Thursday, 6 August 2009

Getting Financial Help From Your Parents: Right or Wrong?

Images thanks to paalia and digital sophia

You may or may not have seen recently an attack on Gala Darling in the comments section of her Cut Out and Keep Interview. The very personal attack more than partly concerned her financial situation and speculation over whether or not she receives help from her parents. It got me thinking (seeing as Charade is in part a 'money blog') about what the combined opinion actually is on getting money from your parents.

I, for one, get help from my parents when it comes to money. There, I said it. It's not a massive amount, by any means, and I've always been taught the importance of gaining my own independence (no silver spoon business.) Though, their help, particularly at this time when I am just carving a career out for myself, has been wonderful and invaluable. It means I've been able to take risks, and to follow opportunities that have had a hugely positive impact on my life. Their help has also meant that I've been able to support my boyfriend (who I live with) whilst he has been setting up his own business, and his mum has helped to support the pair of us financially too. There's a whole web of support there, and I know I will want to help my children to the best start I can by similarly supporting them in their aspirations. I also hope to pay my parents back in a big way when I become more financially 'stable'.

So, my questions to you are - is it right to receive financial help from your parents/family? Should you admit to it? Would you rather go it completely alone? Have you even had the option of this kind of support? Do you wish you had? I'd love to know all your thoughts as I understand this is an important (and often touchy) subject for many. Let the debate commence!

15 comments:

Maria Confer said...

I think it's totally fine to receive help from family. It's good not to push it too far and take advantage of them. And the end goal is to be self supportive.

My husband and I are actually going to be moving in with his parents while he goes to graduate school full time. It will be weird, but it's really helpful.

Fajr || Stylish Thought said...

This is a great question. I'm on the fence about it. I feel like as an adult I should only ask my mom for help when I desperately need it, like there are no other options.
At best, I try to deal with my financial issues on my own. If your parents are in a position to help then that's fine too, though I admit that I sometimes resent my friends whose parents help them.

sherin said...

I suppose parents are there to help you when you need it the most. I am way too dependent on my parent financially. I have a job, but my parents still insist on paying for everything, which I know is not whst I should be doing.

Leia said...

When I first moved away from home and started my degree, I told my parents that I would look for a job. My father responded by saying that he had worked hard his whole life so that his children wouldn't have to work while studying, so that we could completely focus on our education. I feel really privileged to have that support, and know I am really lucky to have had the option.

Also, I live in London but pay international student fees. That means I pay £9000-£12000 per year. I don't think any job I got at age 18 would have allowed me to pay those fees, and I would have had to deal with a student loan.

I am completely dependent on my parents, and in my culture (I'm from South Asia) it is completely normal to do so, at least throughout your studies. I think that it can be perfectly okay as long as you:

- Don't take it for granted, and appreciate what you have.
- Don't squander your parents money on partying or whatever else.
- Offer to pay them back, especially if it's hard for them to support you.

I would definitely want to support my children while they study. I know that many people can balance work and study, but if they can afford not to, I think students should focus on their education!

Harriet said...

As long as you understand the value of the money they are giving you, and it's not detrimental to them to be helping you then I think it's ok. I am in a bit of a post-uni pre-job black hole at the moment, and I certainly wouldn't be able to get by if I didn't have them helping me out.

I know one girl from my schooldays who's parents paid her way through uni, but they didn't tell her until she graduated, because she was so happy to spend their money without a second thought that they knew the only way she'd change her ways is if she thought it was her own money she was spending! Being grateful and striving for self-sufficiency is very important.

I don't really talk about money much, but if someone asked me straight out (in a polite manner) if my parents were helping me financially then I'd be honest.

Betsey J said...

I don't think there is any problem in having your parents helping you out financially especially if they're helping you reach a goal of yours weather it's being a full time blogger, student, aspiring business owner, etc. But I also don't think there is a reason to be dishonest about it. However on the flip side, I don't really think a person's financial background or situation is anybody's business but their own.

ps. just discovered your blog and I love it!
xox.

Aury said...

I've always been pretty independent and have always liked managing my own money and dealing with my own needs.For me, the older I get and the more financially stable i am the less i will depend on them.
I do feel that if you have the option of financial support from your parents you should make use of it if you need it. The problem for most though is where to draw the line.

Rosie Unknown said...

