Well, it's a bit of a mixed bag, isn't it? On one hand, it's great that her parents are in a position to help her out financially. On the other hand, it's understandable that you might be scratching your head a bit, wondering why she needs the help when she's making a pretty hefty salary.

Here's the thing, though. Everyone's financial situation is unique. Maybe she has some hefty student loans she's paying off, or maybe she's helping out her family in some way. Or maybe she's just not as good at managing her money as she could be.

Is it a red flag? Not necessarily. It could just be a sign that she needs to brush up on her financial management skills. But it's definitely something you should talk about, especially if you see a future with her. Money issues can cause a lot of stress in a relationship, so it's better to address them sooner rather than later.

Remember, it's not about judging her. It's about understanding her situation and figuring out how you can support each other. After all, you're a team, right? So, sit down, have a chat, and see where it goes. And hey, maybe you could even suggest she check out some of the WSO courses on financial management. It could be a win-win for both of you!

Sources: Are most young people in NYC bankrolled by the Bank of Mom & Dad?, Taking care of parents in finance, If your parents are really rich and are willing to pay for your lavish lifestyle, would you still work?

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.
 
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Nothing wrong with parental support. If a family has the financial resources and would like to support one another, why not?

There was a time when I was being all holy and sitting on my high horse and thinking “I want my children to be completely self made, succeed in life based on 100% meritocracy, I strongly believe in the American dream of equal opportunity, etc”. I no longer think that way because I realized very quickly that that’s not how the real world works. In this ever so competitive world of ours, more so than ever parents are going out of their way to support their children (finances, connections to employers, etc).

For my wife and I, we have every intention of supporting our children throughout their lives. We have a few properties that will be passed to them when the time comes, we have amassed large savings for their education so they will graduate with zero student loans, and when the times comes we will leverage our professional network to get them to the right jobs (if needed). And I don’t feel bad in the slightest doing all this - my bosses (HF partners) are doing the same and it’s just how the real world works.

 

This is fairly common, among the people I know or among colleagues. It isn't things like phone bill or clothes (the kids can afford that on their salaries), but often a family vacation to a luxury spot, the down payment for the house, maybe helping acquire a rental property, ...

Doesn't have to be parents either - a colleague inherited a house in London from his grandmother who passed away. It is a bit rundown, but the market value is above 2M GBP...

 

Very much of a mixed blessing. The financial safety net can result in grown kids who are much less ambitious or personally financially successful than the parents would have expected, or who make questionable financial decisions themselves. Some help can be great, but the price of privilege is real.

 

It’s not the parental support that would be the red flag imo, but the reason for it is important. 

Are they spending parents’ money because those have too much cash and want to support their child to have a better life when they’re still in their prime (I.e. younger and can do a lot of stuff with the money), and your gf uses the money in that way (while not relying on it)?

Or do parents need to provide ongoing liquidity because the child has an unsustainable lifestyle and they just crave lifestyle creep and if the parents stop, will you have to pick up the tab? Both may look the same from the outside but that’s why it’s crucial you know your gf’s character and no one here can do that for you. 

 

Why do you care?
I don’t understand, why would that be a problem? Are you mad at trust fund babies who get a Ferrari 458 for their 18th birthday? Then why do you care if some somewhat rich family helps their child get a house and avoid a costly loan, especially right now that interest rates are fucked?
It’s natural to help your children, you sound like those bitter Europoors who argue we should abolish inheritance.

 
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goldmansbsack

I care because this is somebody I’ve been dating for years and money is important in relationships.

I’ve got cousins who were basically given an allowance of well over 100k per month post graduation (my parents are in a position where they could comfortably do the same) — I’m not mad at them, I pity them. They’re unable to hold a job, unable to have meaningful relationships, and ultimately live a very shallow/unhappy life where the void is filled by designer brands, substance abuse, and jetting around the world in daddy’s PJ. That life would be sick for a month or maybe even a year — but when it’s your whole life it’s just a sad way to live.

