Family Matters
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At what age.... is inappropriate to ask for help from your parents? DH & I are 31 and have been on our own since we were 19/20 with very minimal help from either side of our families, so I realize my views on this will be skewed, however, I find it odd that I still have people around me accepting & asking for help from their parents. For example, a cousin of mine (also same age) slipped and told me that her mom pays for her vacation every year. I don't think people "need" to have a vacation, so I found this a little extreme. Don't get me wrong - DH & I have every intent of helping our [future] children in ways our parents never did, despite of both of upbringings, while still maintaining a healthy balance of them earning their own rewards too. I feel that when you have no back up plan, you may work a little harder towards things. I just wanted to open the discussion because I am curious to see people's views on this, read some examples, etc. Dh & I just feel that any help (specifically monetary help) after a certain point shouldn't be expected.  

Re: At what age....

  • I actually get really annoyed when I hear about all the parental help my friends receive. I came from a single parent household and my H's parents weren't great off financially during his childhood so we both have similar backgrounds. After college, one of my friends had their parents paying for their gas and car insurance, while at the same time racking up credit card debt on unnecessary items. I also know a lot of people that have had help for their weddings and house down payments, which I understand is relatively normal, but it also annoys me that they often don't realize how easy they have it. I mean, maybe I am just jealous but also, like I said, it just seems like a lot of the people involved are naive as to how the real world sometimes works. Some were baffled as to why my mom would make me pay rent to live in her house post-college, not understanding that she needed the money too. I guess I am kind of ranting vacation thing you mention though. That would REALLY bother me!
  • I could see if it's a family vacation & your cousin says mom I would love to do the family vacation but I can't afford it so mom pays so she doesn't miss out on family time. But if it's so that she can go on vacation herself, she should be saving up for it. My husband and I will be doing staycations for probably a few years because there isn't money for anything else.
  • erolliserollis member
    1000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2013
  • H has gotten plenty of help from his parents. They have always wanted to help him. I think him being an only child has to do with all of the help. His is their child and they want to do what they can to help him succeed.

    Years ago they gifted him a gas card. We use it when we visit his family (360ish mile trip one way).

    Once I got my own place at 19 I was pretty much on my own. I got a tiny bit of help from my parents once monetarily at 20. His parents helped me out once (gave me a rent free place to live) when I had a bad roommate situation. And both sets of parents helped contribute to our wedding but that's it.

    I get a bit jealous that some peoples families do so much for their children. I think it's because my parents never would/ could do that for me. I've learned that each family is very different. But that doesn't keep me from rolling my eyes from time to time when they don't realize how good they have it.
  • I think it depends on how the older child handles it. Is the person mooching and not paying back? Do they expect help? Are they frivolous or have they really fallen on hard times? Have they been laid off or had a health-related set-back? Are the parents enabling a poor financial decision maker? Are the parents expecting to be paid back as in a private loan? Have the parents set out a timeframe and a cut off limit?

    I think it's got to be a case-by-case scenario.

  • Don't get me wrong - DH & I have every intent of helping our [future] children in ways our parents never did, despite of both of upbringings, while still maintaining a healthy balance of them earning their own rewards too.

    Maybe that's what their parents think they are doing. I was raised to be independent. My parents have helped out my sisters at various times and me when I went through a divorce, but it's never anything I expect(ed). But every family is different. My SIL mooches off my MIL and FIL and it drives me crazy but I have to just ignore it. MIL gives DH money sometimes because it makes her happy (not a lot, just a few hundred here or there). I always tell DH it's up to him whether to accept it, and to be clear that there are no strings attached.
  • I think it would all depend on the situation as far as asking for help. But, it is not something I would ever expect or demand.

    I moved out of my parent's house when I was 19, so I've been independent for a long time with no help from my parents. My brother, on the other hand, is almost 22, still lives at home, and expects my parents to pay for everything. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Case in point, they bought him a brand new macbook for Christmas this year. He has one already and it's not even that old. And my parents do it. And then I get to hear my mother bitch about it. It's been a while since she's said anything, but the last time, I got fed up and told her to stop enabling him. He works too now and pays for nothing. I try to chalk it up to 'he's young', but really, he's not a baby anymore. Should be interesting to see what happens when he gets out in the real world and realizes that things cost $.

