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Bank of Mum and Dad

(102 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?

Namsnanny Wed 01-Jan-20 21:44:45

notanan … and sometimes it's just perceived as such.

Smileless2012 Wed 01-Jan-20 21:58:26

That's true Namsnanny, sometimes it's all about the perception.

Together with my brother, we provided our ES with a deposit for his first home before he met his wife, by way of an investment. When they were getting married we agreed with my brother that the money be transferred to another property as a deposit which is what they requested.

After we'd been cut out, ES told Mr. S. we'd only invested the money as a way of controlling them. Mr. S. said that was never the case but if that's how they felt maybe they should repay our investment.

Of course they never did.

Ours was a 'no strings loan' Madgran as is often the case when parents are trying to give financial help to their AC.

notanan2 Wed 01-Jan-20 22:11:33

There isnt one configuration.

I always say you have to be more businesslike if you deal financially with friends or family, than you do if dealing with strangers.

It needs to be documented. Terms need to be clear from the start. And there has to be the option to back out.

Unfortunately people often skip the serious formalities and just assume that everyone is on the same page.

No time limits on loans. Expectations and boundaries not made clear. There are so many pitfalls on both sides.

It comes undone when people assume that these things dont need to be cleared up from the off

notanan2 Wed 01-Jan-20 22:21:29

I also know a family who paid for a big expensive villa and expected all their AC and GC to automatically want to all go, just because it was "free".

They didnt and the parents got quite annoyed about it. But they hadnt asked, they just told. And expected all to be delighted.

There can be problems turning down gifts too. Not everyone accepts gladly. Sometimes its because theyre told theyre getting it, not asked if they want or need it. And I know posters will say "just say no" but thats easier said than done if you know it'll cause problems.

What people want/need. And what others assume they want/need, doesnt always correlate. And a lot of families avoid blunt communication.

BradfordLass72 Wed 01-Jan-20 22:50:48

From necessity, I taught both my sons about budgeting and economy.
We went round the shops comparing prices to volume and, if we had to, put things back onto the shelves at the supermarket in order to stay within budget.

Because my sons knew, to the penny, what came in and went out, they saw quite clearly what was needed for utilitis, rent and so on.

They were never demanding, what would have been the point? They knew if there was anything spare after necesities, we shared equally.

Now of course they are independent and pretty well heeled but what they learned as children stood them in good stead.

As with all aspects of life and growing up, if you explain to children at the time and help them learn the facts of a subject slowly but surely, they will be better equipped.

If it's all hidden by you for 18 years and then suddenly they find they have to learn a whole load of difficult things at once (often whilst at college or university), they'll flounder.

Eloethan Wed 01-Jan-20 23:12:57

We helped both of our children with deposits and/or other expenses and were pleased to do so. We also help with various things for our grandchildren.

Neither I nor my husband received any financial (and very little practical) support from our parents. His parents lived outside the UK and certainly did not have the financial means to assist, and it wouldn't even have occurred to my parents to help us with a deposit (even though they had received substantial help at the start of their marriage, and inherited a house and other assets in their late 40's).

We had to struggle and didn't want that for our own children. We were in a position to help and wanted our children to have the security of their own homes - especially in these very insecure times.

I wouldn't enjoy splashing out on expensive holidays and other luxury items if my children and grandchildren didn't have a decent home.

M0nica Wed 01-Jan-20 23:13:55

I absolutely agree with you BradfordLass72.

In their mid/late teens DC saw their father made redundant, fortunately he could get contract work, but for two years we lived from month to month, almost week to week as to whether DH would be in work or not, so whether there would be any money coming in. DC could not help but pick up the pressure we were under, and we never hid anything from them.

When they first started managing money at university, yes, they made mistakes and we lent them money interest free to sort themselves out, but the result is that, as adults, both have been careful with money and not run up either big credit card bills.

DS once told me that he was fortunate to grow up with unmaterialistic parents. This did take me a bit by surprise, we certainly never wanted the big cars and expensive holidays that many others chased, but we do like old houses (which can be expensive to run and maintain) and antique furniture and prefer cars to be at least 5 years old before we buy them, but that is not quite the same as not being materialistic. He has also described us as eccentric, which, again, he considered an advantage, and perhaps that is the most likely explanation. Either way, it means DC do not chase after luxuries they cannot afford or measure themselves by what they own.

Namsnanny Thu 02-Jan-20 00:00:20

Because money was tight in our house, there was no argument among the children about who got what. They all knew they had first dibs on resources, and that our income wasn't infinite.

And as such learned to budget and earn money early on in their lives.

I have continued to be very proud of their collective ability to support themselves financially. Especially when they were younger.
Some of the jobs they did weren't very pleasant, but they still did them until something better came along.

