When Your Adult Kid Wants to Borrow Money

by Shaunna Privratsky

Don’t let money ruin your relationships with your kids! Instead, take these steps to use money as a tool to strengthen and support your family’s financial future.

Money is not evil. But mismanaging it or even being too generous can damage or seriously hurt the ones you love the most; your family.

Here’s how to navigate the tricky twists and turns of your family’s financial journey. Consider taking these steps when your adult kid wants to borrow money from you.

Too much of a good thing

You’ve finally paid off all of your debts except your mortgage and maybe a car payment. You’re saving for the future and an emergency fund. Your finances are looking pretty good. Then your adult son or daughter asks you for a loan; a loan you know he or she is unable to pay back. Do you help? Probably. Maybe it is a one-time crisis, easily solved with a little money from you.

Too dependent

However, if you constantly jump in every time a money crisis crops up, you are essentially crippling your loved one. If they make the same mistakes over and over they will never learn to control their own financial future. Money, or lack thereof, will always be a burden.

Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to helping you plan for a comfortable retirement even if haven't saved enough. Subscribers get The After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist for FREE!

Your Email:

You deserve a comfortable retirement.

Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to people 50 years and older. Each week we feature financial topics and other issues important to the 50+ crowd that can help you plan for a comfortable retirement even if you haven't saved enough.

Debt ChecklistSubscribers get The After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist for FREE!

Your Email:

Refuse to grow up

Why grow up and become financially responsible when someone is always there with an open checkbook? When you fall into the role of “helping” you are setting up a dangerous pattern. Instead, look at your own motivations. Realize that over-protecting your loved one from the consequences of their actions will ultimately hurt them more than bailing them out one more time.

Resentment

Believe it or not, money can cause resentment on both sides. You give your son a chunk of money he “needs,” then learn he spends it on going out with friends and gambling instead of paying outstanding bills. You confront him and he says he just needed to unwind from all the financial stress. You resent his ungratefulness and he feels guilty and starts to resent you.

Come up with a plan together

The only way to get back in financial control with your family is to come up with a plan together. This means sitting down and laying all of the cards on the table. Every bill, every shred of income and receipts for spending. Maybe the solution will be obvious, like stop charging on a credit card or quit going to casinos for entertainment. Or maybe you will have to come up with more creative solutions like extra shifts at work or cutting back on fast food lunches every day.

Go back to the basics

Remember when you just had to have the latest pair of acid-washed jeans just like everyone else? Or you couldn’t wait to spend your whole paycheck on a concert, even though you had a big phone bill to pay? Teach your loved one the difference between a need, like avoiding collection agencies, and a want, like a concert you can’t afford right now. This is a hard lesson to learn, for almost everyone, but it is necessary when struggling with money issues.

Come up with a budget that works

Together, come up with a plan to go forward. Include ways to pay back loans, pay off debt, and start an emergency fund. Forming a habit of saving even a little money from each paycheck is a good foundation for a solid financial future. Don’t cut out all entertainment; include a reasonable amount for fun so that sticking to the budget works.

Set consequences if the plan isn’t followed

No one is 100% perfect at finances right from the start, so don’t expect everything to go completely smoothly. Plan for the unexpected like a sudden car repair or an unplanned trip to the doctor or even an occasional slip up on the budget. Set clear rules and consequences so that you both understand what will happen. Then stick to it! (Probably the hardest task of all) Let your son or daughter figure out what to do on their own to fix their mistake. Advice is free, but don’t give in with another handout of cash.

Through thick or thin, your family will always be there. Don’t let money ruin your relationships! Instead, use money as a tool to strengthen and support your family’s financial future.

Reviewed September 2019

About the Author

Shaunna Privratsky became an expert in personal finance out of necessity. Between writing, reading and gardening, she is always on the lookout for bargains. Please sign up for the free newsletters at The Discount Diva.

You deserve a comfortable retirement.

Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to people 50 years and older. Each issue features financial topics and other issues important to the 50+ crowd that can help you plan for a comfortable retirement even if you haven't saved enough.

Debt ChecklistSubscribers get The After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist for FREE!

Your Email:

You deserve a comfortable retirement.

Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to people 50 years and older. Each issue features financial topics and other issues important to the 50+ crowd that can help you plan for a comfortable retirement even if you haven't saved enough.

Debt ChecklistSubscribers get The After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist for FREE!

Your Email:

Will You Be Leaving Thousands In Social Security Benefits Unclaimed By Filing at the Wrong Time?

We recommend a tool from Social Security Choices that can help you determine the best time to collect so you can maximize your benefits.

Click here to maximize your Social Security benefits.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This