If you are in your teens or early twenties, you know that Mom and Dad won’t be there to provide for you forever. You may be just starting to earn your own money from odd jobs and be a long way off from achieving a full financial independence from your parents, but you can start with not asking them for money every time you want to go out with your friends. If you want to go for a drive around town, fill up the car with your own money, or walk instead. It’s time to start standing up on your own, beginning with closing your account at the Bank of Mom and Dad.
Financial dependence and today’s generation
More and more young adults are having difficulty becoming financially independent from their parents, not because of the lack of motivation but because of a number of factors such as poor job prospects and the escalating costs of education. Some young people also have a poor understanding of basic finance and lack budgeting skills, as they have become used to their parents handing them money for every need or want.
And while parents may have taught their children the value of money and the basics of budgeting, young adults may still have a difficult time going out on their own into the “real world,” considering the state of the economy and rising prices of rent and utilities.
Hand-outs from parents
Parents, caring as they are, would still insist on handing their young ones a little bit of extra cash, especially when they see their children struggling with the independent life. Ideally young adults should be responsible for all their personal expenses on their own and not receive monthly stipends from parents, but in real life that seldom happens.
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For instance, you may already have a decent job but your income does not seem to cover the monthly rent, your food, and other things you spend on. Is your income really the problem, or your spending?
If you depend on your parents to help you survive the month, then you will never learn to make important financial decisions for yourself. You will only look forward to your next hand-out and continue complaining that you don’t earn enough. You will not be able to learn how to manage your own money wisely and make significant changes to your lifestyle that can help you achieve independence completely. Parents may be able to help when it comes to helping you give a down payment for an apartment, but asking them for money on a regular basis is definitely out of the question.
Check your spending instead
Consider what you can do to make sure you pay the bills, eat, and still have enough left for an emergency fund. Be aware of where you spend money on; list down all of your monthly expenses and determine the things you can do without. Perhaps you’ve formed a habit of stopping by a cafe for a sandwich on the way back to your flat from work.
It may be cheaper to pack a snack from home instead. Not getting help from your parents may be difficult, but it is possible. Wise spending and money management is a learning process; it is high time you educate yourself so to be stronger and more independent.