When I was a kid, my dad opened my checking account for me. Recently I discovered $500 had been transferred to an unfamiliar account. I found out from my dad that he needed to borrow money to give to my mom so she could go to the grocery store and that he would put the money back that afternoon.
I don’t know what is worse—realizing that for all these years, my dad has had access to my bank account, seeing how much I make and what I spend, or the fact that my parents need money to buy groceries. While letting them use $500 for a single day won’t destroy me financially, I am concerned they needed it in the first place. They are in their 70s, semiretired, and have lived in the same house for 25 years. It’s too big for them, but they refuse to move to something smaller. Should I change my account, like my brother did when he got married? Should he and I see if our parents need to change their spending habits? And why $500 for the grocery store?
—My Parents’ Financial Trouble