How To Deal With A Financially Irresponsible Parent?

How do you deal with a financially irresponsible parent? Kids growing up in broken homes, or homes where it’s clear their parents are not responsible enough to take care of the household finances, some outside intervention is needed.

This article talks about how to deal with a financially irresponsible parent but it provides much more info on the topic and will help you figure out if you’re in a similar situation or getting there.

Key Takeaways 

– Differentiate bad parenting from financially irresponsible parents.
– Finding characteristics, effects, and causes behind the lack of financial responsibility is key. 
– Identifying ways to find a solution for a irresponsible parent. 
– Understand ways to take care of financially irresponsible parents.

Parents are supposed to be the caretakers of their family, right? They feed their child, pay their bills, and provide a basic, if not wealthy, standard of living.

Imagine if your parents are not doing any of that? How does that make you feel? Neglected, annoyed, frustrated or maybe confused. 

Concerns about children being poorly treated by their parents are not uncommon. In most cases, uninvolved parenting is blamed, while in some, a financially irresponsible parent is the subject of concern.

If the latter is the case, then it becomes exhausting for the kids or teenagers. If you are an adult, things can become more hectic for you, especially if you are on the verge of getting a job or moving to another city. 

How To Deal With A Financially Irresponsible Parent

Trying to make a living on their own whilst financially supporting their parents is not easy for teenagers at any age. 

Suppose you are among these teenagers or know someone facing a similar issue. In that case, this article will help you understand the reasons and find a possible solution for the irresponsible parent.  

Bad Parenting Vs. Financially Reckless Parents 

how to deal with a financially irresponsible parent
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What Is Bad Parenting? 

It is easy to feel that your parenting skills are below the par value. Parenting is exhausting for sure. Sometimes parents, in order to do their best, can make a wrong decision too but some things are generally considered “bad”. 

Some actions are more serious and damaging than others, like physical or verbal abuse. Beyond child abuse, harsh statements said by parents can often lead to destructive child behaviour, which is the common case of bad parenting.

What Are Financially Irresponsible Parents? 

A financially reckless parent is a different phenomenon than bad parenting. Imagine a single parent running all the chores but cannot meet the ends in the end.

This could be due to a bad gambling problem, or it could be just that they have poor money management skills. 

In such a case, parents are not clueless. They are aware of their bad and good financial choices. However, irresponsible behaviour speaks louder than their responsible side. 

Who Are Financially Careless Parents?

Financing is a serious skill, and even as adults, parents have trouble handling the finances due to several reasons.

But if they continue to repeat their patterns, things become complicated for their children. Money is a complicated problem if not handled wisely and can result in you being homeless.

Therefore, a parent that does NOT know how to manage money and his finances is a serious concern these days. 

Every financially unwise parent has some shared traits or habits that become prominent with time.

It is important to identify these characteristics to understand the situation in a better way. Some of them are mentioned down below:

  • Uninvolved/Over Involved Parent  

Are you wearing jeans size too small for you to wear? Does your fridge have a half-pint of milk left with nothing to eat? A parent who neglects their financial responsibilities and fails to provide enough money is financially uninvolved.

They may not even provide the basics like shelter, food, and clothing. 

  • Little to No Discipline 

If a child has little to no discipline, chances are they have a neglectful parent. When parents do not follow a sense of goal or direction with their finances, they will run out of money sooner.

For instance, a mother making an impulsive decision to order junk food instead of buying nutritional food for their kids shows a lack of discipline ( if done consistently )  

  • Strictness And Rigidness 
how to deal with a financially irresponsible parent
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A parent controlling the pocket money for their kid will result in an aggressive kid at one point. Parents who force chores for money in a nonconstructive way will complicate things for their kids. 

  • Zero Affection 

A parent showing more concern for the green in their wallet than loving their own kids says a lot. A financially irresponsible guardian is known to show zero affection towards their own blood and can sometimes be seen as selfish. 

It can be due to several reasons like having an unwanted child, they lack parental instincts, have suffered through adverse events, etc. 

Effects Of Financially ill-advised Parents On a Child

Children with irresponsible parents are at more risk in their future regarding relationships, depression, anxiety, and even financial problems. Some of the common effects of such parents on teenagers can be as follows.

  • Negative Perception

The overuse of negative labels for the kids leads to negative perceptions. Teenagers may think they are not worthy or feel they are unwanted. Consistent use of name-calling can emotionally impact teenagers from an early age. 

