Are most young people in NYC bankrolled by the Bank of Mom & Dad?

I grew up poor in a crappy mid west city. Went to a top college on almost a full ride and got a job in NYC doing IB after college. 

I've spent over 7 years here now, and it seems like these super "progressive" mega cities like SF/NYC that promote equality are the most oppressive to "settle" into if you don't have generational wealth backing you. 

It was fine in my early 20s when everyone was renting, burning our paychecks on nights out, parties, sporting events, etc. I've saved a decent chunk, but nowhere enough to do the big "life events" (mainly buying homes, getting married, kids in the cards within a few years). 

Now my friends are buying $1MM to $2MM homes, throwing extravagant weddings that cost $100K+, and I'm thinking how the fuck are these guys doing it? I was right in the thick of it splitting that $1,000 bottle of service of Dom on Saturday night with these guys. 

Then it fucking hits me when I go to their newly furnish homes and meet the parents at their weddings. They are fucking backed by the Bank of Mom and Dad. 

I've been trying to keep up with the Jones all these years and I just realized I'm not only competing with them when it comes to bonus season, I'm competing against them and their generational safety net.

That is all and why I'll be forced to move to a lower cost of living city in the next few years to settle down. 

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Comments (42)

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 21, 2021 - 11:29am

Sounds like you just roll with a rich crowd. I wouldn't say "most" young people are supported by their parents, but 95% of the ones blowing big money on tables and bottles or paying $5k for rent are.

I know plenty of upper-middle-class types in NYC who've gotten married, house, kids etc - but they buy a reasonably priced home in Jersey, normal wedding, and do well on their salary. Stay friends with these guys, go out on their boat and to their golf course, but they are the minority. There will always be someone richer than you, just part of life.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 21, 2021 - 12:38pm

That's how it's supposed to be. For generations, parents have helped their kids finance weddings (normally the bride's dad has his head on the chopping block for this) and many families help their kids purchase their first home. It's something that runs in a lot of families, including mine. It's not really something you should really knock these people for, unless they don't expect to do the same for their kids. It's a good thing, really. Your post kinda wreaks of jealousy.

Nov 21, 2021 - 2:00pm

That's how it's supposed to be. For generations, parents have helped their kids finance weddings (normally the bride's dad has his head on the chopping block for this) and many families help their kids purchase their first home. It's something that runs in a lot of families, including mine. It's not really something you should really knock these people for, unless they don't expect to do the same for their kids. It's a good thing, really. Your post kinda wreaks of jealousy.

Indeed. Nothing like keeping the rich, rich.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 21, 2021 - 2:47pm

Wow. Surprised by the reaction to my comment. I'll double down.

I'm sorry your parents are financially unsuccessful and/or don't care enough about you to improve your life through simple economics. Money for weddings and houses is easier to shell out after decades of compounded interest. Sorry you dopes are so bitter. Maybe be better than your parents?

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Nov 21, 2021 - 3:28pm

WSO's finest. 

I'm sure you think poor minorities in underserved communities are there because they are lazy and stupid, not because they were born into that situation too. If only these poor minorities didn't make the poor decision to be born into poor families. 

Question for you. Do you bring your MAGA hat to work, or do you leave that in the closest? 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 25, 2021 - 11:58pm

Bruh what. Compound interest only works if you have enough take home pay to save. I'll admit, there are some parents that don't make the best of their situation (like continuing to have kids while living in a HCOL area), but there are many parents that are doing the best they can, but you clearly don't understand how poverty can be a cycle.

I say this as someone who had poor parents who made it and now bankroll me. 

Nov 26, 2021 - 3:04pm

As someone who grew up poor and had rich childhood friends, I was with you on this comment. However, you started to get pretty disrespectful, insensitive, and ignorant in your following comments. Ideally, parents should be in a position to help their children and do things like financing their education and giving them the luxury of figuring out what they really want to do instead of having to work for money to survive. In addition, parents should do other things like help pay for weddings, first homes, and cars. Traditionally the woman's family paid for their wedding.

