Should an adult child give money to the family?


Parents are required by law to provide for minor children. But when a child begins to earn money on his own, should he invest in the family budget? A recent survey has shown that approaches to this issue differ.

The unequivocal “must” was stated by 35% of the participants. 26% hold the opposite point of view and would not take money from children while they are studying. 39% believe that everything depends on the circumstances and financial situation in the family. Of these, 13% are convinced that the child should decide this issue himself, and are ready to accept any of his choices.


The survey involved people with an average income. This means that the child’s participation in the family budget is not a matter of family survival, but rather a matter of principle, tradition or educational moment.

  • “I think he should. Well, that is, it’s his family. Of course, it’s up to him to decide, but if, for example, a refrigerator is bought with his money, he can be proud of himself. “
  • “I think it’s cool if an 18+ person gets the experience of contributing to the family. I would agree on some kind of regular responsibility that is feasible. For example, if a child uses something himself, then he regularly pays for it. Internet, for example. Or some segment of products (for tea, coffee). This will not help the budget a little, but it will give a person a feeling of his strength, well, and get used to the fact that he will have to regularly invest in caring for loved ones – about those with whom you are now ”.
  • “Child 18+? It would be good for such a “child” to have an idea of ​​responsibility and throw off for common needs if he wants to live with his parents and enjoy the common benefits. Or let him live separately if he thinks that he owes nothing to anyone. If he does not yet have such an understanding, then parents need to help shape him by creating an objective need to share honestly earned money. “
  • “Even if a loaf of bread brings, bought with its own, this is also a contribution.”

“Should not”

More than a quarter of the respondents believe that while a child is studying, he can spend money on his personal needs. But many clarify that after graduation, it’s time to look for work and separate from their parents, rent their own home and keep their own budget.

  • “No, this is his money, while he lives with me and studies. As soon as you learn – work, a suitcase and an independent life. “
  • “Better to invest in himself and fly.”
  • “I don’t know, but my parents forbade me to work while I was studying. Money was given. And now I have them. In the middle there was a period when no one owed anything to anyone. “
  • “I delved into the issue with the psychologist a lot and realized one thing for myself: no one owes anything to anyone. You can give your child a choice: if you want, invest, and then we will invest (down payment on a mortgage or a car). If you don’t want to, it’s also your choice, be independent, and then we will decide according to the circumstances, but don’t make any demands. “
  • “If dad and mom don’t need, then they shouldn’t. At worst, they can collectively pay a communal apartment. He already buys a lot of food outside the house. “
  • “If he is still studying, then the part-time job is all of him. If you have already unlearned or dropped out and is fully working, it’s time to live separately. “
  • “No, I shouldn’t give money. But I must make every effort to live separately. Let him save up for rent ”.

“Depends on…”

For many participants, the wealth of the family is of decisive importance in resolving this issue.

  • “I worked as a student and tried to cover all my needs so as not to be a burden to my parents. And by the way, the first repairs in the apartment were at my expense. I think that sharing is not necessary, but optional. But a normal teenager will always share his honest earnings with his parents. This is a way to show your worth as a person. “
  • “It seems to me that it strongly depends on the wealth of the family and the motivation of the child. For example, a child from a family of a millionaire goes to work part-time in order to feel life and understand how much a pound is dashing. Well, what is the contribution to the family budget? Not even a millionaire. If the child’s contribution does not significantly change the family budget, then there is no need to pretend. Or another case. The family is of average income, the child earns for his own entertainment, clothes, gadgets. Fine. He’s already helping a lot. You can exempt him from the contribution to paying utility bills and food. The third situation is that the family is poor. It is clear that this contribution is expected and it is rather the norm ”.
  • “I think the attitude to money needs to be formed by example, and from 10-12 years old to learn how to handle it, save, value, and then by 18 the child will naturally want to participate in the general budget”.
  • “According to a Jewish saying, children should give money to their children, not their parents. Work for work experience, not for earnings. But if every penny counts, then everyone works. “
  • “I would look positively at a part-time job by agreement with the child. Let him provide for his personal needs. Gains experience. I really like the American tradition, when teenagers work in the summer and often for free, to gain life experience in the field they plan to do. I really believe in stories when people grow from a newspaper peddler to a publishing house owner. “
  • “If there is an opportunity not to spend a child’s money on life, then let the work for him be a continuation of education. I myself have been working on vacation since I was 13, earning more than my mother. I spent money on clothes, electronics, school supplies, and my own sweets. Enough for almost the entire year. At 18, I was already earning normally and just once or twice a week filled the refrigerator with food. And then somehow my childhood ended abruptly, and I began to live separately, had my own family.
Should an adult child give money to the family?

If the process is delayed

Many parents are upset that adult children, after graduating from university and getting a job, continue to take money from them.

“Children grow up as dependents. They grow up, but their light does not turn on, that parents need help. Mine are well over 30, but they don’t help. Not because they are bad kids. They just don’t think about it. “

“In theory, it should. But the majority only dreams of this. “

The situation is often complicated by the mismatch of the positions of the two parents. “The youngest gets more than 80 thousand, I half. Mom gives him money, as before, to pay for the apartment. My wife and I do not have a single position. I try to speak, but it doesn’t end well. Well, I’m not saying anymore, ”writes one of the survey participants. – It does not bother, although it is clear that it is so wrong.

“A smooth transition from caring relationships to cooperation with your own child is the final stage of his upbringing,” comments Ekaterina Klochkova, family system consultant. – Therefore, it is important that the next step towards the child’s adulthood is as comfortable as possible for everyone.

A material contribution to the family budget is a new rule of interaction. When discussing it, you can rely on the already established household duties of the child and talk about expanding them, taking into account his capabilities.

Parent-child relations are moving into a new quality – the older generation is turning from guardians and authoritative figures into wise advisers. This process can also be supported by the parents’ own stories, how they took the first steps on the path to independence, and before that, their parents.

The opportunity to make a material contribution to the family budget is an important signal for parents and children that the child has already grown up, becomes able to take full responsibility for his life and can build communication with parents as an adult. Unfortunately, in our culture, such a move may seem eccentric, but it has an important communicative aspect for both parties. Taking part in the financial life of the family, your son or daughter seems to say: “I am no longer a child and I can pay part of my expenses myself.”

The caring attitude and care of parents during this period is manifested in the fact that they help to make the child’s transition to full responsibility for his life smooth and gradual. On the one hand, it is important to give the opportunity and time for adaptation, to pay only part of the costs. On the other hand, in this way to demonstrate faith in his strength. Recognition that he is independent. “

Ekaterina Klochkova

About the expert

Ekaterina Klochkova – family system consultant.

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