  • Rebellious Nature 
how to deal with a financially irresponsible parent
via freepik

If a parent is too controlling or too careless regarding the household expenses, then it can result in teenagers with disorders.

It may not be true in every case, but it can play a role in the negative behaviour of teenagers. A teen can become rebellious if they have to suffer due to financial reasons. 

  • Emotional and Behavioral Issues

Financially bad parents often leads to harsh behaviours. Verbal or physical abuse becomes common. This leads to teens having emotional and behavioural issues like aggressiveness, impulsive behaviour patterns, or something much worse. 

  • Risk of Substance Abuse 

Financial irresponsibility does not mean a lack of money.  It can also mean parents are careless when handing over the money to kids.

They may spoil the kids into developing bad habits like using dangerous substances like drugs if they are not too careful where the kids are spending the money.

Revealing Hidden Causes Of Financially Careless Parents 

Besides understanding the characteristics and effects of parents who are financially irresponsible, you need to also figure out the cause behind it. 

Everything happens because even when parents are financially irresponsible, you must lookout for the trigger points. 

  • Multiple Adverse Events 

Did you ever figure out what your parent’s childhood was like? Chances are they may have suffered at the hands of their parents financially too.

It is one of the most common identified causes behind families who suffer from reckless parents. It increases the chances of the teenagers facing similar financial issues that their parents experience as kids. 

  • Unwanted Child 

Some couples are happy and excited to have children. But there are those parents too who are not prepared to have kids, mentally or even financially. Such parents often refer their children to a kind of mistake or an accident. 

In these cases, parents may tighten their hands financially because they do not feel obliged to pay for their kid’s expenses. These parents are not able to raise children in a proper financial environment. 

  • Mental Health 
how to deal with a financially irresponsible parent
via freepik

If not in their right state of mind, a parent can find it difficult to manage the finances. Mental health issues are a serious concern at any age. Especially if a parent is suffering from hallucinations or disorders, it will become hard to manage their own life. 

So how will such a parent take care of their children financially? They will not be able to get a decent job even or barely cover the minimum expenses. 

  • Lack of Resources 

Lack of a minimum wage also will result in a lack of resources. Poverty yet is another cause behind irresponsible financial parenting. 

If you grow up in a family where financial status is a big issue, chances are parents will not be able to cover even the kids’ basic needs. The chances to live an improved life are even less. 

  • Career Ambitions 

Can a parent become selfish? It may sound hard to believe, but the truth is told, if a parent is ambitious about their careers, they might invest into it more than they do in their kid’s life. When a parent has a demanding job, their child may have to suffer the consequences. 

Parents will not keep an eye on the ways their kids are handling their cash (if money is not the problem). In this case, parents will lack concern about kids spending their money. 

  • Single Parenting 

Is your mum or dad a single parent?  If so, then several issues can result in a lack of taking financial responsibility. It may not be intentional. But being a single parent is hard for some adults. 

Single parenting is yet another common reason behind financially irresponsible parents. Handling expenses can become hard when a single parent is the sole bread earner. If your parent has gone through a bad divorce, it can also result in financial troubles. 

  • Poor Money Management 

Despite having a good job, parents might suffer poor money management. They may spend money on unnecessary purchases. Prioritizing luxuries over basic commodities can create financial instability for the household rather easily. 

Ways to Handle a Financially Irresponsible Parent 

Watching your parents fall is scary, though. However, you can try some tricks to help your parents resolve their lack of financial responsibility. 

1. Managing Conversations 

The best thing to do is talk to your parents. Avoid confrontation, but communication is the key to understanding the reasons behind their financial failure. Having a heart-to-heart conversation can clear the doubts and concerns on both sides.

In case your parents are not willing to talk to you, then you might need to take the help of a professional consultant. 

2. Keep Your Calm 

While trying to make your parents look at their financial defaults, you also need to keep your cool. Money is complicated, so it can become a reason for a heated argument despite your best efforts. You need to evaluate your strong points and identify the parenting gaps.

If you talk calmly, your parents are more likely to listen to you regarding financial troubles and how to handle them. 

3. Relocation 

If your parents are having financial troubles, you can propose a relocation. Every location has different property taxes. You can volunteer to help your parents find a location with low taxes and cheaper rents. 

