Looking for a joint checking account with a restricted debit card so I can help mom manage her spending without "taking over." Any ideas? - AgingCare.com

Looking for a joint checking account with a restricted debit card so I can help mom manage her spending without "taking over." Any ideas?

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Mom over spends, overdraws her checking and allows others to use her debit card. I'd like to help her manage her spending without having to take over or "take away" her ability to be in charge of her finances. It is after all her money. I saw a product online that seemed like it would meet our needs but now can't find the links for it.

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You may want to look into True Link Card. It's a prepaid Visa card with some extra features, designed with vulnerable seniors in mind. It's fairly new so I don't know anyone who's tried it, but I saw the company present at an event and it seemed like it might be useful for your situation. Good luck!
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Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. She has always had trouble saying "no" to the people she loves, and I don't think this is is a crime, it's just that she has less money now and more forgetfulness. I want to help her make the money she has get to where it really has to go (bills and groceries) first, while still leaving her some dignity about the process. While she is really struggling with this money business, she's a long way from senile, and I have learned the hard way that I cannot "make" her do anything, "stop" her from doing anything, or "trick" her into doing something, even if it would be in her best interest.
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I have used a US Bank, VISABUXX card. It states it is for teenagers, but have used it for several elderly. You can add funds immediately if you have a US Bank Account or Credit card. I don't think there are any costs. You load it with so much and they can't spend more - it will be declined. It can be used anywhere a VISA card is accepted.
Shay
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We had the same issue with our son, who lives in a 'recovery house' for young men with substance abuse problems. We don't want him to have too much cash, but he does need money for essentials and such. My husband found a local bank where he opened up a checking account and declined the 'bounce protection' they offered. This way, when our son runs out of money he can't incur those 'bounce protection' fees the banks love to hit you with. Also, it has the added benefit of being able to go online and see where he is spending his money. It is working out well for us and him.
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Get a card you pre-load with a reasonable amount, and tell her not to give it to anyone. I don't think you are being overly cautious with her assets by trying to keep her from over-spending. I have had to self-police and just closed three credit cards for 2014. That's my best solution for not having any extra bank charges. They are wealthy enough!
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I opened a separate checking account (linked to joint account so no fees) and gave husband debit card on this account (set up account for no overdrafts - when $300 per month was gone - there was no more until next month).
He didn't want to spend more than $300 per month - so this satisfied him as he realized he had spent money and would have to wait until next month for more.
Also, stopped "friend" who was hitting him up for money from getting anything.
Seems $300 was "chump change" for this "friend" so disappeared when that's all there was.
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American Express has a reloadable card, with NO fees at all. I think it is called the PASS card. My 20-yr old uses it to control his spending and it is fantastic. We set it up so that money gets loaded onto it every Friday, he spends as he wishes, and when no more on it, then he has to wait until the next week. Low balance alerts can be received text or email, as can anything purchased over a specific dollar amount. This might be another option. I especially liked it because there are no fees at all ... no setup fee, no reload fees, no monthly fees. Granted, not all places accept AmEx; however, that to me is a minor inconvenience.
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I kept saying the same thing, about it being 'her money'. But she needs that money for her care once she can no longer care for herself. I finally woke up when $75k was 'borrowed'. The conservatorship hearing should be within the month. I waited too long because I was trying to protect her independence. But that money would have paid for her care for a couple of years. I don't know if the judge will appoint me conservator. I kind of wish he wouldn't but it will be much cheaper for Mom if I do it instead of a lawyer.
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You/she can opt out of overdrafts on the debit card. That won't stop someone from borrowing it, but it will stop the overdraft charges. I like the reloadable card idea. I have electronic access to mom's checking account. I ordered a new debit card in her name and activated it. I had the old one, deactivated. She keeps it in her purse and thinks she still has a debit card. Then if anyone borrows it, the charges are denied. If she needs something, I'm always there for those purchases anyway.

But, if relatives and others are using her card, that's a crime. It's called exploitation. Are you facilitating it by not putting a stop to it? I don't know, but I would be concerned about it.
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You might consider getting her a reloadable gift card. All the major credit card companies have them. It looks similar to a regular credit card but of course has funds limited to what you load on it. My MIL has dementia and I take care of paying all her bills because she too has no sense of money any more. I give her $100 a month to do with as she sees fit. She also has a visa gift card that I reload occasionally for her to use at WalMart or the grocery store. It seems to satisfy her need to have her own money and I no longer have to worry about her losing her checkbook or credit cards, nor do I have to worry about her giving money to everyone that asks. She was donating over $200 a month to several charities/organizations and didn't even realize they were charging her every month for what she thought was supposed to be a one time contribution. It is her money but she had no idea what was happening.....
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