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Nearly half of adults rely on parents for money, poll claims

Seven in 10 report being ‘embarrassed’ to require assistance

Grant Bailey
Thursday 22 August 2019 16:54 BST
Millions of UK adults depend on their parents for money, poll claims
Millions of UK adults depend on their parents for money, poll claims (iStock/Getty Images)

Nearly 50 per cent of UK adults still rely on their parents for financial assistance, a poll claims.

Over the course of the last year, adults have “borrowed” a total of £708 from their mothers and fathers to help with university fees, bills and home improvements, the survey suggested.

Others reported they have asked for money to pay for contact lenses, coffee pods, mobile phone bills and dog food.

Of those who had received money, 47 per cent believed their parents don’t expect them to pay it back.

Three in five of the 2,000 adults polled said they would struggle to make ends meet without having their parents as a financial buffer, while four fifths said they felt more secure knowing their parents could help should they find themselves in financial difficulty.

“Our research shows that ‘the bank of mum and dad’ is still very much in business, with Brits depending on their parents even when they’re grown-up,” said Annie Brooks, executive director of broadband and mobile at Virgin Media, which commissioned the poll.

The survey found British parents believe they should typically stop paying their children’s mobile phone bill when they turn 20, and would like to encourage their children to have left home by the time they are 21.

However more than a third of respondents admitted their mum or dad have picked up the bill when they’ve gone out for dinner.

One in five use their parent’s generosity to help cover the costs of holidays, while 13 per cent asked for money to make car payments, the poll suggested.

These financial boosts are most likely to be provided by mothers amounting to an average of £229 in a single instance, with eight per cent reporting cash sums of £1,000 or more.

However, seven in 10, while happy for the financial help, reported they were ”embarrassed” at needing assistance with their personal finances.

And more than two thirds have felt “ashamed” about asking for financial help.

The reliance on parents goes beyond fiscal matters, with those surveyed also looking to their parents for advice on cooking tips, house-buying issues and career queries.


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