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Twenty-Somethings Still Seeking Parental Aid

An MSN Money article asking why Gen Y is broke started out as a typical article, arbitrarily wondering why we're incapable of managing our money (and asking questions like, "Is Gen Y dumb or just lazy?"), but nestled within are a few startling statistics.

This one is particularly striking: According to a recent Pew survey, 68 percent of baby boomers are supporting at least one of their adult children financially. It's hard to believe that only a third of 20- and 30-somethings are financially independent.

The reason for so many dependent young adults becomes clear with some of the other stats the article mentions. The average college debt for recent grads is more than $20,000; those between ages 25 and 34 make up 22.7 percent of all U.S. bankruptcies; the median credit-card debt of those aged 18 to 34 earning low- and middle-income is $8,200.

The good news? The more financial education we get, the less likely we'll be broke in the years to come, and we'll be able to teach our own children important lessons in financial literacy. Are you still receiving some help from your parents here and there?

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sundrops sundrops 7 years
Wow, this was a heated thread. The first I've seen on Savvy! Any who we're a family of four and I'm 27. We've been working our a*ses off to get off of parent "dependence" these last four years and have done pretty well (and sunk ourselves into debt, which we are currently getting out of). However, when we still need something extra - for clothes or food - I feel SO bad that we are still asking for money for those things. It's good to know I'm not the only 20something still depending on their parents occasionally to bail them out. On top of it I have a family of four, so I think I'll stop beating myself up for that.
sundrops sundrops 7 years
Wow, this was a heated thread. The first I've seen on Savvy! Any who we're a family of four and I'm 27. We've been working our a*ses off to get off of parent "dependence" these last four years and have done pretty well (and sunk ourselves into debt, which we are currently getting out of). However, when we still need something extra - for clothes or food - I feel SO bad that we are still asking for money for those things. It's good to know I'm not the only 20something still depending on their parents occasionally to bail them out. On top of it I have a family of four, so I think I'll stop beating myself up for that.
graylen graylen 7 years
I'll take my bullsh*t fine arts degree and happily make art every day for the rest of my life... at a good salary. Thanks.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 7 years
I am not trying to invalidate your opinion with your citizenship at all. I am just trying to point out that everybody has their unique situation. Case in point - I was an international student in the US, so I did not qualify for any loans or financial aid because of my international status. Hence my parents paid the premium for my education. Not a problem, since they wanted me to study and get my degree from a US university. But...I had to move back home a year after my graduation because my student visa and work permit expired. My boss tried to secure a new work visa for me, but since it is so difficult in the US to come by one, I was not able to get one. So, I had to pack up my things, and move back home. Where else would I go? It was only temporary and I bounced around Southeast Asia for a while, but now I am back in the US with a work visa again. So, does this make me a lazy person? For the mere fact that I had to move back home and live off my parents for a while, because a) the US is having a serious immigration issues b) my parents live in a country where I am not a citizen, so I can't get a job and c) they want to support me no matter what? What do you expect people in my situation to do? Just move back to my country of birth (where I have not lived since I was 1) and just magically find a job within a few days? So my point is (and a lot of other poster's as well), you can't really judge without knowing the full story. If you knew just half my story, you'd probably think I was one of those people who complained and went home to mom and dad. But some things you don't have control over, and you do the best you can with whatever cards are dealt to you. My circle of friends include people who went back home for a while, never had to work in their life, and they started their own businesses and are extremely successful. Nobody plans to be broke or to screw up financially. Not many people's goals in life after graduation are to move back home and be taken care of. Ok, I do agree that there is more incentive to max out your credit card or drain your bank account knowing full well that your parents will pay off your debt or just replenish that account - but is that really the fault of the kids, or the parents? And to YOU that fine arts degree may seem like bullshit, but to the person getting a loan for that degree, it seems like an opportunity. So who are you to judge??
