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Bank of Mum and Dad

(101 Posts)
Judy54 Wed 01-Jan-20 17:37:28

Why is it that some adult children cannot manage financially and still rely on Mum and Dad to bail them out? A lovely couple we know have 3 children in their forties all working, married with their own children and their own homes. Admittedly they probably have big mortgages but do not appear to budget according to their needs. They don't go to Mum and Dad for help when their car breaks down, the boiler is not working or they are unable to feed their children. It is to fund a luxury lifestyle that they feel entitled to expensive holidays, designer clothes and the latest gadgets. Perhaps they should think more about their parents and their needs in their older years rather than putting themselves first. What do you think?

Madgran77 Wed 01-Jan-20 17:40:41

Perhaps the parents should just say no!

MissAdventure Wed 01-Jan-20 17:45:30

I think its a change of mindset.
Parenting used to be about always putting yourself last, that has changed now.
People won't go without a winter coat, or not eat so their children do.

Is that necessarily a bad thing?

phoenix Wed 01-Jan-20 17:45:41

When with exdh, we were grateful to my parents for help with the mortgage when we had some problems, but would never have dreamed of taking a holiday at that time!

PS I stressed that it was my parents, ex conveniently forgot that.

TrendyNannie6 Wed 01-Jan-20 17:47:15

They seem to be a lot different to how we were when growing up, we tended to save for things which sometimes seemed to take forever but we appreciated it all the more, it seems to be a whole different ball game now, with a lot more having fancy cars etc, whereas we made do with a run of the mill car, but we help our AC out when we can but that’s our choice and we know they do appreciate it,

grannyactivist Wed 01-Jan-20 17:56:17

When my husband and I were younger every day was a struggle to pay the mortgage, bills, childminding costs and to put healthy food on the table. I worked full time and also had an evening/weekend job whilst my husband was a student/househusband and also had a part-time job. I want my children not to have the financial pressure that we experienced.

My own children are comparatively far better off than we were at their stage in life, in fact only one of our children has a smaller income than we do, but we nevertheless take great joy in making contributions to their wellbeing. We pay for family holidays and for some things like sports lessons for their children. We also invest in their relationships by occasionally paying for them to have the odd ‘date night’. My children do not ever expect financial help, try to refuse it etc., but I know they appreciate the thought behind the gift.

KatyK Wed 01-Jan-20 18:01:17

We help ours out now and then because we can. They never ask but we know things are difficult sometimes, especially with DGD at uni.

varian Wed 01-Jan-20 18:01:52

I think on the whole we were a privileged generation, better off in many ways than our parents or our children, so if we can help the children and grandchildren, we should be happy to do that.

Shelmiss Wed 01-Jan-20 18:04:18

If the parents choose to give them money surely that’s their own business?

M0nica Wed 01-Jan-20 18:05:15

The problem is almost always caused by the parents who have brought the children up to expect to be given anything they wanted and did not stop the paying out once their children started work.

I was quite strict with mine when they first started out in life and making all the spending mistakes students make. No handouts, just loans with payment plans that they were expected to adhere to - and they did.

By their 30s, it was clear that they were sensible with money and had developed no expensive habits or expectations and since then we have occasionally helped them financially when life has been difficult and sometimes simply shared out a windfall we have received. They know that in an emergency they can always turn to us for help.

I am not sure that this behaviour is of recent development, although it is more common. In the early 1970s I worked with a man in a good well paid management post, who was always sponging off his father to pay car repair bills, household maintenance costs and school fees, but would casually wander across to Harvey Nichols in his lunch hour (we worked in Knightsbridge) and spend £20 for a tie and handkerchief set or a shirt for work - probably about £100 at least in 2020 prices.

rosenoir Wed 01-Jan-20 18:05:30

I would rather see the money being enjoyed now, they would have it when I have gone anyway.

grannyactivist Wed 01-Jan-20 18:11:13

I should have said that I don’t ‘bail out’ my children, but we discuss finances freely so I know if and why they may have times when a bit extra would be welcome. One of my sons is an accountant and I’m planning on staying on the right side of him in case we need his help some time in the future! wink grin

Daisymae Wed 01-Jan-20 18:11:36

I think that the difference is that some parents actually have the money now. I have think that it's better to help now if it's needed. Although it does seem that living within a budget is difficult for some.

Davidhs Wed 01-Jan-20 18:14:47

Maybe the parents are just generous and not being exploited.
I have known families that are happy to pass wealth on to children while they are still young rather that when they die. We live so long nowadays that the children can easily be retired when the parents die, and drawing their own pensions

Barmeyoldbat Wed 01-Jan-20 18:51:30

I will always help my son out, he only has to ask which he doesn't do very often. He might ask for help for a large bill towards the end of the month and it is always repaid.

The adult GC are a different matter they seem to think I am an ATM and they will message me with can you lend me money for this that or the other. The answer is always no, it never gets repaid and its something like a pair of boots they fancy, well save for it. Unexpected costs I would help but they never seem to have them.

