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NOW CLOSED: When are you too old to ask your parents for financial help? Discuss this topic with Barclays - £150 JL voucher to be won

(190 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Nov-12 16:52:44

Hello - you may know we are working with Barclays on all things money.

This week they have launched a big campaign to get people talking - they want to know what you think about home buying and money topics.

The team at Barclays say "We want to hear what Mumsnetters think about home-buying and the money dilemmas you face around property for your family. The topic in this thread is about how you deal with financial help in your family relationships between children and parents. We have three questions this week, and the question on this thread is "When are you too old to ask your parents for financial help?"

The other two questions asked this week are:

Are you saving for retirement or your child's deposit? and

Is it still a home if you don't own it?

Please share your thoughts on this thread - please note, there are no right or wrong answers and the question will mean different things to different MNers.

Add your thoughts and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £150 John Lewis voucher.

Thanks MNHQ

PS Please note your comments along with your MN name may be used on the Barclays pages on Mumsnet and elsewhere.

PPS We'll do the draws for all three threads on Tuesday.

Frontpaw Mon 03-Dec-12 12:59:47

As soon as you leave home! In my case anyway! My sister didn't think the same! My parents were very very generous and did offer to buy tickets, washing machines... But we never took them up on it (except housewarming or birthdays).

Mum did slip a few grand into my savings account just before she died as she knew we had been saving up for a long anticipated real holiday. She died before I could slip it back to her...

Dontbesodramatic Mon 03-Dec-12 13:01:24

Depending in you circumstances, I don't think you're ever to old.
My mother helped me financially when I became a lone parent and really got me back in my feet and for that I'll be eternally grateful. Even now when DD has an unexpected payment for School my DM will always ask whether she can help.

When my DD is older, I will do exactly the same for her.

Dontbesodramatic Mon 03-Dec-12 13:03:01

*on & *your
Stupid auto type!

choccyp1g Mon 03-Dec-12 13:05:34

I think as soon as you move out and/or earn your own money. It would never have occurred to me to ask for help from my parents.

Offred Mon 03-Dec-12 13:17:55

Don't think age is much to do with it or parents either. I think families should really help each other out through tough times, including tough finances. I think it is a really bad idea to set up paying for old age care to be dependent on owning a house and also buying your first house to be dependent on help from parents.

newyearnewattitude Mon 03-Dec-12 13:34:19

I personally think once you move out (and that should be early 20's at the latest!) and if you cant afford to buy on your own then don't!

hobnob57 Mon 03-Dec-12 13:50:56

In my case I have never asked my parents for money and always understood I would fund myself once I left home, including my wedding. I come from a large family and funding me is the least of their worries.

OTOH DH's family are well off and on more than one occasion have offered to dig us out of a hole. They would rather help than see us and the kids in strife.

I think it depends on the means and sentiment of the parents. But asking for money is not something we would ever do. Shudder.

CanonFodder Mon 03-Dec-12 13:57:08

I think it depends. I funded my own education as my parents were not then in a position to help, the resultingdebt from this led to me being priced out tof the Market house and deposit wise and my parents have since kindly given us a deposit as they inherited some cash. I am in my mid 30's. I know they would help us again if one of us lost our job or because gravely I'll and couldn't work, but we are very careful not to rely on or expect that, and most certainly would never, ever ask for it.

CanonFodder Mon 03-Dec-12 13:57:41

Became gravely ill, bloody iPad.

RubyrooUK Mon 03-Dec-12 14:00:24

I don't think you are ever too old for parents to offer help or to ask for it.

However, I wouldn't want to ask my parents for help as I'm an adult with my own family. I pay for things myself and don't want money from my family. But if the situation was desperate, I know it would be really important to my mum that I did ask, as she would love to help her children however she can.

In the same way, I hope my kids will ask for help if they need it financially when they reach adulthood. I may or may not be able to help depending what was being requested but I'd like them to know that they could ask.

I do think it is important to be financially independent as an adult and not NEED your parents to cover life expenses. But I am sure help is there if I need it and want my kids to feel the same.