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 7 years
You're trying to invalidate my opinion with my citizenship, which isn't fair grounds for argument. I've lived, worked, and attended school in the USA, so I know exactly how hard done by americans are -- and no surprise, its next to impossible to drum up sympathy for their plight. I don't think having a line of credit to finance my orthodontic treatment is hypocritical by any stretch of the imagination. The article was about 20-somethings seeking parental aid -- a category I am not a part of. It mentioned the average college debt for a graduate is $20 000 -- mine will be $0. I worked & paid for my school, and the things I purchase outside of it are a luxury. By having a line of credit, not only do I get a perfect smile through my graduation photos, I've also built up a strong credit history by meeting my payments and not overspending. This will be especially valuable considering the amount I'll be asking for to fund my professional education post-grad. Since I'm nowhere near finished the post-secondary education I wish to obtain, taking out any loans at this point of time would be nothing short of stupid and probably just encourage me to work less because everything would already be "paid". Maybe that's part of the problem with people that got up to their eyeballs in student debt: they just got used to paying their bills with someone else's money, and didn't really understand how much $20 000 actually was. Neverthless, I'm not opposed to student loans, or any sort of loans -- a fact you seem to be blatantly ignoring because hey, if you acknowledged this, what would you have left to attack me with? -- sometimes they're a good investment towards your education/home/self/whatever. What I am opposed to is people that don't work, move home with mom & dad, complain that they can't find a job because 4yrs ago they took out 30K to get some bullshit fine arts degree and are now royally screwed. I don't have sympathy for adults that need to revert to being teenagers under their parents roof again. They're lazy and incompetent, period.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 7 years
Hithatsmybike - you seem to attribute your "good" financial situation to where you live and where you were born, while you call everybody else who seems to be in debt, living with their parents, or just generally struggling with their finances, lazy (and wanting a free ride). Not everybody receives the same benefits you do. Not everybody can just move to where you live and do the same as you did. Get off your high horse already and stop putting everybody else down. You even admitted in your blog about how jealous you are of a friend whose parents pay for everything. So even you would like a free ride! I don't care if you work hard for what you want - the majority of us do. Stop singing yourself praise and open your eyes. Clearly, you need to.
facin8me facin8me 7 years
I'm not struggling with your writing Bridget. You are struggling with the concept that while you are condemning people for taking out students loans, you use other credit means to finance your lifestyle and that this makes you a hypocrite. If you have paid off some of your debt, then good for you! But you're no different from people who take out school loans and pay them off. You are struggling with that fact that you have a subsidized education that allows you to finance the rest of your education with odd jobs. Nobody cares about how good or bad you think you have it, just don't be a hypocrite.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 7 years
ok facin8me, I see you're still struggling with reading here so I'm going to type this as clearly as I can: I had a department store card for a COMPUTER (as stated in my blog). I transferred the remaining balance of $1000 to my LINE OF CREDIT. That amount has since been PAID OFF. Conclusion: you got nothin'. Keep fishing though. Ok and blah blah blah school is funded by the government/the church/whatever. How does that explain the thousands of students at my current university institution that are receiving financial aid? Why does the student's union make it a point to bitch & hold protests demanding tuition be LOWERED if it's "so cheap"? They also like to whine endlessly about the housing costs, so maybe you can write to them and let them know how good we have it. God knows someone else has to tell them. Ok, I was born into a country with a better government & more affordable schools. This is not a crime. I am a citizen of this country and I am entitled to the benefits thereof. It is not my fault or my problem that you were born worse off. Condemn me all you like, I would pay double if it came down to it. I had the option of finishing my degree at a local college here that would be about 2K cheaper a year, but I chose the more expensive institution for its prestige & reputation instead. I can still afford it, with room in my bank account to spare. It's only mid-way through August and I've already cleared $3000 this month. If I can do that, anyone can. People are lazy and they want a free ride, end of story. I work as hard as I need to for the things that I want, and would do so regardless of the price. If people have less, it's not my problem, it's theirs. From what I remember, UofU where I was thinking of transferring before deciding on Canada, had tution of approximately $2500/term, which is less that I'm paying now. So if these US universities exist, what's the complaint? Living in Utah is CHEAPER than where I am now, and EVERYTHING in the USA costs pennies compared to Canada. Granted, the difference is shrinking daily since your dollar is failing, but when I first moved back here, it cost twice as much to eat out or purchase any books & clothing.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 7 years
Brista, does that only cover public colleges? BYU is $2,040 per semester for LDS students!