Its as someone said, our generation use to save to buy say a fridge or accept a 2nd hand table. Nowadays, ike the couple next door, they buy their first home and want and new. The usually max out on credit cards or buy now pay later.

FlexibleFriend Wed 01-Jan-20 18:51:50

My sons aged 30 and 38 are both self financing, pay their own mortgages, weddings and holidays etc. Pretty much as me and their dad were, they've had loans from time to time and paid them back in full. They have decent jobs and more disposable income than I and behave in an appropriate manner. If I was minted and chose to share it with my kids that's nobodies business but mine.
I do think a lot of parents are too free with the cash when bailing out their adult children and seem to have forgotten they are adults. So what if they have big mortgages, that's their choice and they should live accordingly.

J52 Wed 01-Jan-20 18:52:27

Our DCs have their own homes, good jobs and can support their families.
DH and I enjoy treating them to extras, large and small, and fortunately we can.
It reduces the inheritance tax when we pop our clogs!
I don’t see why it should bother anyone else.

Witzend Wed 01-Jan-20 19:20:31

IMO the comparatively much more expensive cost of housing is a reason why parents often help out now - if they can.
We have been happy to help ours, and are well aware that we are fortunate to be able to do so. It’s not been a case of luxury holidays or designer anything - both our dds are avid users of 2nd hand sites such as Gumtree/FB Marketplace and charity shops. Not all younger people demand everything shiny new.

Bailing out spendthrifts is a different matter but I dare say some parents who can afford to have always done that. You only have to read a few old novels of the kind where this or that son has run up debts to every tradesman in the town, and has gambling debts on top.

Who else remembers the tragic Lady Laura (the Palliser novels) whose entire fortune of £40,000 goes to pay her brother’s debts, so she can’t marry the man she loves and later makes a disastrous marriage?
(OK, an extreme case, I know!).

Urmstongran Wed 01-Jan-20 19:21:25

I’d rather share what we have, as and when we can, as I like to see a smile on their faces. There are no pockets in shrouds.

M0nica Wed 01-Jan-20 19:33:43

I am all for sharing money if you can afford to, but not before AC have shown that they are careful and responsible with money.

The average household debt in this country is £15,400 excluding mortgages and it is growing. Over easy lending and borrowing and a government that made no effort to restrict reckless borrowing was a major contributing factor to the 2008 financial crisis, however much the then government tried to heap all the blame on American banks.

We are heading that way again. If parents shower their children with goods and cash, how can they learn to cut their coat to fit their cloth? High domestic lending leads to unemployment and austerity.

I would rather my children learned financial caution first , however much I wanted to give them anything.

Framilode Wed 01-Jan-20 20:25:10

We were very hard up during the early years of our marriage and though we would never have dreamed of asking our parents for anything a nice surprise would occasionally arrive. My father would sometimes send us a cheque and it always seemed to arrive just when we most needed it.

Sussexborn Wed 01-Jan-20 20:42:43

Perhaps some parents like to feel their children still need them? Cutting the apron strings can be difficult for some.

notanan2 Wed 01-Jan-20 20:58:20

I know several people who have had trouble turning DOWN money from their parents.

Often it comes with caveats: we'll pay for your family holiday but it means you spend your holiday with us where we want to go.
Which is fine if the offer is optional. But when it is expected that the adult children will accept the money in exchange for their parents having control over how they live their lives.

I know one couple who sold up and moved because the grandparents "gift" of help with a deposit translated as them letting themselves in and dictating the decor. They ended up falling out over the couple refusing further money gifts with conditions.

So sometimes the money is used to control

Madgran77 Wed 01-Jan-20 21:19:19

I know several people who have accepted generous help from their parents and who have experienced no difficulties or high handed expectations from those parents. Just gifts with no strings!

Namsnanny Wed 01-Jan-20 21:42:34

I think the phrase 'Bank of mum and dad', is quite demeaning.

Parents have always helped their children out in the past, but less of them had the money to do so.

In fact it was often the other way around in working class families. Then it was just called helping out.

I suppose it's different now because retired parents have access to cash, and the world now runs on credit.

When my husband lost job after job and we had small children, we were eventually very badly off financially.
We survived on the food thrown out by supermarkets,(no food banks then).
Eventually the boiler, car and washing machine all broke down and needed repairing.
So we had no choice and went cap in hand to his family, (who were quite well off, but lived by the 'never a borrower or a lender be' adage). I felt especially humiliated but by this time we had not much choice.
The amount we were 'given' was deducted from the sale of his parents house when they died.

So he in effect he had his inheritance early.
I must say it did help us out at the time.

We helped our children financially with deposits for their first homes, because we could, and I was happy to do so, it went to good use.
I couldn't bear to think of them living in circumstances similar to ours, so I hope they would always come to us sooner rather than later should they need to.

The trouble is when the borrower begins to rely on it.
Or the lender resents being asked.