Agreed. Receiving $100K/mo sounds utterly depressing. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee
 

Has your gf shown signs of willing to live such life that you describe? Or is she willing to invest her money wisely and spend it on things that matter and plan for the future? Money doesn’t make you different: it just gives you the power to be who you truly are. If you’re an asshole, having money will make you an even bigger asshole. If you’re a nice person, and you hold values of honesty and love for others deep inside your heart, being rich won’t change who you are. Is your gf already a brand whore whose whole life revolves around materialism? Has she already shown signs that she has zero money management skills and / or an inability to plan for the future? Put it simply: is she retarded? If the answers to these questions is no, then you shouldn’t care about the money. If it’s yes, then dump her or be a gigolo for the rest of your life. My girlfriend’s family is also rich as fuck, but she was never too spoilt. She’s humble, and all around a good person. When I started dating her I thought she was poor, and I saw she was a good person. When I discovered her father earned over 10x my family’s net worth in a single year, it didn’t change my perception of her as a genuinely good person. Relax: if you had no problems with her personality before (which doesn’t seem to be the case) money will not make her evil.

 

Is it for monthly expenses or are they just occasionally doing it out of good faith, helping save for a major thing, and more than happy to fork over some extra "fun money" from time to time?

My parents are willing to roll over my college tuition into a Roth IRA for me, will probably pay for my MBA as they did for school, and I'm sure would kick over some money for a future wedding or house way down the line. However, they made it abundantly clear that I make enough money to completely sustain myself and will not be helping with expenses (as I went over my compensation and costs with them to help me create a spending plan). 

But just to echo a lot of what's said in this thread - if she's making 200k and needs her parents help with stuff like rent, or even a rainy day cost <$5000, then that's a serious red flag. 200k is well above self sufficient anywhere in the US including NYC

Edit: If she's in serious school debt then you could make an argument, but based on OP's context I'm assuming her parents probably covered her college or MBA

Goes to non-target disregard what he says.
 

You can hate on anyone receiving financial support especially when they’re adults but we’d all like to be in that situation where we get money from parents. What’s the point of having kids if you don’t want to support them? Especially if you have the means to

 

Getting a vacation paid for by parents, or some extra cash to treat myself every now and again is nice. However, if you make enough money - let alone 200k, which would fund a very comfortable and occasionally excess lifestyle, why would someone be okay with that?

My parents had more than enough for me to ever worry and sometimes buy me nice things, and I grew up with friends in the same situation. Most people I knew never took that for granted and were always grateful for what they (and myself) received. Despite having a very nice lifestyle, we all wanted to take paths to become self sufficient and maintain our lifestyle by entering competitive industries. I'm betting the majority of this forum comes from a similar background and is in a similar situation to what I just described. 

To expect, let alone wanting your parents to continue funding a great lifestyle when you're already making a very generous income is the definition of being spoiled. 

Goes to non-target disregard what he says.
 

So your girlfriend has a high powered job, which means she's probably ambitious, and is making good money.  What's the problem here?  It isn't really any of your business how her parents choose to dispose of their wealth, it has nothing to do with financial independence.  If your girlfriend was bad with money, or heavily in debt, or drifting aimlessly in life then I might say that your values don't align, but it sounds like that isn't true.

Having aligned goals around money is really important for a relationship, but I until you have that conversation/merge your finances, it really isn't any concern of yours.  Someone who cannot hold down a job and parties nonstop because they have a huge allowance from their parents would be a red flag for me, but not for everyone - it's just a question of priorities.  Look at it from everyone else's perspective - her parents worked hard (presumably) to be able to help their children, and now that their daughter is an adult, they're doing what they can to help her have a certain standard of living.  Your girlfriend has a job and a partner and has got her life together - why should she turn down free money, especially a gift from the one source that it's socially acceptable to receive a "freebie" from?

 
goldmansbsack

Your comment seems to be in support of the general sentiment. I disagree that it’s “free money”, that’s your family.

It is your parents' money, and if they choose to give it to you, from your perspective (assuming you are the person in this story receiving the aid), you have indeed gotten "free money," in the sense that it isn't tied to any labor you undertook or risk you assumed.

I feel like my family has given me so much support to get me to where I am. The last thing I would want to do after my parents put me through 12 years of private school, college, tutors, career advice, etc. is hit them up for more money to fund purchases/luxuries that aren’t within my means.

I happen to agree with you, but you're imposing your own background and your own values on someone else.  If the girlfriend in the story was demanding her parents subsidize her so she can buy additional luxury goods, I would indeed find that reprehensible.  That wasn't the vibe I got, though to be fair my inferences don't have to agree with yours.  If the parents are choosing to give their daughter an allowance, I don't see anything morally questionable about that from any point of view.  It is their money, and choosing to give your children a higher standard of living that they could otherwise afford seems a perfectly acceptable way to go about using those dollars.