chatondeneige chatondeneige 7 years
Damn, I had a good comment typed up and clicked the wrong thing! hithatsmybike - Oh, I have so much to say. So very much. $6,000 is REALLY FREAKING LOW compared to most tuition. EXTREMELY LOW. A $1000/month rent shared between two people is EXTREMELY LOW, as well. You clearly have extremely low living costs, so how dare you get all high and mighty and judgmental towards everyone else? Secondly, your friend is an idiot if she got screwed like that. Personal story time! I took a year off of school to work, get my mind wrapped around what I want to do when I "grow up," and such. So the Department of Education started sending me bills in August of 07, when it was clear I wasn't going to be a student in the fall. Right now, I'm back at school to finish up. So I'm no longer paying those. I sent a nice little letter to the Department of Ed, saying "Hey, I'm going back to school, may I defer my payments?" They sent back a nice little letter saying "Of course!" Also, your friend BROKE THE TERMS of her loan agreement. When you take a student loan, you agree to be a full time student. The standard US definition of that is 12 credit hours per semester. The standard credit hour per course is 3 credit hours. She took "2 or 3" classes one semester, meaning she took 6-9 credit hours. That's totally her own fault. It's also her own fault for not letting the Department of Ed know if she had a good reason for not doing a full schedule that semester! I did 6 credit hours one semester because I was in a bad car accident, and couldn't handle a full load - I wrote a letter to the DofE letting them know, they never billed me. And hey, at least I get to take any interest I pay on my student loans out of my taxes! So that's a nice boost, it's like not even paying them! And I'm with facin8me, you DIDN'T do it all on your own. By going to a church funded college, you're doing it with the help of the church. My former coworker's daughter is starting at BYU this fall. She didn't have awesome grades and didn't get scholarships - but it's cheaper than in-state tuition for her, because of the Mormon church. So you took aid. You no longer get to look down on anyone who takes aid, or you're a hypocrite.
facin8me facin8me 7 years
I didn't realize that orthodontists in Canada take department store credit cards to pay off braces. Regardless, a school loan is still a lower interest rate than anything you receive from a typical bank. And unless you have plans to become a part-time student, you don't have to worry about your loans coming out of deferment. If you have a loan from the government, your loan can be deferred again if you resume your studies to go to graduate school or professional school. It is hypocritical of you to chastise people for having school debt when you have your own debt financed by credit cards and other commercial means. Furthermore, it is hypocritical of you to rail against others for taking handouts when you have attended two universities subsidized by a government (which most Canadian universities are, and that's why your tuition is so cheap) and a religious organization. You haven't done it on your own- you've done it with the help of the Canadian government and the Mormons. So essentially you're not so different from those you complain about.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 7 years
brista, I atteded BYU in Provo, UT when I lived in the USA. I was not an international student (my dad remarried when I was a teenager to my stepmom, who is from Utah and that's how I got state residency for school). But even if I wasn't a resident, I think tuition is the same for all students at BYU because it's a private school heavily funded by the LDS church.. In any case, now I attend a school in Canada (I don't want to mention which one because, well, this is the internet and I don't wish to share that; I won't even mention the province I live in), that has an excellent reputation in science and medicine, specifically my program. Canada doesn't really do the Ivy League thing though, and my tuition is definitely one of the more expensive ones in the country (no, seriously, don't laugh!). facin8me, I have a line of credit from the bank. You want to know what that pays for? BRACES. NOT SCHOOL. I pay monthly, so each month my CREDIT CARD is debited a charge which I then pay off or TRANSFER to my LINE OF CREDIT (because of the lower interest rate). I can hardly justify taking out a student loan to pay for my vanity, so next time you wish to accuse me of being "hypocritical", maybe you should do some more reading of my blog. And while you tout the amazing benefits of student loans, their pretty easy to get screwed by as well. I don't know what country you live in, but here, if you reduce your courseload any semester while on a student loan, you have to start paying them back right away -- regardless of what your next semester or year looks like. A friend of mine took 2 or 3 courses one semester, and then 5 the next, but she received a letter saying she must start repaying her loans immediately because she had "interrupted her studies". Nevermind that she wasn't finished her degree. She's now entering her last year and making monthly payments on those wonderful student loans of hers. Not exactly a position I wish to find myself in.
Da-Ly Da-Ly 7 years
It's not a competition, everyone gets there their own way. Everyone has different situations and needs to be met, and no matter how a person gets there, props to them for making it regardless of student loans, parental aid... or the obvious lack of compassion and understanding one might fail to pick up in college.
facin8me facin8me 7 years
hithatsmybike, don't you think you're a little bit hypocritical to be all high and mighty about your lack of student loans when, according to your blogs, you have credit card debt and lines of credit from your bank? I think the people who have school loans are much smarter than people who have credit card debt because typically the loans can be deferred during schooling, are tax deductible, and have a much lower interest rate.
