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Kids and bank accounts/debit cards

Posted by on Mar. 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM
  • 53 Replies

When the kids were born, DH opened "high yield" savings accounts for them.  Since then (14 and 16 years), Grandpa & Grandma or DH have put money in those accounts to be used for college.  (BM's name is also on the accounts.)  The kids have not had access--no checkbooks, no debit cards--so the money has just been accruing interest.

The kids are going on Spring Break with my SIL next week.  As such, we wanted to send them some spending money.  DH informed me last night that the girls asked us to put the money in their bank accounts.

Wait what?  Apparently, BM got them debit cards for these accounts.  DH assured me that he discussed with the kids that they're not to spend the college money.  My thought was...really?  You really think that's going to work out that way?

I have no problem putting money in the accounts.  But for discussion, do you think kids that age (14&16) should have access to that kind of money?  We're talking thousands of dollars each. 

My general fear considering historical financial responsibility and spending habits of both DH and BM is that the college money is going to go out the window, and fast.  The PRIMARY reason DH took the job he did this year was to earn money towards their college fund.  I have to be honest, I'm not comfortable with the kids having direct access to that money.

I'm NOT opposed to them having bank accounts and access to their spending money.  But the college money isn't for spending.  Only got to talk to DH for a few minutes so didn't press the issue as I wanted to think about it more but I did generally say "You really think that you just telling them NOT to dip into their college fund is protection? Hmmm."

Thoughts?

by on Mar. 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM
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Replies (1-10):
MommySabs
by Gold Member on Mar. 24, 2014 at 9:36 AM
2 moms liked this
Lol say good bye to that money now! Wait until they check the balance on the account! My bks and nephews all have accounts with my parents who put money in them for birthdays and special occasions. The kids will have access to these accounts after high school.
When they are old enough to have jobs ( now they are between the ages of 3 and 11). They can have their own accounts and use that money how they choose.
jlg12678
by Gold Member on Mar. 24, 2014 at 9:38 AM
4 moms liked this

Another situation that shouldn't be an issue but is...and I'm not saying this because of you.

If it was me, the kids wouldn't have gotten a debit card. And the college fund should not be accessible to the kids at all. Period.  I would have had a separate account of college and another account for birthday money and other deposits.

I really don't get how bm/your dh have made it so far with some of the choices they make...and how does your dh keep on expecting the best when history clearly says the likely outcome is going to be anything but?

I'd also be firm on the fact that once the money is gone that's it...you and your dh are not replacing it.

 

GlockMom
by Platinum Member on Mar. 24, 2014 at 9:39 AM
9 moms liked this

I think debit cards to those accounts was the dumbest thing he has allowed yet.

Pero3
by on Mar. 24, 2014 at 9:46 AM
1 mom liked this

We have a similar situation ... and only over my dead body will DD be getting access to "her" money before she turns 18.

We just opened a separate account for her, with a card, into which I transfer her pocket money (£22, which is about $36) on a monthly basis. When it's gone it's gone, no way to overdraw!

OvrMyHead
by Silver Member on Mar. 24, 2014 at 9:48 AM

 The only kind of debit card I would give my kids is the kind that has a certain amount of money on it (prepaid credit card?  don't know what its called).  Otherwise, they should have cash.  Period.

 

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Mar. 24, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Well, he didn't "allow" it.  He was informed yesterday while he was skyping with the girls that BM got them the debit cards.  The way the divorce decree was set up, he was required to give her access to the accounts.

But I had always been told that they were just for college.  They're set up through the college credit union so there are benefits to having the accounts there if that's where the kids choose to go to school (some kind of credit/matching).

I'm trying to keep calm and carry on, but I really think that any future college fund money should go into a separate account. 

I can see it now...FB posts of SD with her new car.  To say that I'm displeased about the situation would be an understatement.

jlg12678
by Gold Member on Mar. 24, 2014 at 10:12 AM

 Well, if it's spent on a car or something else foolish I guess she'll just have to get a part time job to replenish it or apply for student loans for the money that was spent.

 

Quoting Birdseed:

Well, he didn't "allow" it.  He was informed yesterday while he was skyping with the girls that BM got them the debit cards.  The way the divorce decree was set up, he was required to give her access to the accounts.

But I had always been told that they were just for college.  They're set up through the college credit union so there are benefits to having the accounts there if that's where the kids choose to go to school (some kind of credit/matching).

I'm trying to keep calm and carry on, but I really think that any future college fund money should go into a separate account. 

I can see it now...FB posts of SD with her new car.  To say that I'm displeased about the situation would be an understatement.

 

amantonacci
by Platinum Member on Mar. 24, 2014 at 10:22 AM
Wow these are the most financially stupid group of people... I'm sorry bird but c'mon how is not a bigger deal to your dh?
GlockMom
by Platinum Member on Mar. 24, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Oh?  Well....if they spend it then they can replace it.  If they did this without him then when that well is dry they can pay for college themselves.  All THREE of them.  BM is a moron of the First Class variety.

Quoting Birdseed:

Well, he didn't "allow" it.  He was informed yesterday while he was skyping with the girls that BM got them the debit cards.  The way the divorce decree was set up, he was required to give her access to the accounts.

But I had always been told that they were just for college.  They're set up through the college credit union so there are benefits to having the accounts there if that's where the kids choose to go to school (some kind of credit/matching).

I'm trying to keep calm and carry on, but I really think that any future college fund money should go into a separate account. 

I can see it now...FB posts of SD with her new car.  To say that I'm displeased about the situation would be an understatement.


jules2boys
by Gold Member on Mar. 24, 2014 at 2:21 PM

I think teens their age SHOULD have a bank account/debit card of their own.  ODS16 has one.  He's learning how to use it.  It's 'tied' to my account but he can't pull money from it (nor will my account work as his 'overdraft' account) but, it's an account set up, by the bank as a TEEN account, for learning how to manage/use their money on their own.  I love it actually!  It will NOT allow him to overdraw from the account (unlike an adult account) but it's not just a savings account (like YDS11 has).

HOWEVER, it is not in any way, shape or form tied to his college savings account.  Nope.  That sucker is separate.  Completely.  As it should be! 

My question would be... if they have this ATM card for the account, WHY do they need you/DH to put money into it?  That sounds like they've already SPENT the money in there in the first place. 

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