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Mother and daughter

What happens if the Bank of Mum and Dad goes bust?

Around a third of British parents who are able to support their children financially have come under pressure as a result of helping out their over-18 kids.

From staying at home to save on rent to borrowing cash when out of money, adult children often appear to treat their parents as an easy option when times are tough.

New research out today shows the average outlay for bailing out independent children is £6,000, with basic money management skills the biggest problem. Here are the top four reasons for a withdrawal at the Bank of Mum and Dad as found by credit report agency Experian.

  • Two in five (41%) parents were asked for money because the children didn’t have savings to cover an unexpected cost.
  • A quarter (24%) of kids had run out of money due to bad money management.
  • One in five (22%) asked for money to help with a deposit for a home.
  • One in seven (15%) needed help paying off debts.

Putting pressure on the parents’ finances

Experian also uncovered that a third of parents had their finances put under strain by these requests, with close to three quarters (72%) using their own savings to find the money. Worryingly, one in eight (13%) resorted to credit to provide the cash.

Though most parents will do what they can in these situations, any adverse effect it can bring on their own finances isn’t something mums and dads should ignore.

The danger of raiding savings is that money is no longer available if parents face their own unexpected costs. From emergency repairs to being unable to work, a depleted back-up could put the whole family at risk.

Likewise, borrowing money, especially if it’s to pay of children’s debts, can cause long-term damage if there’s no plan in place to repay that money.

Where to go for help with debt

Papering over a child’s poor money management with Bank of Mum and Dad cash might be a quick fix, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the problem is solved.

The best option is to seek help to prevent the problems getting too big or happening again. Fortunately, any parent – or child – who’s worried about finances and debt can get free and impartial access to debt advice throughout the country.

How to get your kids back on track

With so many of the survey findings showing money requests were for help with bad money management, it’s not too late to try help your children take better control of their own finances.

A simple budget can make a huge amount of difference in knowing what money they have, and how much they spend.

If your children are not yet independent, you can help them too. Giving them a budget they have to buy their lunch to, encouraging them to save, and setting a good example can all help teenagers start their working life in the best possible position.

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