Ours was a financially difficult home for a number of years, but it was when the children were young and in their formative years. They learned some very good lessons.

They all say knowing the value of money and learning to save has helped them.

notanan2 Thu 02-Jan-20 00:02:44

It doesnt necessarily suggest that the recipients are bad with money.

In fact sometimes its worse to bail out an AC who is bad with money than to give a gift to one thats good with money. So it doesnt necessarily correlate.

Namsnanny Thu 02-Jan-20 00:06:55

There is a saying in our house notanan ,,, taken from a long gone advert its:

'you knows everyfink Brian!'

… usually said tongue in cheek when one of us starts pontificating about a subject they think they know about. grin

seadragon Thu 02-Jan-20 10:32:32

Me too Rosenoir.

Oopsminty Thu 02-Jan-20 10:34:29

Maybe they just want to help them financially

Their business really

jaylucy Thu 02-Jan-20 10:51:41

I have known many, mainly elderly people that have just about beggared themselves by cutting back on heating, clothing and standard of food , just so they can "leave something for the children when I'm gone" even though their children have all been in good jobs, earning way more than their parents ever did. Often those same children even rarely visit their parents - not because they live a distance away, (one son even lived in the same street and had to drive past his parents house to get home!)but because they think their life is more important.
I had one uncle that handed money over to his daughter to help her buy her house - only to find out later that she had spent it on several holidays, rather than her mortgage!
My dad helped my son to buy his first car (did the same for at least 2 of his other grandchildren) but only because he offered so that a decent car could be bought .

Tillybelle Thu 02-Jan-20 10:56:19

Judy54. Through the evil and criminal actions of a builder I have been forced into debt and have a house that needs expensive urgent repairs. When I hear from my friend of how she has been on a shopping spree with her daughter, buying for her expensive clothes even though the daughter and her DH have an extremely high income and live in a luxury home, you might think therefore that I would be riled by this. But I do not mind at all.
Some people have lots of money. Some are lucky some are not. We can't change the world. I would love to be a "Bank of Mum" (dad has died) but as it happens, it is one of my daughters who is helping me to pay for having the floor repaired since I cannot use that space until it is done and the furniture can't even go in there which means the only habitable space is crowded out.
I have noticed how it is those who know or have known hardship who give most readily when people are in need. Ordinary people with no luxury in their lives often are the ones who give their warm clothes to the homeless and have coffee mornings to raise money for desperate causes. I have a wonderful neighbour who does this. Although she is 70 next birthday and still goes out to work, she raises money for charity, often brings me a hot meal as I am disabled, and gives items to worthy causes. She is an ordinary person with a simple unsophisticated home. I think she is an Angel.

MiniDriver56 Thu 02-Jan-20 11:00:52

I do think the younger generation expect more. When I married in the 70’s if you managed to get a mortgage the contents of the house came last. Our first house had a dining. Room but we didn’t have a table for four years! I never had a washing machine either. Quite a few of the younger generation want everything straight away, if you buy a house more than you can afford and both have to work it’s your choice. You cannot your parents to pick up the bills you can’t pay!

CarlyD7 Thu 02-Jan-20 11:06:29

The generation before us (our parents' generation) grew up during the war and a lot of us inherited the attitudes of "make do and mend", debt was to be avoided at all costs and with only seeing the lives of those around us to compare ourselves to. We were a generation that had final salary pensions; secure jobs for life; houses that could be bought on one average salary; free university education; etc. Our children (and children) have none of this. Plus they've gown up with easy access to credit and more and more input (via numerous TV channels and the internet) into how other people live and to have higher expectations for themselves. Fewer of them can afford to buy their own homes (and some are giving up on the idea of ever being able to afford to do so) and so are at the mercy of high rents in the private sector. They will be the first generation to actually be worse off than the generation before them. So, if parents can help them, and want to, I don't see a problem with it (unless they feel emotionally blackmailed into it) as long as they've got enough to see them through retirement?

nipsmum Thu 02-Jan-20 11:08:05

I got £15 from my mum to help me out when my husband walked out and left me with a mortgage I was never going to be able to pay on my own with 2 daughters. I never expected my parents to help me out with anything. And my daughters could only get a minimum of help from me when they were both at university. I would have loved to be able to afford to pay for their holidays but only managed to survive myself , and still do. Parents that can afford to help their children should be very grateful to be able to afford to, not all of us can.