Unfortunately, it's the other way around when you're poor. A lot of parents in poor communities have children that end up taking care of them. I can't explain the reasons for poverty in a comment, but it's not always due to laziness. It can be difficult for people that grew up in generational wealth to understand generational poverty, just like it can be difficult for people that grew up in generational poverty to understand generational wealth. It's a blessing to have a family that can afford to make life a bit easier for their children. Everyone should strive to give their children a better life, but these families should also teach their children empathy for people less fortunate.

Suppose you go back far enough in every family with generational wealth. In that case, you will find ancestors that grew up in generational poverty until one person changed it for the rest of their family. Sometimes the descendants forget what poverty is, but it's in every bloodline. Even John D. Rockefeller's grandparents were poor farmers, and his dad was a con artist and a deadbeat. And no one is promised wealth forever like the Vanderbilts. All it takes is a few bad decisions or unfortunate events to send a family back into poverty, especially when they start to feel entitled to wealth.

I mean look at Jesse Livermore, his great-granddaughter is doing p*rn now.

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Nov 21, 2021 - 3:03pm

You're hanging out with a wealthy crowd in a wealthy city… what did you expect? I know people in cities like Dallas and Atlanta that do the exact same thing (hell, I know people in fucking Birmingham, AL and Memphis, TN that do that as well), but in either case it doesn't match the experience of 99% of people in those cities

Nov 22, 2021 - 2:37pm

I've spent over 7 years here now, and it seems like these super "progressive" mega cities like SF/NYC that promote equality are the most oppressive to "settle" into if you don't have generational wealth backing you. 

This is only the beginning  


Nov 23, 2021 - 12:30am

It sucks when you come from poor parents, but you can be the first step in getting your family into the winners circle so your grandkids can live big pimping.

It only takes one generation to turn the family fortunes around.

It just sucks that it's you that has to be the first step. Or just marry a great girl who also happens to be rich.

Nov 24, 2021 - 2:48am

the answer to your question is yes. however, don't feel jealous. it's actually more rewarding to go through hardship of saving up and then living a nice life knowing you earned it, instead of using family money.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Restr
Nov 24, 2021 - 11:08am

I agree. In a lot of ways I am glad I come from a modest background compared to a lot of the young people in NYC. This way you can attach much more meaning to achievements, milestones, etc

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 24, 2021 - 3:39pm

Is this actually true though? I try be optimistic but I really just see no future ahead. Cost of living is just so damn high and then student loans all that jazz, but hey maybe bonuses really are as big as some people say on here idk but let's hope you're right

Nov 24, 2021 - 5:23am

The more your parents give you, the less creative you're gonna be about finding ways to make money.

I didn't receive anything from my parents - forced me to be creative and think out of the box when it comes to investing/career. Has been the biggest blessing


Nov 24, 2021 - 9:35am

Fairly true for some. Can think of a few people who grew up in family net worths of $20+ million (one of which is worth well over $100+ million). Daughters from these families had very expensive lavish weddings and had super nice apartments while working in the city (one of them went to NYU and had access to their father's penthouse while in school, an apartment he barely used). Kind of funny to think about it - every one of these super rich families had at least one kid go to NYU at some point. Common trend amongst NYC/LI, a lot of rich kids go to NYU.

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Restr
Nov 24, 2021 - 10:14am

I have experienced this as well, and I think it is especially prevalent with 20's aged girls who work in non-finance professions.

