Although it makes their children feel ashamed, parents of some Charlotte millennials are paying for everything from rent to Starbucks so that their children can maintain a certain lifestyle.
“My father still sends money every month to pay (most of) my rent,” explained a woman in her twenties. “He does this, however, using funds from my trust. So technically, I’m just taking it from my future myself. I’m not proud of this by any means, but it’s not really a hill I am willing to die on with him. My father is a stubborn man and wants me to be comfortable, but knows I can’t do that on what I currently make.”
A 24-year-old man confessed to me that his mom pays for part of his student loans, his cell phone, health insurance, car insurance, medical bills, TV streaming, Uber and Starbucks expenses.
“Part of the reason that she covers as much as she does for me is that she knows that renting in a ‘fun’ part of town like South End isn’t cheap,” he says.
He went on to explain, “I also had an awful roommate experience my first year in Charlotte, so she agreed it was worth a couple years of paying more for my own apartment in a ‘younger’ part of town closer to my friends. Sometimes I feel shameful.”
“Some of my friends’ parents have gone as far to buy $400,000 condos in Dilworth and then letting them stay rent-free,” he added. “So at least my mom isn’t doing that.”
Another woman in her late twenties told me that she’s also still on her parents cell phone plan and car insurance. Last year, they gave her money to go toward a car purchase.
“I felt embarrassed, but to be honest, I needed the money,” she said. “My parents are NOT rich. They’re just responsible and want their kids to be healthy and safe. I usually don’t tell others about the help I get or have gotten from my parents, because I know it makes me look spoiled.”
Financial safety net
For the most part though, Charlotte millennials say they’re not getting significant financial help from their parents — but they do have a safety net.
Instead of regular assistance on rent or car payments, Charlotte millennials are more likely to get a financial boost from Mom or Dad if they find themselves in an unexpected situation, like a job loss or the end of a long-term relationship where shared expenses were happening.
“I’m the oldest of four, so my time is officially over,” said a woman in her twenties. But she went on to explain, “If I am ever really in a pinch though, they always try and help out, which I appreciate! Hate to ask of course.”
Another agrees, “Sometimes if I have an unexpected expense my mom helps out with cash flow. Otherwise, I pay all my bills and expenses on my own.”
Paying for Mom and Dad
I was surprised by the number of millennials I talked to who now provide financial support for their parents.
“My parents have helped me PLENTY in my adulthood, stepping in to float when paychecks were tight, covering my cell phone until 2014, and so much more,” another woman in her late twenties explained. “After my dad passed in 2016, I added my mom to my cell phone plan so it was one less thing she’d have to worry about.”
A man in his thirties echoed this statement saying, “When my mother’s employment went south after almost 40 years, I spent time having her retrained to work our books and payroll. Millennials get a bad rap for being dependent on our parents for longer — and I think it’s an unfair stereotype.”