Sugarpufffairy Thu 02-Jan-20 11:11:47

I would like to help my DC and I have paid for things for them.
Then it came to my attention that it was expected of me but the parents of their partners were never expected to pay anything. I lent thousands for a larger purchase and my DC paid it back regularly until a new partner came on the scene. Outings for shopping were arranged but just ignored when the time came. People were left I'll but the partner had to have their wishes met.
I decided I was no longer going to provide money. I am no longer included. Obviously I was just there for financial reasons

Chaitriona Thu 02-Jan-20 11:12:26

That’s a nice post by Tillybelle. I noticed when I collected for charity that it was usually people in the poorest areas who were most generous. I once went to buy a Big Issue and when I opened my purse found I didn’t have enough money to buy one and pay my bus fare home. I was embarrassed and had to explain and apologise. The vendor ran after me and gave me one for free. He wouldn’t take the bit of change I could give him. Big Issue vendors buy their stock so it cost him something. I felt blessed. Giving something to another person can be a blessing both for the person who gives and the person who receives.

polnan Thu 02-Jan-20 11:14:52

well, talking about this to a friend, only yesterday,,
my mum and dad helped me,, back in the 50`s -60`s

but one thing I think we oldies, tend to forget is that there is so much to "want" nowadays..

we had landline telephones, well some of us, not all.. we had a cooker, and one or two saucepans,, one car for the whole family... one small tv... no dvd`s etc.. think about it..
nowadays, there is so much to WANT,, and priorities have just gone to pot

"roof over head," first priority, food,, next... oh, no central heating either!!! just remembered that..

not fitted carpets etc... make a list of what we didn`t have to HAVE... that is the main problem as I see it..

vinasol Thu 02-Jan-20 11:16:13


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

I agree Renoir.

JacquiG Thu 02-Jan-20 11:17:35

My Grandad, a skilled working man, helped my Dad buy his first home. Dad helped me with ours, we helped both our children with theirs. All loans were interest free and set up with payment plans which were kept to. We have also been able to 'invest' in their home improvement schemes and other ventures with gifts.

We seem to have benefited from compulsory pension plans and saving a bit, plus working longer than expected because we enjoyed it. Will todays workers have this?

We help when we can and we know it is appreciated. (Do we have a sixth sense as to when a gift is appropriate? Yes, we are never asked for money.)

When we were setting up home, we had to accumulate furniture etc carefully, mostly second hand, as money was scarce. But there was job security, and uni/training was free. Life seems so precarious for young adults these days, and I'm not so sure the have-it-all now ethos is a good one. Have seen a couple of friends almost bankrupted that way.

It's good to help out, but no strings is essential I think.

EllieB52 Thu 02-Jan-20 11:17:49

Over the Christmas holiday my nine year old step granddaughter asked me where we got our money from when we were retired. I explained about pensions and how important it was to start one as soon as they get a job. Funnily, she went back to her colouring. Now I wonder if she was assessing us for hand-outs! 😂

Tillybelle Thu 02-Jan-20 11:20:35

Namsnanny I was moved by your words about how your children learned to be good with money and appreciate what they have. I too am proud of mine now. When their father died he left me with debts to pay and we had to move - which wasn't a bad thing in itself. My middle daughter had been doing a weekend job which she hated and I remember the day she finished it she was elated. As soon as her father died, she went back and asked for her job back! She was doing A levels too. Now they are all married with children and as I said, my eldest is funding me or I would have a floor falling through (it is) and the room is unusable. I fondly imagine I shall pay her back... Having been to her house over this holiday, I can say that, although her husband is paid very well, they do not live luxuriously at all. Indeed her house is very simple and plain and she does not wear expensive clothes either. Her two sisters are the same and the youngest has to work to pay their mortgage. The middle one has 4 children (no. 4 being a product of the pill not working I think) and a health issue so works very hard but not for money! She is extremely resourceful and the children are not indulged and do not have every toy under the sun as do some I know.
So, Namsnanny, I am very glad you wrote in because it gives me the time to reflect that, having had some bumps in the road over the years, I am proud of my children regarding their spending and child-raising!! Happy New Year to you. I shall never forget your kindness to me.

jenpax Thu 02-Jan-20 11:22:19

I am not one of the boomer generation so didn’t experience some of the longer term benefits in economic prosperity others have alluded to.
Bringing our 3 up was a hard slog financially, and I have had to work full time for much of their childhood. I am still working now.
I do help 2 of my children out considerably! one is a lone parent to 3 and the other is unable to work due to health reasons at the moment and depends on only her partners salary; which, although high, doesn’t go far in the South!
I help with extra curricular activities, bills, food shopping, clothes for the kids, nursery bills all the day to day costs.
I feel that I have to, as these are my children and my small grandchildren, so while no legal obligation, I do feel a moral imperative.
I am not sure that I would be willing to financially flog myself (as I am doing) for luxury holidays though! However it’s a personal choice I guess.