Where does that end?  Should they not pay for her trip to a vacation they want her to go on with them?  If her apartment gets robbed and she's left destitute, would it be bad for them to help her get back on her feet?  At some point I think we can all agree there are times when there is no moral hazard to giving your kids a "handout," so at that point it becomes a question of where you think the line should be drawn.  Personally, I think they're a long way from it, but the your ethical center is (and should be) different than mine.

 

Echoing a lot of what has been said about the fact that it’s normal for parents to help their kids. However, while the help may not an immediate problem, it could be an issue if you two get married. You didn’t mention how much the parents are contributing or the frequency, but if they are funding her lifestyle in a significant way, I’d be a little concerned on two fronts. First, if you two marry, do her or her parents expect you to pay for her lifestyle? Second, if they are going to help her after you two marry, how involved are they going to be in your life?
 

I know three couples going through these issues in different ways. In one relationship, the husband is currently not talking to his in-laws. The other two couples are working through things well though, and the parental involvement and lifestyle disagreements are more like minor nuisances rather than dramatic hurdles. 

 

My sister makes a similar amount and my parents pay half her rent. My other sister just got $500k for a down payment and they're paying for her ~$400k wedding pretty much in whole. I support myself because I think it feels better for me personally as the son, but I have hundreds of acres of farms, houses, and a big portfolio to look forward to. But my parents have never spent much on themselves, they live comfortably but like to support us and have more than enough resources to. Only downside I see if you start taking it for granted and expecting it, which might make you kind of miserable.

 

Firm believer in not raising priviliged/entitled/snot nose kids. That being said, those life lessons are taught pretty early (ex: not replacing nice stuff they break, giving them top tier everything, Tesla at 16, making them think poor people are inferior, not having them work a summer job), they are likely pretty fully baked into adulthood by mid 20s. If parents are well off (retired, own their home, can vacation and stuff, etc) then why not give it to their kids to use for something like a house, wedding, education, etc.? In that situation the kids are by no means obligated to their parents money, but I understand why parents would choose to give it.

That IMO in itself isnt a red flag.

What is the red flag or not is how she views that money. Does she treat it as the gift it is and uses it responsibly? Or is it immediately earmarked for whatever dumb shit she wants to buy, and then treated like a free budget line item going forward?

 

Yeah, it's a red flag, absent crippling student debt or some other unique extenuating circumstance. Otherwise, if you can't get by on 200k out of college then either budgeting is non-existent and/or spending habits are out of control. This screams princess syndrome and don't be surprised if/when the parents wean her off from their "help", that you will be expected to take their place (i.e. contribute more).

 
MonkeyNoise

There for sure is a difference between parents just giving the money (which parents with $$$ will often do) , vs the daughter needing it

If she needs financial assistance from her parents now then she will eventually use you the same way. It indicates a pretty selfish and entitled view on money, especially given her more than comfortable upbringing and salary

My position on this is pretty simple. If you don't need it, don't take it. Like I said, if you're taking money you don't "need" then you definitely have a case of princess syndrome IMO. If you're taking money you NEED while making 200k as a 23 year old, then you have a massive budgeting problem AND princess syndrome. 

 

It doesn't really matter whether or not someone else's daughter or son receives support. I've noticed in the US practically everyone is receiving support in some form whether its the rich gf getting 100k/year from her parents or your former VP who is getting unemployment checks. Everyone is trying to get by and there is no shame at all in receiving help from anyone 

 

I'm now officially "old" and married with a few kids (ignore title in my profile - I'm old), and while I don't get any monetary support from my parents, I'm not ashamed to admit my parents still help out occasionally with "in-kind" stuff (e.g. the use of their vacation homes, etc.)

This usually comes into play when my family and I go skiing at a certain very nice, but pricey location (think $2000+ / night hotels at peak season) that we enjoy going to. I could afford to pay for that out of my own pocket (or stay somewhere inconvenient that is far from the mountain), but my parents are supportive and would in fact prefer if we stay at their place and save money. Skiing is already a relatively expensive activity, so if you can save money on accommodation / lodging, it makes a difference.

 

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