Parents are still covering their children’s bills into their late 20s and 30s because of increasing student loan debt and lack of high-paying jobs.
Raising children is expensive. Any parent can tell you that.
The last report that the U.S. The Department of Agriculture published calculating the average cost of raising a child to adulthood, excluding college expenses, was done in 2017. Using data from 2015, they reported the annual cost of raising a child born in 2015 was $233,610, assuming the child was born to a middle-income, married couple. The numbers can get as high as $264,090 for parents raising children in the urban Northeast.
But those reports assume only that parents are spending money on their children from birth to when they turn 18—And in an older time, this was true. Teenagers were pressured to leave the house as soon as they became adults at 18 and sometimes even sooner.
But Boomers and Gen Xers had the benefits of stable economies and a lack of inflation to deal with when they became legal adults, so they were more likely to move out after high school, gain steady incomes, and raise their own families. Needless to say, the old guilt-trip doesn’t work anymore for millennials and Gen Z.
Nowadays, children are relying on their parents for a longer period of time, stretching past teenage years and into their 20’s and 30’s. They’re calling home for cash more frequently, but this isn’t all their fault. Afterall, the average student loan debt for a bachelor’s degree exceeds $37,000 in the U.S. as of today. And with tuition prices increasing yearly across the country, this number is expected to rise.
According to a 2019 survey, 50% of young millennials currently in college or who plan on going to college said that they plan to move back home until they get their feet under them financially—and just 38% expected to pay rent while living with their parents. With the COVID-19 pandemic’s influence on the job market for recent college graduates, we can assume these numbers may be even higher today.
Parents are still tasked with paying their children’s expenses, sometimes long after they turned 18, and student loans are a big factor.
According to a 2021 survey, 32% of people have help from their parents paying student loans. But it doesn’t stop with college debt.
Young adults are also asking their parents for help with other bills, like rent and other expenses, and 37% say they’ve moved back in with their parents to avoid paying bills.
In fact, 39% of adults aged 25-31 reported that they are asking their parents to help with rent in that 2021 survey, and 57% of respondents in that same age category are still asking their parents for money to cover other expenses, even streaming services.
But most parents aren’t happy with the amount of money they’re still providing for their grown adult children. 55% of adults in America say parents are doing too much for their young adult children these days, according to a 2019 Pew Research survey.
There’s no telling if this trend will end soon, or ever, but one thing is for sure: when it comes to being a parent, it’s gotten a whole lot more pricey.