Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Son Has Second Thoughts About Joint Banking Account

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: When I turned 18 and changed over my custodial bank accounts into regular ones, my mom insisted she be on the accounts too. Now she checks my banking activity on-line and is always telling me what I should do with my money.

Can you give me one good reason to not have her name taken off my accounts? --- SON OF A SNOOP

DEAR SON OF A SNOOP: If you truly believe your mother is out for your cash, you need to get her name off the accounts immediately. On the other hand, if you trust your mom, I can think of at least three good reasons to keep her onboard for a while.

Look at it as a precaution similar to leaving a key to your house with a reliable neighbor or trusted friend before going out-of-town. Such joint accounts can be a temporary peace of mind measure that’s especially useful for college students, young single military service members, or others who find themselves far from home for extended periods of time.

Parent/young adult child joint accounts have been referred to as money management with “training wheels.” Having a more experienced set of eyes on your accounts may come with the modest cost of having to listen to a parental lecture on what Mom considers less than sound spending habits, but that’s a small price to pay for a potentially invaluable safety net.

Many banks offer benefits like higher interest or fewer fees for bundled accounts. Hitching your accounts to your parents’ for a bit might help everyone save, or even make, a little extra cash.

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