When to Quit Taking Other People's Money
We’ve all been in a bad financial position. No matter what our station is in life, someone has helped us get somewhere financially. Maybe this was your parents, perhaps this was your friends, or maybe this was your relative. You may have received money in the form of a loan, a gift, or even a $20 bill. Often, this loan or gift turns into more loans or gifts. The cycle we have started may feel good at first but can be difficult to break. You don't want to turn into the person that always needs money. So, when is it time to quit taking other people’s money?
Let's first blame our parents!
A recent study showed that young adults who are expected by their parents to develop good financial habits do so. Parents who believe their children are “suffering” financially also seem to stay in that bad financial place. So, whatever your parents believe about your ability to control your money becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And in turn, what you believe about yourself financially, you become. The people you take money from also influence you significantly. In this setting, it does not just have to be parents but anyone you believe to be in a financial authority position who has either loaned or given you money. So if your grandparents raised you or an aunt and uncle, their thoughts and feelings about you would internalize.
Are you surprised at how greatly others influence your view of yourself? Or are you shaking your head saying to yourself "sounds like me"?
So, why do we stay here?
It comes down to responsibility. Why take responsibility for your financial path when someone else is around the corner waiting to pick you back up? If you never have to take ownership of your bad financial habits, then you don't have to change. What we often don’t realize is that this financial gain often comes with strings we didn’t know were attached. Strings that may be pulled at any time because you aren’t in control of them. What happens is that you feel less like an adult and more like a grown-up kid.
Do you want to trade your freedom for some else shouldering responsibility? Do you always want to listen to input from others on how to live your life?
When should you stop?
The recommended age to stop relying on any handouts from any individual is 25. Some of you are thinking that may be too early because you have loans and life and new jobs and some of you may think that is way too late. However, I urge you to earnestly think about all of the items you have accepted from others. What about when you graduated school? First became parents? When you had hard financial times, and others sacrificed for you and your family? You may take money from others a lot more often than you realize.
It's time to be honest with yourself. Do you allow your parents to pay your phone bill, car insurance, or big-ticket items? Do you want to quit it?
What do you do now?
If you want true financial freedom, it is okay to not be at your ideal financial level. It takes time and patience to develop YOUR nest egg. But when you grow it, it will be worth it because it was founded on your hard work and savings. Your self-esteem, self-worth, and financial savvy will improve if you stop taking other people’s money and start relying on YOU.
If you feel behind and a little defeated, do not worry. Many, many adults rely on others for their finances. Most do. However, if you want to live like no one else, then you have to be responsible for your finances in a way that no one else will expect of you. It's time to take control.