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Children are relying on the Bank of Mum and Dad far later in life than ever before.

Bank of mum and dad covers parties, uni and more

Children are relying on the Bank of Mum and Dad far later in life than ever before – and research has now put the age kids finally fly the nest at 29 years old.

Rising rents and the difficulty in saving for a deposit to buy a home are big factors for young adults, with one in five parents helping out with housing costs. University costs – from fees to living costs - are also covered by close to two fifths of parents.

But the most common reasons parents are paying out are less obvious.

It seems mum and dad don’t stop hosting parties once their children have grown out of pin the tail on the donkey – even if they’re less likely to be invited to the celebrations. The survey by Sainsbury’s Bank found more than half (52%) of the parents spoken to are expected to pay out for the 16th, 18th and 21st birthday parties. Two-in-five (40%) also put money towards their child’s wedding.

Other big outlays for parents are driving lessons and buying their child’s first car. Many parents were also providing income top-ups, essentially still giving pocket money well into their child’s late 20s.

Avoid creating financial problems for you

Any parent is going to want to make sure their kids don’t go without – but it’s important you don’t get yourself into trouble as a result.

Earlier this year credit reference agency Experian found a third of parents were feeling financial pressure for helping their adult children. The most important thing is to not ignore signs of financial stress. You can get free, independent debt advice across the country, and it’s an important first step to gaining control.

Make supporting your kids more affordable

If you’re still funding your children, here are three ways you can keep on top of your finances and help them prepare for their independence.

1. Start a budget

Budgeting is the thing you might mean to do and never get around to. But there are easy tools online (the Money Advice Service has one) which will quickly tot up all your expenses and all your income to show you if you’re spending more than you should.

It’ll help you see if you are spending too much in certain areas, and help you focus on places you can cut back. You can share the budget with your children too, and ideally even encourage them to start their own.

2. Get your kids to contribute

Whatever your child’s age, it’s more helpful for them to understand spending and the value of money than take it for granted. So if they’re used to having their dinner on the table, or toiletries bought for them, give them an itemised bill so they realise the true costs. When they finally do move out, it’ll help them understand they need to budget for more than just rent and going out.

3. Make them save

Often adult kids are at home to help them save for big expenses such as a deposit for a home. But if they don’t really have a savings goal, help them get in the savings habit by encouraging them to start one. It could be a holiday, a car, or even just to top up their income while away at university.

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