When is it Okay to Ask Your Parents for Money?

woman about to ask her parents for money

You’re an adult now. You’ve entered into the promised land of 401(k)s, cell phone bills, and health insurance claims. Adulthood can be fun as hell (you don’t have to answer to anyone except the IRS and your boss, now), but it can also be stressful, overwhelming, and downright hard.

When you’re just starting out it can be particularly difficult to manage to pay for all of the new expenses (not to mention your student loans). There are likely going to be times when you’ll need to ask your parents for money. If you ever find yourself wondering if you can ask for a small loan from them, follow this guide.

Ask Your Parents for Money When:

1. You Have an Emergency you Honestly Can’t Cover

Stuff happens, and you can’t always handle it alone. You might walk to your car to find someone ran after backing into it, and you might not have the money to pay the insurance deductible. You might need an unexpected, necessary procedure and not have the money to pay whatever your flighty insurance refuses to cover. These are the types of situations it’s 100% acceptable to ask your parents for help.

Just three months after graduating college and starting my first full-time job, I had to have a surgery I wasn’t prepared for. My insurance covered a lot, but I still had to pay around $700. I didn’t have that money. My parents wanted to pay for all of it, but I refused to let them because I was stubborn and proud.

Translation: I didn’t let them help me when I should have. Instead, I spent three months living off of tuna and wheat pasta and passing on social events in order to keep up with my payment plan. If your parents offer to help with something like this, let them. You might be an “adult,” but even adults need some assistance every now and then.

2. You Don’t Have the Money to Pay your Bills

Bills fluctuate a bit, so even if you think you’ve been super careful with your electricity and water usage it can be more than you’ve budgeted for. If this happens and you truly don’t have the money, there’s no shame in asking your parents for a little help. They don’t want your power shut off any more than you do. Just be sure you pay it back ASAP.

3. You Just Need a Little Bit Until Your Next Paycheck

Sometimes you end up spending more than you meant to. It happens. Lord knows how easy it is to eat out one too many times between paychecks. If you’re running short and don’t know if you’ll have money to eat until the paycheck arrives, call your mom or dad to ask for a small loan. An extra $50 can make all the difference between eating and not eating for three days. Plus, those small amounts are easy to return as soon as you’re paid and likely won’t place your parents under financial strain either.

My dad has handed me a $50 or $100 bill every now and then because he knew how light my wallet was and didn’t want me to starve waiting on payday. I’ve told my parents I couldn’t come home because I really and truly didn’t have the money to pay for the gas, and they’ve paid that $40 so I could come home for the weekend. These loans are small, but they do make all of the difference at the end of a pay period.

Don’t Ask Your Parents for Money When:

1. You Blew Money on a Shopping Trip…

And now can’t afford groceries. You got yourself into this mess so you can pay the consequences. Return the stuff if you want to eat. Otherwise, don’t complain about it. Definitely don’t run to mommy and daddy to ask for money when you’re making irresponsible financial decisions.

Trust me, I’ve been there. You can’t always walk away from the $400 boots. When I’ve gone a little shopping crazy and need money to survive, I transfer the necessary amount over from my savings. It might mess my interest up a little bit, but I have no right to ask my parents for a loan in this situation. I just suck it up and transfer the money back on payday. Then I live lean for a few weeks.

2. You Want a Vacation

This was tolerable when you were in school and didn’t have the job to fund these excursions. It’s not acceptable to ask your parents for money to go on a trip when you’ve got a full-time job. If you want to hit the beach or wherever, budget to save for it like an adult. Make a plan to save the necessary amount, pick up a side hustle, or use some of your savings.

3. You Could Handle it Yourself

Yeah, paying for those new tires is painful. No, you can’t pass the bill off to your parents when you literally have the funds sitting in the bank. If you have the money saved to cover whatever large bill you have, then dip into your savings. This is the exact reason a savings account exists. Even if your parents say they want to pay so your savings remain untouched, don’t let them. Part of adulthood is using your emergency money for emergency situations.

You know when it’s okay to ask your parents for help — now read about how to ask your parents for money.

Follow Terra on Instagram: @terrabrown3

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