It’s only natural that children will seek support from their mum and dad in their adult lives, especially when they’ve been used to getting parental help since birth. But recent times have seen a level of lending between generations that goes beyond a mere helping hand. Indeed, the Bank of Mum and Dad (so important it has earned the capitals) is said to lend more than £6.5 billion to help children get on to the property ladder, making it the ninth biggest mortgage lender in the country. Parental power was behind almost 300,000 house deposits last year alone – more than a quarter of the total.
We shouldn’t pretend that this is a universally positive phenomenon. Many young people who turn to the Bank of Mum and Dad do so out of desperation because they have no other way of getting onto the housing ladder or bankrolling themselves as they start out in the world of work. This can also lead to issues with people feeling that they are answerable to their mum and dad as a result of their financial support – and there can be issues when it comes to parents offering equal support to siblings or a partner or spouse benefitting from the cash.
There are also, of course, people who don’t have the luxury of turning to their mum and dad because they don’t possess the financial resources to be able to help out.
So, if you don’t want to be reliant on parental money – or don’t have the luxury of this – how can you cut free and gain financial freedom from your mum and dad?
Don’t stay at home. About half of graduates go back to live with their mum and dad after they’ve finished university. Indeed, many people – students or not – opt to remain in the family home for longer to save on housing costs. While this might be good if you have a short-term financial goal in mind, it’s not great for your mindset in the long term. If you can cut yourself free from living with your parents, you’ll have to become independent and fend for yourself. It can be tough at first, but taking the plunge avoids you getting ‘stuck’ with your mum and dad.
Treat the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ like any other bank. Don’t think of borrowing from your mum and dad as the ‘easy way out’. Approach this as you would any other form of borrowing – drawing up a case for wanting the money and setting out terms to pay it back – maybe even with interest thrown in. At least this way, taking this option won’t seem like you’ve gone for the ‘easy way out’.
Active budget management. In order to obtain financial freedom, you need to be able to manage your money effectively. Set up a budget plan, outline all of your essential monthly expenditure and be ruthless. Cut all unnecessary subscriptions, memberships and payments and shop around for better deals on your bills. Every pound you save can go towards funding expensive things like cars and houses without needing to turn to your parents.
Proper investment in your future. Speaking of which, when you’ve cut your spending down you need to find an effective way of investing the cash you have spare to save (even if it’s modest at first). With interest rates at rock bottom lows, you need to look beyond bog standard savings accounts – otherwise your cash pot isn’t likely to grow very much. Do your homework and find a form of investment that you’re comfortable with. Whether that’s a fixed term savings account, a spread betting account or a stock market fund – the right form of investment can make your money grow.
By leaving the family nest, cutting your spending, making investments and treating the Bank of Mum and Dad like any other lender, you can gain financial freedom and manage your own money without needing to rely on parental support.