    My H's parents gave us a nice amount as a gift and told us we could either use it for our wedding or do whatever. We decided to pay for our wedding ourselves and use their gift as part of our down payment for our house. It was very generous of them, but not expected and it's something I will always be grateful for.
  • If you expect your parents to bail you out, lend you money, pay your phone bill, or finance lavish vacations, then you're an asshole.  If you graciously accept help (or a gift) then I don't give a shit and I don't judge.  
  • I guess it depends on your situation. I've never taken money from my parents or asked them for help. I can't afford a vacation, so I don't go on one. I would never dream of asking my parents to pay for that, and I'd feel weird even if they offered!! DH's parents paid for lots of stuff for him and his brother, and it made them both incredibly irresponsible with money. My DH has changed a lot since we met (and we don't accept money from his parents since we got together), but when I met him, he had every gadget and equipment for every hobby under the sun. His brother continues to mooch off his parents even though he's 28, married and in med school. I think too often when parents give their kids money, it turns the kids into entitled asses. That being said, if there was a rough situation (job loss, divorce, illness), I see it differently. My sister has many mental and physical health issues, so my parents help her sometimes. I understand it, and I'm not jealous because I wouldn't want to live with her issues. So legit help, I understand. But I'd much rather support myself, and I'd do everything in my power before I'd ask my folks for help!!
  • I guess it depends.  DH and I have been making more money than our parents since our early 20s so if anything we've helped them out with stuff.  But my brothers are in their mid-late 20s and my mom bails them out all the time because they both have serious medical issues and can't work.

    If you're perfectly capable of taking care of yourself and you just don't because you're lazy and want to spend money on beer and boobs while your parents pay your rent, I judge you hard.
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  • I'm 25 and have been married for over a year.  I've been completely financially dependent from my parents since I was 17.

    Personally, I think it's strange to accept financial help from your parents after you've graduated from undergrad, with the following exceptions:

    • Paying for graduate school (If they are willing to help.  They are NOT obligated.)
    • Contributing to the cost of your wedding (Again, if they are willing to help.  They are NOT obligated.)
    • Going out to eat with your parents.  It could just be a cultural thing for me, but I have never ever paid when going out to dinner with my parents, except on Mother's/Father's Day and their birthdays.  I think it's strange to go out to eat with your kid and expect him/her to pay for your meal.

    I know some people, though, who REALLY milk their parents for all they've got.  My best friend's brother is 30.  He's a lawyer in Manhattan...and his parents pay his rent.  And pay his student loans.  And he STILL always cries poor.  It boggles my mind.

  • I still get help from my parents all the time and I'm in my 30s.  I don't need their help--I haven't in a long time and they know it--but I think they'd be hurt if I stopped accepting their gifts or asking their advice to demonstrate my independence.  
  • My parents haven't helped me out with everyday expenses since I graduated college.  DH;s parents helped him out with a one time thing for grad school.  The both helped but did not pay for our wedding.  Anything else would be weird to me.  We've been helping my mom pay for gas when she visits us. 
  • FalonSimoneFalonSimone member
    Fifth Anniversary First Comment
    edited January 2014
  • My single Mom passed away when I was 21 - so I haven't gotten any parental help.  My BFF's Mom pays her mortgage.  We're both in our 40s.  And you know what?  I'm happy for her.  Who gives a F what some people get from their parents?!

    I say, mind your business. 


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  • My husband and I have had a tough couple of months with money, but to be honest I wouldn't dream of asking my parents. They're very well off but haven't given me a penny since I moved out at 18 (apart from birthdays and Christmas etc), no housewarming gift, nothing like that. They made it clear when I had a job and/or moved out I was on my own 2 feet - they didn't get help from their parents, they had to save up and earn for the things they wanted. My husband's mum is the total opposite, desperate to help out, knew we were having a hard time and a couple of months ago she handed me £50 'because we might need it'. Although it was extremely generous of her (and no, we didn't ask for anything!) I felt quite embarrassed and tried to pay her back but she refused. She's in debt but it doesn't stop her trying to help her children out however she can. When I become a mum I'd like to get a balance between the 2. 
  • moonprincessdmoonprincessd member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper First Answer
    edited February 2014
    I think it really depends. My husband and I don't ask my parents or his parents for anything, Then again, my parents kind of just give. My mom gave us a car. My husband had bought a car, but I was walking to work. When she found out, she gave us the car I used to drive in high school, so it wasn't brand new, but still it was a car! We paid the registration fees though. (I was 21 at the time)

    Anyway, we don't plan to ever ask our parents for help for the everyday struggles, now if something serious happened like our house burned down, then we might ask for some help (mostly for a place to stay while things get fixed, not really monetary - insurance and savings should cover us money wise). So yeah, I can see why some people would ask for help. 

    I would offer to help my child as well, but paying for a vacation? No. Not unless it was a family vacation. My parents have paid for us to travel with them and my sister when they knew we couldn't really afford to travel but wanted to go on family vacation. They covered plane tickets and hotels, but we paid for our own meals and often paid for their meals as well in order to pay them back. 

    So I could see us doing that when our children are older. Offering them a chance to travel with us, but not so they can go on a romantic getaway with their husband... 

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