AbigailSwPeaLily AbigailSwPeaLily 7 years
I have no shame at all living at home for as long as possible [until I want kids]. I have plenty of freedom as I come and go. I don't see the point to the rush to get more debt.
phatE phatE 7 years
this is a comment for "sunny"... i think it's funny you talk about initiative for your siblings who aren't married.. the key word in your comment was "DH", and when you have a DH you typically have 2 incomes.. i think if you're married you're not in the category of people who aren't , so hold off on the judgement.
brista brista 7 years
hithatsmybike -- I'm curious, what school in the USA did you go? I'm assuming that you are not living in the US now, so were you an international student at that time? The cheapest prices for tuition I've seen are for state schools and for residents of that state. So, for instance, according to US New's database, the cheapest tuition in the country right now is $2048 for Dalton State College (GA) for residents and $7840 for out-of-state. Whether or not it's possible to choose a college with a lower cost doesn't always matter in the end. If you go the value school and it doesn't have the right program for you, or if you are miserable while you are there, or if it doesn't have any sort of job placement/alumni connection, then does the money matter? Ivy League and related schools have amazing job/internship programs, often with opportunities in a wide variety of fields. An unknown public school or brand new private may not have the same resources. Working while you are in school is not always an option, either. Some programs are incredibly rigorous and require a lot of time. Other programs require a full-time class schedule with a full-time clinical experience -- meaning you're already working and going to school. Most colleges forbid first-years from having cars or living off-campus. Some campuses aren't located in a city. Some campuses aren't located in cities with good job opportunities for students. And sometimes, the money you do make isn't enough to fix anything. Minimum wage doesn't always go that far, even if you budget all of your paycheck to the college and do not spend money anywhere else. I am not saying that people should just pick the most expensive college and let Mom and Dad foot the bill, nor am I suggesting that someone should get mired in debt and chill at home with the folks for the next two or three decades. I just find it incredibly narrow-minded to say that because you were able to work, most if not all students should do the same. People who take out student loans aren't lazy good-for-nothings.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
:notworthy: cvandoorn--that was beautifully put!
cvandoorn cvandoorn 7 years
I don't understand why people are so judgemental. Good for you, hithatsmybike, that your tuition costs are so low and that you are going to earn a nice salary with your first job. It is not that easy to just give up everything and move. Ever thought about relocation costs? Time and energy spent trying to find a new job? What is wrong with moving back home for a few months to save up some money so that you can afford the deposit and rent for your own place? Seriously...putting one month's deposit on an apartment and then paying that month's rent as well, do you know how tough that can be if you're working an entry-level job that pays about 35K? Don't forget the furniture you need to purchase as well. So, in that view, there is NOTHING wrong with saving up for a few months while living with your parents. I went to a private school and yes, my parents paid for my $45,000/year tuition. They also gave me a hefty allowance every month. They also paid for my apartment. So hate me! Still, I took a part-time tutoring job and saved up what I earned from that. I guess I am lucky enough to have parents who care and who want me to succeed with their help. After all, they want the best for me. It is sad to hear about those people who are kicked out at such an early age and have to fend for themselves. I admire all you guys, don't get me wrong. But DON'T get bitter about the fact that others have more. Good for you that you can handle your own finances, but don't get all high and mighty about it, and put other people down.
ESPNgirl ESPNgirl 7 years
As mentioned, I paid for my schooling through scholarships and grants, but more importantly, when a school is ranked in the top 10 for its program in the country, it's definitely going to give you a one-up in certain careers. My university had an amazing program, amazing atmosphere, top academics, and I couldn't see myself anywhere else. For my 2nd degree, I wasn't as particular because it was just to get an add'l salary increase...and again, I found grants to pay for it, so it ultimately didn't cost me anything. In other news, my parents aren't *wildly loaded,* and my brother went to an Ivy League School. The majority of Ivy Leagues will tell you that you need to worry about getting in, not paying for it (as they can pick about 3 eligible groups of students for their freshman class but can only select one). They definitely help you find the financial support, and for a degree that, with all expenses, cost about $40,000 annually, my brother only owed about $5,000 when he was done (my parents hardly contributed)...so I wouldn't knock it unless you have the details.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 7 years
I don't know where you guys are going to school, but I know you definitely have a choice.. I did my first year in the USA where my tuition was HALF what it is now, and I had been looking at going to another school in the state where the tuition matches that of where I am now. I've seen the price tags on Ivy Leagues and I don't know why anyone chooses that unless their parents are wildly loaded.