  • I know a girl who makes $35k a year and and rents a $10k/month apartment with one other roommate. Her parents wanted her to "be safe" so they paid for her to get a nice apartment lmao.
  • Another girl I know makes $30k a year and her parents pay for everything (food, rent, general expenses) and let her keep her salary as "fun money".
  • Girl #3 makes $40k a year and rents a $7k/month apartment with two other roommates and her parents send her an "allowance check" every month

I could go on an on with this. That is not to say that it is just girls however, there are plenty of guys who are supported by their parents in one way or another. It is certainly the people I hang around, but working in finance, by association a lot of my friends date rich girls, and many of them come from well off families too. The amount of illogical and superfluous spending honestly disgusts me at times. These feelings of resentment obviously come from a place of jealousy/insecurity seeing as how I did not grow up rich, but I cannot comprehend the level of ignorance and tone-deafness that some of these people possess. 

I come from a similar background as you OP. I think you can find solace in the fact that you are working very hard to create a positive financial situation for yourself and you can impart values of frugality and situational awareness on your kids if you so choose as you have the actual experience to do so. 

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Nov 24, 2021 - 1:23pm

I only know of girls that get this much financial support from their parents. I can think of 7-8 off the top of my head, some of whom live together in super nice multi-bedroom places. I've seen it with girls in high-earning jobs as well. When I meet the parent's though, it completely makes sense.

I think for guys who are wealthy you'll see them wearing an expensive watch / have expensive accessories or clothes. There might be a case where they live in an apartment their parents bought them and I know of a few girls who do this too but this is a bit different as you could think of it as an investment from the parent's perspectives.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 24, 2021 - 3:41pm

While I hope you're right, is it wrong to feel like I don't even want to have any children at this rate knowing I'm going to have to sacrifice all my 20s to get any financial stability. College sucked for me too so deep down feel like I never really lived or had fun experiences. Maybe a better topic for a separated thread I suppose. 

Nov 24, 2021 - 11:35am

Totally get what you're saying.  Seen this a few times where you know someone and the numbers just don't add up. In my analyst year, one guy bought a really nice house right off the bat which kind of leaves you scratching your head.  I finally bought a house about a decade later.....and then a junior on our team bought a house in the same neighborhood. WTF, right!

It is what it is....although I usually hate that saying. Just try not to hate on these people too much and live your life.

Nov 24, 2021 - 9:43pm

Eh its not the true progressives causing the inequality in cities so much as the centre left people who are happy to support liberal social causes but will fight tooth and nail to stop zoning for multi family or higher density anywhere in their city. Progressives are much more for building more housing than the centre left upper middle class crowd who are supportive of more housing anywhere but their neighborhood. 


Nov 24, 2021 - 3:00pm

NYC/SF/LA are for the super rich or the super poor. 

If you're a W2 worker pulling in a salary, no financial help from parents, very unlikely you'll be able to settle into these areas. More likely, you'll be playing in the suburbs of these areas in your early 30s and commuting in. 

It is what it is. 

Next time you hear a late 20s something telling you about the new home they bought in the city, just smile and say congrats. You know in 90% of the case, they got help from parents or family and didn't really earn it. 

Nov 24, 2021 - 7:52pm

I've actually noticed the kids whose parents pay 100% for $5K for a luxury Manhattan apartment tend to be the sons and daughters of oligarchs from smaller towns/cities (think the child of a Harrisburg, PA surgeon). The kids from the tri-state (excepting a few from uber-wealthy places like New Vernon/Greenwich/Mill Neck) tend to be much more grounded, even if their parents bring in ~$1M/ann. For these kids it is common for parents to pay down-payment for apartment, and kids are expected to pay all the mortgages.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Nov 26, 2021 - 5:41am

Think it really comes down to how people are raised. I've seen quite a few people from Westchester who don't pay their own rent.

Nov 24, 2021 - 9:59pm

I always say people will tell you want they have, not how they got it. For example, they will tell you about their house/car, but not that their parents paid for it or they got an inheritance for example. 

It could be a nurture over nature thing, if parents have money, they probably know to instruct their kids about who to work for/where to keep getting money.

  • VP in ER
Nov 25, 2021 - 8:03am

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  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 25, 2021 - 4:42pm

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