Last week, I was asked a really good question: Does a parent have the right to see their son or daughter’s credit card statement and get personal financial information from them?
Well, that depends. How did you raise your kids? Will their mindset be that my parents care, or that you’re just going to go nuts on them? Do they trust that you’re non-judgmental and coming from a mindset of wanting to help or just criticize? In my opinion, if they don’t want to show you – you have all the answers you’re looking for already! If it were me having an adult kid living in my home, eating my food, sleeping in my house, it’d be part of the written (yes – written since they have memory problems at times..) rules for living at home!
If you want to make sure they will share financial stuff, you need to make money, budgeting and savings a conversation starting at age 5 or 6. You need to start at age 15 or so by showing them one of your credit card statements. OK, maybe not the big one, but one of the smaller ones. Show them the limit, the rate, balance, minimum payment and that box which shows: at minimum payments, your balance will be paid in full in 28 years!
There was a study a few months ago that showed 75% of parents don’t and won’t talk about money with their kids. That’s just stupid as it’s setting them up for guaranteed failure as adults. So this 75% of parents just set them loose at age 18 and wish them luck figuring out financial stuff?
Before it even gets to that, make sure they read the It’s Your Money book chapter on building credit. If nothing else, it’ll make sure they do it right, do it inexpensively, and do it without you risking everything you have to cosign for them!