I think it depends on the relationship with your parents and the circumstances.

If you've left home, finished university and have a full-time job then I doubt you would rely on parents for money.
If you are saving for a deposit on a house and parents had the funds to help you, then there wouldn't be a problem.

Personally, I haven't relied on my parents since leaving home at 18. If I want something, then I save up.
DH's parents save money on everything and are in a position to help him or his sibling if they need it.

shriekingnora Mon 03-Dec-12 14:03:21

Never too old but you're also never too young to be sensitive to your parents' own needs. I wouldn't ask for help if I had been recklessly spending and wanted to continue funding a lifestyle I coudn't afford but I didn't hesitate to ask for help when DH was made redundant and we were struggling to buy food. I have also recently borrowed a huge amount from them to start a business but they insisted as they didn't see the point of us paying huge amounts of interest to the bank when they had the money there. I realise I am extremely lucky to be in this position and I don't take their help for granted at all. I hope I am able to do the same thing for my children.

EdgarAllanPond Mon 03-Dec-12 14:03:24

you're never too old to ask for financial help from your parents

you're never too young for them to say no

Never too old if circumstances allow in my opinion. It all depends on the dynamics in your family and how much money each member does/doesn't have I guess <<shrugs>>

I still have a debit card linked to my mums account and I'm nearly 40 blush In fairness I do work in a family owned business and so the debit card is mostly for expenses, but I do use it if I am short, and don't hesitate to do so.

I think my dad still pays for a few things too, AA membership and a life insurance type scheme that he thought I should have after becoming an LP, possibly more.

They can afford it, we've always been a family of sharers grin When I was younger I had waaay more cash than Dsis who was at Uni and I used to spend lots on/for her. These days she spoils my kids rotten when she see's them and I get lovely gifts.

Swings and roundabouts as someone said further up.

Tyranasaurus Mon 03-Dec-12 14:22:14

Once you finish uni

noidles Mon 03-Dec-12 14:28:08

It's a bit fuzzy for me - my Dad has always drilled into me the mentality that I should support myself financially, and I never ever asked my parents for money. They helped me with some of my tuition fees at university, and while I was there I got into a little bit of debt, which scared the hell out of me. Too ashamed to tell them, I ebayed a few things, took loads of extra hours on at my bar job, and I've always been really careful since.

I'd have LIKED financial help to help buy a house, but never dared ask, but then my Mum sold her house and said she'd split the money between me and my sister to help us to get a deposit for our own house. It was a very welcome offering!

When I have children I think I will like to offer them support getting on the housing ladder, but that is going to be 20-30 years from now, so who knows what the housing situation would be like then? I remember 15 years ago my sister planned to buy a house with her then boyfriend, and the house was around £35k, and now it's up for about £135k...so who knows if prices will fall or rise ridiculously again.

I think ultimately, the future feels really uncertain when it comes to the cost of buying a house and other household bills. I hope that when I do have children that they always feel they can come to me when they are in a bind financially.

derekthehamster Mon 03-Dec-12 14:28:27

Once I started earning the only thing we asked for was the deposit for our first house (2k shock) which was a loan from pil. When we got married, they gave it to us as a wedding present grin

Since then we've never had to ask for money, although my Mum is very good at anticipating when we'll need some extra cash and offering us a loan, she would always prefer to loan us the money interest free, rather than us increasing the mortgage take out a loan.

chrisrobin Mon 03-Dec-12 14:30:07

You are never too old to ask parents for financial help. My parents would be very upset to think I couldn't ask them for help if we were struggling, they also know I wouldn't ask unless I really needed it. DH was recently made redundant and the first thing my Dad said was don't worry we will help with the bills- I didn't need to ask, they just wanted to help. I would hope that my DC would feel they were able to ask me if they were in need of help (when they are older- not at the moment when they feel they 'need' money for Lego).

imdreamingofaskyebluechristmas Mon 03-Dec-12 14:31:50

When I was 28 I bought my first house. It cost £42500 and needed £7K worth of work on it to get the mortgage. My parents helped me then as they could see that I would never get on the property ladder without them.... 7 years later I sold the house for £125K...... this meant that I could put a massive deposit down on a detached place for me, XH and DD. I was so grateful to my parents and never ever expected another penny from them.