It is not a permanent solution, but your offer to help them move to a better new home may do the trick for ageing parents. 

4. Create a Budget  

When parents are stretching their money, it is time for you to barge in. The simple way to handle the finances is to sit down and make a budget list. Keep the income and expenses in mind while creating the list. 

Once you do this, you can set a budget chart for everyday expenses to their medical bills, and so on. 

5. Downsizing Expenses 

One of the smart tips is to help your parents downsize. For instance, if your parents live in a house they can hardly afford due to its sheer size, then help them find a smaller home. 

Also, consider their mortgage, housing expenses, and the cost of moving in point as well. Downsizing to a better but cheaper location is also possible once a budget is set. 

6. Professional Help 

In case you are unable to manage any monetary support for a financially irresponsible parent, then it is best to seek professional help.

You may take the help of a governmental consultant or, better yet, take your parents to centres specifically designed to keep the demographics in mind.

These institutes are like old homes, but they have different policies. It may even help your parents to become more responsible with time. 

7. Accept the Situation

It can be infuriating when your parents are financially irresponsible and don’t even think about it. However, the best thing to do in this situation for a retaliating child is to accept their situation.

Mostly, a child will keep on fighting with their parents in the hope that they will start to realize their mistakes. However, they are so irresponsible that they are blind to the needs of their children.

The best thing that a child needs to do is keep his calm and accept the fact that their parents are not going to change. However, this does not mean that he needs to stop trying.

A child can start thinking of how to manage their expenses on such a small budget that he gets. It is the best possible way.

8. Don’t Lose Hope

One of the main effects a bad parent has on their kid is that the kid loses the hope that he’ll have a good future.

A financially irresponsible parent cannot provide the kid with basic things that they need to grow with full enthusiasm. However, if you’re the one having financially irresponsible parents, I would suggest you never lose hope.

There will be many doors that you will see along the way. Just wait and knock at the right door. The main thing that helps you shape your future is thinking. If you think you can’t do it. Then, nothing will help you do it.

9. Don’t Retaliate

Many kids retaliate against their parents. They do it because they think it’s the right thing to do, which will make their parents feel ashamed. However, it’s not always the right thing to do. If your parents are financially irresponsible, you must accept that you can live without them.

Sometimes, retaliating cause your parents to be aggressive, and they will start neglecting you even more. So, I advise you to stop retaliating if you’re doing that.

Additional Ways To Address Problems With Financially Irresponsible Parents

how to deal with a financially irresponsible parent

Therapy could help work through the emotional components. Remember that the success of financial discussions depends on your skill in managing them.

When it comes to your parents, you have no say in what they do or how they interact with you.

However, how you respond is something you can decide for yourself. The health of the partnership as a whole can benefit from better control of your emotions.

It would help if you thought about counseling to deal with money problems you’ve had since childhood and with your family.

Of course, you could always talk to your parents about the sensitive material. But first, take care of the physical items. First, hone down on the specific problems you wish to fix. Then, see whether your folks are open to discussing your worries with you.

 With any luck, they’ll see things your way, and you’ll be able to have a reasonable discussion. If that doesn’t work, some families have found that communicating via text, voicemail, email, or even handwritten letters can help start those tough conversations.

Steps for Addressing the Problem

Here’s what you can do if your parents are open to discussing the issue with you:

  • Express your worry with an “I” sentence. I care about you. Thus I worry about (this part of your finances).

  • Explain the problem you’re having in detail. It may be best to tackle one problem at a time if you have several issues to resolve.

    One can say, “I worry about you spending a lot of money on vacation because I don’t want you to have to worry about paying off the mortgage after you retire.”

  • Please inquire about your parents and whether they share your worries. Be sure to pay close attention as they share their thoughts.

    After all, you could learn that they provide a retirement program that you were previously unaware of. You should still find out if you are even on the same page.

  • If you and the other person are worried about the same thing, you can work together to find a solution.

  • If your parents don’t seem to understand your worries, you should try to convince them by providing concrete examples. Don’t be shy in describing things.

    The cost of your previous trip out of the country seems to be around $5,000. The $5,000 sprang to mind as a potential mortgage payment.

    That way, you can put off paying that huge debt until after you’ve retired. It worries me that you won’t be able to keep up with those payments once your current income stops.

  • Make an effort to reach a compromise. Put patience and generosity into practice.

