Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why Didn't I Think of This Before?

Beth and Cory both have checking accounts and savings accounts. I thought it would be a good way to teach them how to handle their own money, and it makes it easy for me to transfer money to them, since I don't usually have cash. Looking back, I probably should have stuck with cash. It's easier to see how much money you have, and it's impossible to spend money that you don't have. But I didn't, and they do need to learn to handle the idea of money, too.

Neither one of them has done a very good job of keeping track, though. They sort of understand the concept of balancing a checkbook, writing all transactions in the check register, but that doesn't mean they do it. Cory at least wants to know what his balance is when we get a statement in the mail. Beth mostly doesn't care. When asked if she needs help figuring out a system to keep track of it all, she says NO. That's just the way she is - she thinks she can figure everything out on her own, she doesn't want help, and then when things don't go right, somehow it's our fault. OK, so probably it is for listening to her when she said NO.

This week I signed both kids up for online access to their accounts. Hopefully this will help them keep better track of things because now they can log in anytime and see what payments have cleared and what their balance is. They can also transfer money between accounts, so if Beth happens to spend more money than she has in her checking account, again, she can transfer some money out of savings to cover it and avoid the overdraft fee. We'll see how much attention she pays to it.

I don't know why I didn't think of it before. We already had two separate online accounts at Chase - one in Jeffrey's name and one in mine. You can log in and see all the accounts associated with your SS# - which is why I can see the kids' accounts when I log in with my ID, but can't see them when I log in with Jeffrey's. I was the one who signed the kids up for accounts, so my SS# is associated with them, along with theirs. Then this week I realized that I could sign them up online with their SS# and account number and get them access to their own accounts, without having to give them my username and password, because there was no way I was going to do that. Now they can both log in with their own username and password, and they only see their own accounts and nothing more.

1 comment:

  1. We just opened a checking account at a new bank, and every morning I get an email detailing the transactions from the day before. It's pretty cool.


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