Thankfully when I divorced recently, XH did the decent thing and walked away from the capital in the house as it was mine.... However, I can only get a mortgage in my own name for £14K less than I owe on the mortgage...

I did not ask my parents for help, they offered, as they came into a bit of money, to make up the difference, so that me and DD can stay in the house and not and have to move. I am so grateful to them for that and can never repay them.

lubeybooby Mon 03-Dec-12 14:34:10

I last asked my dad for an emergency £50 when I was 29. I felt a bit pathetic and vowed to make sure I was never in that situation again, and so far haven't been (now 32)

That is my own decision though, I'm sure if I ever asked he would still be happy to help. It's just personal pride that made me sort out my finances a bit more and get some savings buffer, and get better at keeping an eye on things (any direct debit bounce charges etc) to hopefully avoid unexpected emergencies.

I haven't asked my mum for anything since I was 27 and leaving my ex, she put an amount towards a rent deposit for me. I then paid this back by having her live with me for a short time and financially supporting her with a weekly amount when she had a breakdown, left her job and needed a new place herself.

I know she would help me again too though if I really needed it. Again it's a personal thing of feeling like I really should be standing on my own two feet that would make me hesitate to ask either parent

It's splitting hairs but I felt I ought not to be asking for money once I was earning my own which for me was age 23 when I was in employment after graduating from uni. That's not to say that I won't accept money from them and indeed do - we wouldn't have been able to buy our family home without a very generous contribution from my parents. But as has been stated up thread, no parents want to see their children go without and will help as long as they can afford to and I will absolutely do the same for my own children. One day, I would love to be able to repay my parents the chunk f deposit that they gave to us.

nextphase Mon 03-Dec-12 14:56:41

Never too old if you NEED the money.
But it should be for things beyond your control - not because you choose to live above your means, and then need a new boiler. However if you are existing on nothing, and need a new boiler, and your parents are in a position to help, I think thats valid.

But then equally, maybe you should never need to ask - if you keep up an honest dialogue with those close to you, they should know when things get tricky, and offer, if they are in a position.

But that is all assuming that you have that sort of relationship with your parents, and they have the means to support you.

Dotty342kids Mon 03-Dec-12 14:58:58

I'm not sure that you're ever too old actually! In any family there will be members of the family that, at various times, will struggle and need help, and there will be others who are in a position to help. Whether that's children asking parents or grandparents when they need to move up a house size or whether it's working children helping struggling grandparents, I think it's the case that families do often help one another out.
For example, when my car unexpectedly went "kaput" a couple of years ago, it was my inlaws who had the cash, in savings, that they could instantly give to me to help finance a new one, which I then paid them back gradually. They've always saved during their lives and rather than wait to die and then it come to the three of their adult children, they'd rather give it to us as they go along and see it put to good use. So, when we moved house recently and really stretched ourselves, they gave us the money for a new kitchen. But, we accept it knowing that should they ever be in need, we'd step in and help in return.
I suppose the only point where we wouldn't ask them, is if we knew they didn't have it to give, I can't think of anythign more stressful on either side!

chez2708 Mon 03-Dec-12 15:04:18

Never too old, if parents knew you didn't ask then would be hmm unhappy that you didn't let them help, so I say never, but same for me if my children struggle I don't want to find out any other way than my kids telling me x

eggsandham Mon 03-Dec-12 15:09:34

I think it probably depends upon the amount of money your parents have. Mine earn enough to get by comfortably, but do not have thousands in savings etc so I would have felt bad asking as soon as I'd left uni and got a job. My parents made so many financial sacrifices to give me and my two sisters everything we could have wanted, providing for our education etc and I am so pleased that they can now spend the money they work hard to earn on things that make them happy. I wouldn't dream of asking them for money now that I earn my own - and if I haven't got enough for something I want, I need to find a way to earn it or go without.

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