmother who lives far away deposits birthday or holiday money that is specifically for me to buy her something with. On Valentine's Day, she put in some money for me to buy her a teddy bear with. We all use the same credit union association, so its cheaper and safer for her to deposit directly to the account than to send a cheque in the mail.

As she gets older and begins to realize that the bank isn't just a place to play with the giant abacus on the wall, I will begin to teach her how to handle her own gift or allowance money and save for things she wishes to get. I will still be handling the RESP deposits as that is legally required, and will thus still require access to the account until she is legally an adult. At which time I should be and will be removed from it.

I am rather appalled by parents using their child's account for extra spending money. But if it came down to keeping money in her savings account or putting food on the table and a roof over our head, that would be a different story. When she was old enough though, I would allow her to make the decision for herself. We are fortunate that we are unlikely to ever be in that situation, but I know people who have been. I had a relationship in college with a man who had helped support his parent's since he was 14 and they were both seriously injured in a car accident. The legal proceedings took 11 years and the family was quite destitute in the mean time. He worked after school, weekends, and all holidays to help his parents feed his siblings and afford their home. He had an enormous pride in this and a tight bond with his family. I see nothing wrong with what his parent's did at all. It made him into a strong, resourceful, giving person. He did not start college until the settlement, and then, they were thrilled to be able to pay his way.

Alyssa - posted on 04/04/2011

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Anyone can deposit into an account as long as they have the bank details, a paret does not need to have full access for this reason. So, I see NO reason at all for adults to be signatories on the accounts unless it is required by the bank for a minor.

The people I know who access their kids accounts started off having their childrens bank details then I guess, never stopped. Or the teenage children gave their details maybe once so Mum could make a payment and she has continued to check.

ALL of these adult children...to me...display a lack of responsibility when it comes to money and I find myself wondering is this because Mummy was looking over their shoulder all the time or is the parents excuse for checking a valid one? To me they go hand in hand.

Money is no different than anything else we teach our children. They need the freedom to make their own mistakes and learn from them.

Mel - posted on 04/04/2011

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nope, but my daughgter only had a tin of money so far as we've never got around to opening an account (in 3 years which is pretty bad). We count it out every now and again and thats it. I dont know what id do when my kids are older if Id want to make sure they are spending their money safely or not but I guess it would be their choice if they waste or save it

Rosie - posted on 04/04/2011

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no i wouldn't access their accounts. if i was suspicious of them doing something with their money that was illegal, or something, i think i would. but not do it just to keep a tab on what they are doing. that's a little overboard IMO.

Tinker1987 - posted on 04/04/2011

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my son is a baby so the only activity is depositing.i wouldnt feel right withdrawling.when the time comes for him to have rights to it.im going to make sure its for something practicial...education,vehicle,downpayment on a house ect. definetly not money to blow stupidly.

September - posted on 04/04/2011

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We have a savings account for our son and no we don't access it. That would just defeat the purpose! We have our own account, we don't need his.

Stifler's - posted on 04/04/2011

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Well if I got my kid a bank account, it would be to put money in there every week or month. It's not okay to use their bank account or put things in their name for a tax write off or something. They can apply for a keycard when they get a job. I don't think it's okay to access your teenagers bank account and withdraw all their money or check what they spend (MIL did it to my husband). It's none of your business once they're making their own money.

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Of course I access his accounts right now--he's only 6 years old, so I manage it for the most part.
I make sure he is aware of what I am doing--if I move money from his checking account to his savings, I tell him, and I explain why. I also let him make some of his own decisions regarding his account so that he can learn.
He knows how to balance both accounts and can calculate his interest if I help, so he can make informed decisions about what account to put new monies into.

Children need to have parents' guidance at first in order to learn, however, once the parent has taught the child how to manage it themselves (which should be the parents' goal) they should no longer access the account unless a problem arises. Regardless of the age of the child, I do not think a parent should ever access a child's account without notifying the child....unless the child is an infant and has no understanding yet, but as soon as the child is aware of their accounts, they should be privy to all activities regarding them.

Lady Heather - posted on 04/04/2011

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Ummmm...no. I might put money into savings for my daughter in an account just for that purpose, but it would still be in my name (currently we have an RESP account for that). Even if she's a kid, her account would be for her allowance. I don't see how she can learn not to fuck that up if I have control over it. My parents let me take charge of my money when I was a kid and that's why I don't suck at money now.

Adult children??? Wtf?

Amber - posted on 04/04/2011

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We have a savings account for our son, who is four. The only money that is legitimately his in the account is money that was given as gifts to him for holidays. We deposit to his account every month to save for expenses like college or a vehicle.

All that being said, I don't access it to take from it. We have our own savings to draw from if we need it. Our son will not have access to this money on his own, only through us as it will be for large expenses.

If he is working, then that account will be his and I will not access that account unless there are overdrafts or something that would reflect on my credit report. Or if he is asking me for money to make payments when he should have money.
Once he is an adult, his finances are his own.

Krista - posted on 04/04/2011

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I'm actually kind of shocked at this. If the parent is a signing authority on the account, or if the account is held in trust, then yes, the parent has the right to obtain information on the transaction history, or in the former case, to spend the money.

However, with adult children, I honestly don't know why any adult would have a parent as a signing authority or a trustee on their account. So how the hell are these mothers accessing their grown kids' bank accounts in the first place?

Personally, I am a huge believer in financial confidentiality.

The only situation in which I could envision myself interfering with my child's bank account would be if he was still a minor and was hard into drugs, at which point I could see myself looking to get Power of Attorney, and freezing his account.

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