I think it is great to receive help if you can't afford to study without it, or if you need help getting started. What shouldn't happen is that your parents send you to university and you spend the entire time partying because you don't have to pay, then expect them to pay for everything in your life forever.

catherine_sr. said...

I think it's OK to get help from your parents if they offer it to you, but at some point it's your personal responsibility to be honest with yourself and acknowledge if the financial support is still beneficial (i.e. it allows you to take risks as you establish yourself, like you are doing) or a hindrance (it keeps you from striking out on your own). My parents helped me out a great deal with my education and also when I was interning, but I was always very cognizant of becoming financially independent, partly because I wanted money of my own to spend as I wished and partly because I wanted an adult relationship with my parents and I didn't feel that was possible while they were still feeding and housing me.

In a lot of immigrant/first-gen families like mine, helping kids out is seen as a way of keeping financial resources within the family. For example, it's pretty normal for my relatives to put the down payment on a house for their kids and have the kids pay the mortgage to them. That way, money is being kept within the family and re-invested rather than being paid out to a landlord. This can be really helpful in terms of building a financial foothold that continues throughout the generations, but unfortunately I've also seen it cause some serious conflicts. For example, my grandma bought my feckless younger uncle a house and put the deed in his name only even though she's living with him. Well, now he's going to kick her out and rent the house out so he can pocket the income. I personally feel that my very independent grandma is better off without her nincompoop of a son, but unfortunately she made an investment of money and trust in him that's clearly not going to be paid back in any form at all.

Anyway, the upshot of my longwindedness is -- help is OK, but boundary setting is essential.

mollfie said...

I am at Uni, final year, and my parents send me some money every month to cover my bills and my dad pays me rent for me. I also work one day a week so I can pay for things like clothes, trips out etc things I want but don't always need lol. Thats the agreement I have with my dad, he told me to do that not the otherway around.

When I finish Uni I hope to do an MA. I will have to find a job with more hours, closer to where I end up living. Or if that doesn't happen I'll have to go on benefits for a while until I do find a job. I want to rely on my parents less as I grow older.

My sisters on the other hand have always held their hands out for daddies cash. Which I think it completely unfair when they both work and are married. Yes, they don't earn much and they have families but I want them to atleast TRY and get by on their own before asking my parents for money. I want to only ask my parents for money if I really NEED to, not because I've gotten myself into debt through buying things I knew I couldn't afford.

Anna said...

Let's just put ourselves in the parents' shoes for a sec!

Would we help uor children? (Me: yes!) Would we want them to accept that help, or hope they will refuse? (Me: accept!) Would you like to be taken advantage of? (Me: no! But that's not the same as accepting help.)

To me, it's a huge obvious "yes", just don't abuse.

Quite frankly, I am also concerned for the reasons people refuse that help. It might be the pride of being independent over the concern about the parents' situation.

Marie said...

I think it's completely fine. Without the financial support from my parent's there would be no way I would be able to afford my rent on my flat as my studen't loan doesn't even cover it. With my job I would be able to pay the rent and buy basic, bland, budget food, but work is not always guarenteed.

In an ideal world I would like to be able to say to my parents "no, thanks, you keep the money, I can manage on my own", but I definitely do not grudge their help, I embrace it and know that in the future I'll be able to repay them for their generosity.

Mina Maundrell said...

well since my parents are divorced, and i live with my mom, is normal to say that i'm reciving help, truth is that we help each other, since i'm paying the flat where we live, i pay for the phone, internet, and electric energy, she paid the transport, the food, and every time i want something for eat or little details she paid for them, and when we need a little extra help my dad give us money, so yes i think is ok recive help from your parents when you are starting, not all the time since you have to take your own risks, but like i said, sometimes the situation is completely different like my case :)

Sylvia said...

I'm still in college and my parents do help me financially. HOWEVER I also have a job and usually use that money to buy a lot of my clothes/shoes/et cetera.

Sarah said...

I'm about to start my first year of college and my parents will be paying for most of what I need this year: tuition, room, and board.

I think it's great that parents want to help out their kids, especially while they're in college/uni and investing in their future. I don't see a problem with getting monetary help from your parents during this time.



I've had a job since I was 15 (I'll be 19 this November) so that I could buy the things I want that are outside of my parents' budget, like clothes, handbags, and fun trips.

It only really becomes a problem when you're abusing their funding. Expensive trips and couture clothing aren't in most people's budgets.

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