Millennial to Millennials: Stop taking money from parents

If you’re a Millennial, the chances are pretty good you’re getting help from the Bank of Mom and Dad. According to a 2013 study involving a poll of parents, about 74 percent of today’s “emerging adults” receive financial support from their parents.

Stop it, argues a 25-year-old.

Writing on WBUR’s Cognoscenti blog today, Armory Sivertson, a radio producer, says the dependence suggests parents are ruining survival instincts.

At one point after I graduated college, I worked five part-time jobs. I can’t recommend juggling like that, and I don’t expect other 20-somethings to do it, but it was how I pieced the financial demands of my life together. I didn’t “walk uphill both ways” to get to my jobs, but I did ride my bike, and I still do. A car is one of many things that I can’t afford at 25 that my parents could.

I don’t consider this fact a hardship, but, if Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, director of Clark University’s Poll of Emerging Adults is correct, not only do many of my peers, but their parents do, too. In a recent interview with NPR, Jensen Arnett said, “…virtually all 25 year-olds could support themselves if they really had to… but they don’t want to, and when it comes right down to it, their parents don’t want them to have to, either.”

To those parents, I would ask: What would your child’s life look like if you took away that monthly stipend or stopped paying her student loans? Would she go hungry? Or would she learn how to budget in order to accommodate a lifestyle she can afford on her own? I also wonder when the cut-off for financial assistance is. This kind of enabling can be a hard habit to break.

These are my generation’s formative years. How we sustain ourselves, fight our battles and pay our rent matters. It also shapes the way we tackle whatever comes next in life. If we simply accept the notion that 25 has become the new 21, where does the infantilizing stop?

“So let’s roll up our sleeves, my fellow 20-somethings, and show the world — starting with our parents! — what we’re made of,” she writes.

Related: How Millennial Are You? (Pew Research Center).