Times have changed for parents. There was a time when children would live at home until they were 18 years of age, and then would find a job, move out, and begin their adult lives. However, today, the majority of students are returning to the nest after their schooling with debt and looking to live with their parents until they are about 25 years of age and beyond!
This is an attractive option for many children whose parents are baby boomers. Baby boomer parents want to give their children everything they did not have as a child. Therefore, they want to help their kids get on their feet, even if it means supporting them – and their debt – well into adulthood.
This sounds like a pretty good deal for young adults today. However, parents who give so much to their children may actually be preventing them from learning a lot of valuable lessons on their own. It is important for young adults to learn how to be financially responsible but it can be much more difficult when they live at home with no expenses and can spend their money on whatever they choose.
Of course as parents, you want to make sure your children are secure and supported, but there is a way to do it without taking away valuable skills that they must learn. In order to ensure your young adult has a successful financial future… and can eventually move out on their own, here are a few lessons that should be taught from an early age:
1. Teach the Value of Hard Work
As early as possible, set your child up with chores or a job like a paper route to instill the idea that one must work for their money. Have your child set aside a certain amount from each pay to go into a savings account for future expenses. (Like moving out of the nest!)
2. Show Them How to Budget
Spend some time with your child to teach them how to budget. Allow your child to watch you manage your household budget and savings. Once they do move out they will be equipped with the skills to manage all of their expenses.
3. Collect Rent From Your Child
Once your child reaches adulthood, consider collecting monthly rent from your son or daughter. You can either use the rent money to contribute to household expenses or save it for your child for when they move out. This will help them become more used to having monthly expenses and make them learn how to budget.
4. Demand Help Around the House
If your young adult is still living at home, they must be responsible for helping to keep it maintained. Yard work, repair jobs, laundry, cooking and more become shared responsibilities when your child still lives at home.
5. Keep Your Wallet Closed
It is tempting to help your child out by giving them a few dollars here and there, but remember, your child is an adult! Helping them out of debt and making their car payments will not help them in the long run – these are valuable life skills that your son or daughter must learn themselves.
6. If All Else Fails…Tough Love
Set the date and stick with it! Once you choose the day your child must move out and you have given him or her lots of time to save, show some tough love and make sure they know you are serious.
At Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada, we have many educational resources for young adults and their parents to help plan a successful financial future. Contact us today if you are looking for more information about how to open up the dialogue about money with your child.