Take the money and run!
September 20, 2012 9:21 AM Subscribe
My 'rents want to support me. I don't really feel like I need their support anymore. Am I being silly by not considering their offer of money?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (39 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I live in a different country to the rest of my family, and have done for several years. I'm in my late 20s, married, no kids. We live comfortably; we have a fair amount saved up, and don't have major money sucks in our life besides a mortgage. We live in a country that has socialised medical care. We have access to great public transportation, so have little need for a car.
My parents have always been very supportive of myself and my two siblings, mostly emotionally when they were still struggling financially as a young couple, but also helped with money once we reached our teens and their financial situation was healthier. I appreciated this immensely while I was younger, but as I've gotten further into adulthood, I've felt weirder and weirder about the financial side of things. They paid for me to go to school again after college (and have always refused any form of payback). They gave my husband and I an incredibly generous amount of money to help pay for our wedding. All of these gifts have come with no strings attached, and have been prefaced with the sentiment that they don't want us to have to struggle the way they did early on.
They're visiting us at the moment, and sat me down to say that they feel like I'm not receiving my "fair share" of support as a result of living so far away from them. Both of my siblings live near to them, and they help both in different ways. They provide a lot of childcare for one, and just recently helped the other buy a new house; they want to know what they can do for me, and followed this up with the idea of money. They didn't specify an amount, but seemed to be talking in 4 and 5 digit figures.
My initial reaction was that we really don't need their money right now. Not only that, but I have ongoing guilt/shame about how much they've helped me already, like I haven't reached this lifestyle by working very hard for it. (I just had a long convo about this with a friend who has had little-to-no help from her parents since age 16, and she totally called me out for romanticising that struggle, so I'm trying hard to let go of that guilt, but... yeah, it's still there.)
- We've been trying to have a baby for awhile; ideally, this would get resolved within the next year, and I know things will look very different on the other side of actually having a kid.
- I'm not working at the moment; if my husband were to lose his job (very improbable, but not impossible) or have to stop working for medical reasons, we could probably live on our savings for a year and a bit, but that's it.
Despite the possibility of these complications, I still feel weird about accepting their offer. My husband and I have spoken briefly about it, but we obviously need to have a larger discussion. I guess I'm coming to you, hive mind, to help me think about this logically. Am I ignoring possible future uses for this? If you were offered a similar NSA gift, would you happily take it and just get on with your life? Once you were married and separated from your family, how much support did they give you?