This is an email I received the other day from a client:
What do you do when you have grown children who always ask you for money to help them. I know they do not bring home enough money to pay everything. However, they haven’t went on a budget as I have wanted them to do either. I feel guilty and angry when they ask me and expect me to support them or pay their electric bill etc. I have bought cars paid bills and now my savings is depleted. Not that it was a lot to begin with but I was saving. I have been very blessed and have just recieved another increase in a new job and a promotion. Am I being selfish? or have I been so blessed in order to help when they need it?”
Well, my first reaction to this question was, “Stop!”
Okay, let’s get real here. First off, you’re not selfish for wanting to keep the money you have worked so hard to save. You’re not being a bad parent for wanting your grown children to learn financial savvy behaviors. This may sound cruel, but I recommend that the next time you are asked to pay off a bill that you hand them a personal finance book and say,
“Here you go, honey. This is the best way for you to get what you want out of life.“
There will be tears, there will be wailing, whining and guilt trips offered. Ignore them. In the book, “The Millionaire Next Door” the authors devote an entire chapter on how successful wealthy parents prevent economic welfare expectations from their offspring. It is a tough love, but it is necessary if we want our kids to learn the true ways of financial independence and that means learning the behaviors of saving money and debt-free living. One of the basic financial laws is NOT, “Thou shalt go to they parents for cash when in need!”
Harsh, yes. Will it make your children stronger, most definitely. Prepare for the onslaught with Tissues and a fresh copy of any of the following books below:
The Automatic Millionaire, David Bach
Financial Peace, David Ramsey
Debt-Proof Living, Mary Hunt
Or you can make me the “bad guy” and hand them my book, Ditching Debt: 3 Simple Steps for Financial Stress Relief.
The biggest thing right now is you have to take care of yourself and build your savings account back up. If your kids holler at you or try to send you on a guilt cruise, just remind them that one day you may need to be in an assisted living home, did they want to pay for that or would they prefer that you move into their place? Ouch. Sorry, but I have a bit of a twisted side to me.