How Much Financial Help Should Adults Receive From Their Parents?
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I always find it fascinating to discuss financial relationships between parents and adult children. There seems to be a wide range of experiences among my group of friends, and I’m not sure there is a “right” or “wrong” answer to the question of how much financial help adults should accept from their parents.
Right now, I have friends whose parents are paying for their medical school education out of pocket. My husband attends one of the most expensive medical schools around – about $25,000 per semester in tuition alone – so I’m not talking about a quick $8,000 check here or there. I also have friends who have been on their own since they were 18 years old and have paid for their own cars, tuition, insurance, etc. since then.
Some people have very wealthy parents who don’t offer any financial help at all. Some people have middle class parents who give their adult kids every last dime to ensure they are taken care of and don’t have to pay student loans. Essentially, there is really a wide spectrum of experiences.
My Own Relationship With Parents and Financial Help
As someone who is very hard headed and independent, I’ve been trying to take over all of my bills and all of my expenses for the past few years. Just recently, I finally got off of my family cell phone plan and on my own. It would be cheaper to stay on their plan, but I don’t feel like my parents should pay for anything for me at this point. I want them to spend it on themselves!
After all, I’m almost 27 years old and about to be a mother to two kids (or maybe I am a mom to two kids by the time you read this!) I have to be able to take care of myself. My mom and dad are very generous and are always offering to help in some way or another. I have accepted their financial help in paying for my student loan interest every month, which makes it so every payment I send in goes directly to the principal, and I feel like that’s more than generous. All other bills and debt and other issues that pop up are on me, but I know they’d help me if I really needed it.
Money and Parental Control
Conversely, I have a friend who comes from an exceptionally wealthy family. Her father owns a well known company that has several hundred employees. He often takes the whole family on exotic vacations and pays for first class tickets, etc. for everyone. At first, it seems really generous and nice and might make you jealous just hearing about it.
But, at the same time, there is this underlying and unspoken control where his adult children have to act a certain way and do things they might not want to do just because their father is in charge of a lot of their bills and cash flow. Honestly, even if my parents were multimillionaires like his, I still would want to pay for my own things (but like I said, I’m hard-headed like that.)
So, what do you think should be the financial relationship between adults and their parents? When do you think it’s time to be 100% on your own? When would you like your own kids to be 100% financially independent?