Saving A Buck: Stop supporting your adult children

OKLAHOMA CITY- As many kids are heading off to college, parents are left to decide the best time to force them to be independent and stop giving their children money.

Some parents never start while others seem to never stop.

It is a crossroads in life that could have long-term consequences.

Addison Bolles said, “I’m 19 and I still need to have money from my parents.”

Adult children still living off mom and dad seems to be a more common practice these days.

Bolles’ mother said, “As long as she’s still in school, I will help her.”

Financial experts are seeing a trend in expenses among their clients.

It is not health care or aging parents but rather adult children.

Victoria Wood, a local financial planner, said, “It’s a disservice to children not to take the time to help them learn about choices and about money.”

“My stepson is 26; he just took the bar last week. He’s still on our payroll,” said Brad Lund. “The day he gets a full-time job, he’s off the payroll. I think it depends where they are in their academic process.”

Wood says the first step is to start teaching your child the value of a dollar during their childhood.

If your children are older, make a plan and stick to it.

Wood said, “First of all, you tell me what you’ve done to get yourself out of this financial jam or situation you’re in or how much money have you saved toward your car. When you put it back on them then it comes back down to a plan.”

Lund said, “We’ve given Henry three to six months to get himself in a sound financial position when he’s on his own.”

Experts suggest setting expectations about budgeting and managing.

They also say you should make adult children pay rent.

In extreme cases, parents kick out or financially cut off their adult kids.

“The bird is not getting out of that nest without some nudging from mom,” Wood said. “It is not going to happen. Look at nature. It’s just our nature.”