Bleak future for parents if ‘bungee brood’ keep bouncing back for more cash
- New report finds 80 per cent of young adults believe they can be ‘financially independent’ while still receiving financial support from their parents
- 66 per cent of those who say they are ‘completely financially independent’ get some financial support from parents
- 41 per cent of 18 to 25-year-olds regularly have their day-to-day living costs funded by their parents
Parents could be facing a bleak future, owing to the rise of the ‘bungee brood’ a generation of young adults who may never sever their links to the parental purse strings, according to a new report released today from The Children’s Mutual and the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC).
The study has identified a new generation which considers itself ‘financially independent’ while still accepting parental subsidies for everything from day-to-day living costs to house deposits. With many having no plans to repay their debts (and apparently no parental expectation for them to do so), the study suggests that this generation is set to keep ‘bouncing back’ for support which could lead to serious ramifications for some parents’ financial futures.
According to the report, which surveyed more than 1,000 18 to 25-year-olds, four in five respondents (80 per cent) felt that they could be ‘financially independent’ while still receiving financial support from their parents and two thirds (66 per cent) of those who classed themselves as ‘completely financially independent’ received subsidies from their parents. While financial assistance towards university fees, mortgage deposits and paying for weddings were all identified as key pulls on the parental purse, the report also uncovered a generation of youngsters receiving financial support by paying little or no rent (39 per cent), and receiving contributions to their bills (17 per cent) and day-to-day living expenses (41 per cent).
The report identified a major societal shift over the last century, from the Victorian era where children were encouraged to live at home and provide a ‘valuable source of extra income’ to the young adults of today, most of whom live in a state of ‘subsidised independence’ that relies on parental contributions towards their well being and lifestyle.
David White Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “There has been a major change in the dynamic of family finances and it needs to be dealt with now as the problem could be growing for anyone who has, or is planning to have, children. Many parents of today’s young adults are choosing to make their children’s finances their problem and are increasingly faced with difficult choices – perhaps to take on more debt or to reduce funds that are available for them.
“Child Trust Funds are one way of providing the parents of today’s youngsters with an opportunity to lay financial foundations for their children’s futures, with a view to reducing the possibility of negative impact on their own finances in the future. And with more than four million children in the UK now in receipt of a Child Trust Fund voucher, and 37 per cent of young adults in our report saying that having a savings fund would secure their independence, we are on the way to changing attitudes to saving for the longer term.”
Peter Marsh, Co-Director, Social Issues Research Centre said; “Since the beginning of the twentieth century the flow of money between parents and children has been changing direction and ideas surrounding children and their upbringing have become more romanticised. Our report highlights the point we have reached today whereby children automatically expect financial support from their parents well into adulthood.”
The research reveals that the parents of today’s 18 to 25-year-olds are most likely to contribute to their child’s early adulthood by: (ranked)
- Charging reduced rent to a child living at home
- Contributing to general living costs
- Providing regular financial support for university fees / the cost of higher education
- Providing financial support for rent
- Contributing to the costs of trips and holidays
- Helping with paying bills
- Providing a financial contribution for a wedding
- Contributing towards savings or a trust fund
According to the report, in order to become financially secure 18 to 25-year-olds feel they need to: (ranked)
- Buy their own home
- Earn more money
- Pay off debts
- Have a savings fund
- Be in control of spending
For further information and a full copy of the report www.thechildrensmutual.co.uk SIRC report, page 15, para 2 (very bottom of the page)
 SIRC report, page 13, para 1
 SIRC report, page 4, bullet 5
 SIRC report – p18, para 1 and figure 9
 SIRC Report – p12, para 3 and figure 5
 SIRC Report – p18, para 1 and figure 9