I always freak out a little before writing these posts because I’m afraid that they may be taken the wrong way. The could be taken like me telling parents how to raise their kids. That’s not the case here at all. My goal is to give you my perspective on this matter.
That being said, this is just my opinion and, how I will most likely cross these bridges when I come to them. That being said, let’s get right to it…
Helping people with debt has really taught me a lot and, not just about finance. When working with someone, the first question I ask is, “How did you build up the debt that you have?” “What actually caused it?”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something like “My son lost his job a year ago so I’ve been paying all his bills since then.” or, “My daughter needed a new car and, I covered the insurance for her too”.
These things are fine if your child is 16, but there comes a time that they are going to have to financially leave the nest and do for themselves. If they don’t, they won’t know what to do financially when you’re not there to help.
WHEN IS THE BEST AGE TO CUT OFF FINANCIAL HELP?
What is the best age to cut a child off? Well, from personal experience, I can tell you that most kids can make it on their own after the age of 18. Of course, if they are in college and still getting an education, it may be closer to 22 or 23.
It may not be comfortable for parents or their kids to not have that financial help. However, as a parent, you are making sure they learn how to manage money so that they can succeed.
Now, I’m not talking about cutting your child off in a way that if they really, really, really need help, you don’t want to. That would be nonsense. For example, if your child is doing everything in his or her power and still needs assistance for necessities, help them out. That would be the right thing to do.
What I am talking about is the opposite of this. The difference is them blowing $200 at the bar and then being unable to pay the electric bill. That should be handled by saying no. You are not helping them learn responsibility. This does no one any favors – most of all your child.
I know, this seems very harsh, but it is important! You are a parent first and your job is to teach your child to be a successful adult – not to be his or her best friend. You want them to be able to contribute to their community. As you all know as parents, sometimes, that takes a bit of tough love!
So, after 18, stop giving miscellaneous gifts for things that aren’t absolute necessities. If you make your children fend for themselves to a point, they will strive to succeed and, most likely become incredibly productive members of the community!