ESPNgirl ESPNgirl 7 years
Hi, I'm 26 and I have a fear of debt! I have never had any sort of debt, but I don't judge people who do. Everyone has their own way of making things meet, and if it works for them, then good for them! A couple things.... 1) That is amazingly cheap tuition!!! My undergrad alone was more than double that annually minus room/board, books, registration & student fees (Note: I did not attend private school, but a Top 5 public university)! I agree that you can make it work, but it depends where you go (and if you have in-state residency, etc.). 2) I was very fortunate to get through my BA & MS degrees without debt or loans - scholarships & grants are what got me through, although I did work through college. I moved to New York City by the time I was 22 to get my MS and had a full-time job lined up. The initial moving expenses (I moved from Michigan) wiped out all of my savings - renting, security deposits, broker fees (although it wasn't too extreme) furniture, transportation - and I'm someone who has always been very financially responsible, only purchased what I needed... My parents offered to help me if I needed it in my first couple months or so (I had to move here for training in June but my job wouldn't start until the end of August, so I was needed some aid by August), and I promised them I would pay it back as soon as I got my finances under control. It wasn't a lot, but I knew once I started working I would be fine. Luckily, there are a lot of free things to do in NYC, and that's how I filled my days. It took a lot of discipline! My full-time job started in the mid-40s so I was able to make ends meet, I was able to pay off what I owed my parents quickly, and I was still able to go to school, but I would say that I got lucky. I was able to save that year so that I could financially protect myself. Medical expenses seem to be a common problem, though. I was off insurance for one month waiting for my new job to start and EVERYTHING went wrong. I spent almost $1,000 in a week that I had to pay out-of-pocket. As I mentioned, I was lucky that I had saved and could afford it - that's definitely more than a classic emergency fund! The state of the economy is unfortunate, but I've always lived by the rule that I don't buy what I can't pay back in full unless it's absolutely necessary (food, shelter, clothing). My boyfriend is looking at law school next year and we're already saving and looking at how we're going to get through the next 3 years. Our goal is to walk away from it with no debt, and I think we can accomplish it. He's saved enough to take out minimal loans, I'm going to play breadwinner, and in the summer he'll take jobs to pay off said-loans. We also know that we want to postpone the idea of marriage until this is under control and we are able to pay for it (and also not end up in massive debt). What we're aiming on doing is hard to do, but I think if you do a lot of planning and keep yourself updated on what's going on, you can make smart investments, you can scrimp and save where you need to, and hopefully make it by!
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 7 years
runningesq, my tuition amounts to roughly $6000/yr + an additional $800 or so for textbooks. I pay for it by working. Someone who takes out students loans for the same amount -- or less -- should give it a try sometime.
graylen graylen 7 years
Wow. We've got some strong opinions/judgments here. A big note- Not all jobs are equal paying. Therefore, 5 different people can all take the same track and not end up with the same finances. My sister (an engineer) had a starting salary of $60k with quick advancements to $80k within 5 years. I (in a creative field) was lucky to get a job with a starting salary of $32K... and that's in LA. In my field you have to start at entry level. Glad you have such a charmed job field, hithatsmybike, but I do what I love and if my starting salary has to be $70k under what you make, I still love it and work hard at it. LA is really expensive to live in (holy cow expensive), but it offers the best advancement in my field... that's why I moved here. I live within my means for the most part, but my parents have had to help with some medical expenses that were unexpected. I have not yet been able to start truly saving, but I am financially knowledgeable about what needs to happen in the next year or so. The only reason I pity people who still live at home is just because of the experiences and growth you miss by doing so. However, if you live at home and pay rent/some utilities and do your own laundry/dishes/etc, you are on a much different track than a moocher who's mom still does everything for them. Don't judge people. You don't know their life circumstances and what got them to the point they are at. No one has a right to tell someone they should be embarrassed by their circumstances.
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