When Do We Have Enough Money?

by Kristina on November 17, 2010 · 8 comments

Last week Michele made a comment on our post titled A Financial Burden: Do Children Equal Debt? that parents do not become financially responsible for their children for the rest of their lives.  Of course, it is a parents’ choice to financially support their children past the age of majority.  But very often is the case in both my professional, as well as personal life that parents do continue to financially support their children into adulthood.

A while back I asked my Dad why parents send money to their adult children. I personally don’t understand the concept…at all.  I have worked two jobs since I was sixteen and I don’t understand the concept of not working for money.  My Dad told me that “A parent feels they are doing what is in the kids’ best interest. A parent never wants to see their child suffer.” I agree that no one wants to see a family member struggle, but at the same time everyone has financial difficulties throughout their life. Handing money to an adult whenever they need it isn’t really helping them stand up on their two feet.  An adult will never learn financial responsibility if they can always rely on their parents to hand them money whenever they call.

Let’s look at an example from my personal life.  My Step Witch has two adult daughters, the oldest is in her 40’s, and the youngest is in her late 30’s.  Over the past 8 years of my Dad’s relationship with the Step Witch I have seen her hand money over to her two adult children every single time they have asked for it.  She even takes the money to them.  My sister Tara and I call it “Dial a Dollar”.  Her daughters call her up for money and she withdraws it from the ATM and brings it right over to them.  These two adults don’t need a savings account when they have mommy to financially support them.  It must be nice to not have a stable job, and still have instant access to unlimited money.

I have seen my step witch’s two daughters ask for money for everything from Christmas gifts for their (several) children, weekly cigarettes, for student loans from a degree that was never completed, airfare for (past) boyfriends, and more recently court fees because the oldest daughter wants her children back.  In my opinion, if the court has already deemed you as an unfit mother then there is no reason on spending $5000 to appeal the decision.

What is an appropriate age when children should no longer ask their parents for money?

In my family the answer is while we were in school. My father sent me $300 a month to help with my living expenses, and my parents also had an education savings plan for me.  Please don’t get me wrong. I didn’t have my education handed to me on a silver platter. I worked full time while I was in school and my GPA suffered because of it.  The point is that I made it work. In my family, when things don’t go as planned you make it work.

(Photo By Borman)



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