Should Parents Help Their Adult Children Financially?

Financial Help from Parents

Johnny and I read an interesting article that accompanied a mini-Twitter (follow us here) discussion yesterday morning, so we wanted to get y’all’s take on it. (We’re headed to my home state of Alabama for Thanksgiving, so I’m brushing up on my Southern drawl.) The article stated some pretty interesting stats, the main one being that many millenials who are doing well financially are still getting monetary help from their parents.

The article cites a survey showing that one in four millenials making $75k or more are getting help with groceries from parents. Another result showed that more than 1 in 10 married millenials still gets parental help with their cell phone bill. And these are the millenials who are doing well financially. The other millenials? More than a third are receiving regular financial support from their families. And one in five still live at home and don’t pay rent.

As millenials ourselves, these stats surprised us a little, especially the stats about millenials who are making more than $75k. We’re not here to say whether this is right or wrong, good or bad. It’s just surprising. And more importantly, we just want to  figure out what this says about our generation.

Are we lazy? Entitled? Coddled? Are we drowning in student loans? Are we just bad with money?

Or does it have nothing to do with us at all, and are these stats more telling of our parents?

Johnny and I lean toward the latter — that while both parents and millenials play some role, this survey says more about our parents than it does us. Knowing what we know about ourselves and our friends, our generation isn’t asking for financial help, but our parents are offering help, and oftentimes we’re taking it. (We aren’t specifically, but you get what I mean.)

And, as the article mentions, perhaps even parents who aren’t financially fit themselves are offering help to their millenial children. The truth is, much of our generation is drowning in student debt, and maybe parents want to alleviate some of that financial stress by helping where they can. The question is, when should that help stop? Johnny and I think parents should only be helping their adult children once the parents have amply padded their retirement. But that’s just our opinion. Now it’s time for yours.

Fellow millenials (and non-millenials), what do you think? What’s your observation been of our generation and our parents? If there’s a problem, what is it? And also, TGIF!

How We’re Saving Money on Christmas Shopping This Year

All I want for Christmas is $$$.

How is it November 19?! Thanksgiving is next week, and then fa-la-la-la-la it’s Christmastime. For the first time in years, I haven’t yet started my Christmas shopping! Johnny always procrastinates his Christmas shopping. But this year? Well, I’m joining his camp apparently. I knew I wasn’t being my normal self when Johnny said to me a couple nights ago, “Jo, it’s almost December. When are we going to do our Christmas shopping?” Yup. I’m slacking this year — for some very legitimate reasons, which we’ll expound upon in the next few days. But still, slacking is slacking. But there is time yet! And when I finally do get around to Christmas shopping (which probably won’t be until after Thanksgiving), I plan to use the following money-saving tools because, last-minute or not, Johnny and I plan to save as much money as possible.

Ebates

When possible, Johnny and I use Ebates for every online purchase. Why? Well, Ebates gives you cash back when you shop through their site at most online stores. I just bought Sally a few pairs of 40% off items at Gap, and Ebates offered an additional 7% off for Gap purchases. There’s no catch, no strings attached, and joining the site is totally free. They offer free money, plain and simple, and who doesn’t love free money? Every few months, Ebates deposits money in our Paypal account, and voila! I even keep an Ebates extension in my Google Chrome toolbar that alerts me anytime I can get cash back through a site I’m perusing. It doesn’t get easier than that!

CamelCamelCamel

Maybe I’ve mentioned this before, but we use Amazon Prime. A lot. It’s one of the few subscriptions we’ve found to be totally and completely worth it because we use Amazon so much. But to ensure that what we’re ordering is priced as low as can be (you never know with Amazon), we use CamelCamelCamel. It tracks the price history of items, and you can even set up alerts to let you know when a certain item drops in price. We’ve used this countless times, like when Johnny surprised me with a KitchenAid that was being offered for a screamin’ deal. And trust me, that KitchenAid has paid major chocolate-chip-cookie-dividends back to Johnny.

Grocery Store Apps

My two most frequented grocery stores are Walmart and Target. I use Walmart for most of our groceries, and I use Target for home decor, clothes, gifts, and generally ruining our budget. Both of these stores offer incredible money-saving apps, which makes me love them even more. Walmart’s app has a savings catcher tool. After shopping, you scan your receipt, and it price matches with other local grocery stores. And then they send you an e-gift card for the money you saved. Cool, right? My mom first told me about this feature, and when she said, “And they just send me money!” I thought she’d fallen for some scam. But, no. It’s very real.

Target’s app is called Cartwheel, and it offers all kinds of discounts on items that can be found in Target stores. These are deals only found in the app, and as you look through the app, you just add items you’re planning to buy to a list. When you check out at Target, a cashier simply scans the list using a barcode in the app, and your savings are applied to your purchase. Both apps are super easy to use and offer legitimate savings. Cha-ching.

Slickdeals

If you’re into deals, you’re probably already a regular here. Slickdeals is a user-generated community of deal hunters that lists the best deals they find on the Internet. Johnny subscribes to their Popular Deals RSS feed. He also sets up deal alerts so that he gets an email as soon as the wanted product has a deal added. This site is more Johnny’s area of expertise, but I’ve wandered to this site from time to time, too. It’s an especially great site for seeing the very best deals offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Buying Refurbished

On top of looking for coupons, cash back, and crazy deals, we also oftentimes buy our electronics refurbished. When Johnny got me my very first DSLR, he bought it refurbished while also taking advantage of a 30% off code on Canon’s website. Talk about double money savings! We love refurbished because the item is basically brand new. It still comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, and it’s in pristine condition. Johnny loves his Apple computers, but we have never once bought one brand new. Refurbished has been the way to go.

Budgeting in Advance

This is an oldie but goodie. Just as important (if not more important) as looking for deals in realtime is planning our Christmas budget in advance. This year, Johnny and I planned our budget at the very beginning of the year. Maybe that was overkill. That said, we’ll probably do some additional budget planning at the beginning of December since we we’ll be spending extra money in general because Christmas!

So that’s that! Let the holiday shopping begin. Despite all of my slacking on gift-buying, I have already procured a boatload of Christmas wrapping paper from Target. I spent a good 20 minutes coordinating my choices so they’ll all complement each other under our tree. How is your holiday shopping coming along? Do you use any of these online savings tools, or do you have any others you’d suggest? 

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