A topic that pops up from time to time in the personal finance world is the habit that a lot of twenty-somethings have of accepting monthly financial support from their parents. I’m not talking about a once-in-a-while emergency loan. I’m talking about an ongoing allowance. Maybe not a set amount of money every month, but a bill (or three) that is paid every month by mom and dad. Or a monthly, tearful phone call detailing “how hard” it is out there….followed by a plea for whatever the monthly shortfall happened to be.
I am a twenty-something and I do not do this.
Not because my parents can’t afford it. They can. They really, really can. But they don’t. They would never offer. And I’m ok with that.
My parents made it on their own. Neither came from any type of money (in fact, based on what my grandmother has told me, my father’s family probably would have qualified for food stamps – but they never would have applied) but they both worked really damn hard to get to the financial place they’re in now. And they also worked really hard to raise me to be an independent, hard-working, dignified adult. I would never want to spit in the face of that hard work – in their careers or their parenting – by expecting a monthly hand-out. I’m twenty-six, intelligent, and not disabled. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to pay my own bills, even if that means getting a second job at McDonald’s to balance my budget.
Which is not to say that my parents have never given me anything. They have. They gave me a comfortable, stable, healthy childhood. They paid for all of my needs. They taught me to be self-sufficient and to solve my own problems. And because I went to an in-state school, they paid my undergraduate college tuition. They even loaned me a chunk of money (which I repaid within six months) when I first got out of college to cover the “start up” costs of my apartment – the moving truck, household items, etc. They gave me their old couch so that I wouldn’t have to sit on the floor in said new apartment. In my book, that’s giving me a lot. They shouldn’t have to give me anything else besides love and emotional support.
Maybe I’m looking at this in an old-fashioned way, but beyond it being frivolous to take money from parents at this age, I just don’t think it’s right.
What do you think?