Additional Tips for Addressing the Problem

In the end, every family is unique. That’s why there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to dealing with financially irresponsible parents.

Your upbringing, the dynamics of your family, and the way you’re used to communicating will all play a role.

If your parents are financially irresponsible, here are some additional considerations to keep in mind.

  • It could be helpful to talk to one or both of your parents’ other children (your siblings). Is cooperation possible?

  • In some households, it could be more effective to talk to one parent before the other.

  • Consider the numerous complexities of the relationships at play. More individuals will be involved in your life if your parents are no longer together.

    You may get financial help from your grandparents if they still live and your parents aren’t. Extra factors are at play if you have biological, step, half, or adopted siblings. Learn as much as possible about your family’s financial situation.

  • Providing information can be more helpful than giving counsel to some people. Instead of having a direct conversation about money with your parents, you may give them financial articles and books.

  • Consult with experts in the fields of law and finance to weigh your options. How would you set up a bank account to financially aid your parents without giving them cash?

    Can you claim your parents as dependents if you’re paying for them to live with you? Explore your available choices.

Should You Set Boundaries and Keep Things as They Are with Your Parents?

how to deal with a financially irresponsible parent

Take all the necessary steps to deal with your parents’ reckless spending. Please do your best to collaborate with them. Send your warmest regards and deepest concern.

Explore the possibilities for making a real difference in their financial position. Know when to take a back seat, though.

Both of your parents are legal adults now. (Of course, if competency, age-related memory deterioration, etc. are factors, then that’s a separate – and much more complicated – issue.

Seek guidance from professionals working in that area of law and finances before proceeding.)

You have to establish your limits at some time. It’s possible, for instance, that you’ve made up your mind not to chip in toward your parents’ financial obligations.

It’s so infuriating that they fritter away their cash and then have to skip rent payments.

 You’d rather they not be on the streets, but you may have to draw the line there at some point. Lovingly establishing limits is possible. Once again, treatment can help.

You then need to figure out how to accept the circumstance for what it is. Worrying about things you cannot change is useless.

You can try to solve the issue bit by bit, but you also need to find ways to refocus on your own life. Taking care of oneself is a need.

Strengthen your connections and bank account. Having to deal with financially irresponsible parents is a major source of stress.

Nevertheless, they need not compromise your well-being, contentment, or bank balance.

How Can One Care for Financially Irresponsible Parents?

how to deal with a financially irresponsible parent

However, some parents are so financially reckless that they end up being a burden on their adult children. It can put a significant burden on the parent-child connection as well as the family’s financial stability.

As an adult kid, you may feel helpless in the face of these difficulties if your aging parents are financially irresponsible. And you may be wondering if you should feel responsible for them, how to approach the subject, and whether or not you can provide assistance.

All the same, having these discussions is crucial. Keep reading for advice on how to take care of financially irresponsible parents.

Determine What You Are Capable to Do

The first step is to evaluate your resources and determine what you can provide to your parents. You need to take into account everything, including your current financial situation.

There should be two people in the room if you are in a committed relationship or married for this discussion.

Do your best to keep the lines of communication open so you can express your opinions and feelings without fear of judgment.

The best action is to prepare ahead of time if you expect your parents will require financial assistance. To prepare yourself, spend time calculating how much you can set aside each month.

You may not be able to assist if you are a working parent who also has to save for retirement.

While it’s impossible to know what lies ahead, trying at least to anticipate potential obstacles and plan accordingly for the two of you is wise.

Discuss with Your Family Members

Get everyone in the family on the same page before you need their help. If you’re an only child in need of some encouragement, consider confiding in a friend.

These discussions should take place in the absence of the parents to ensure the highest degree of objectivity.

Additionally, having them there may lead to unwarranted wounded feelings; if this must occur, do it after the fact.

If you sit down and converse with your loved ones, you can figure out how to solve the situation and what’s best for everyone.

Then it’ll be easier for everyone to chip in by splitting costs, sharing rides, or pooling resources like empty bedrooms.

Get your ducks in a row before approaching your folks with a plan for financial support. By doing so, you improve the quality of your conversation and, by extension, your prospects.

Talk Directly to Your Parents

Although having this conversation may not be ideal, it is necessary. Without coming off as condescending, let them know they can come to you if they need financial assistance if you are in a position to provide it.

For the sake of not encouraging poor decision-making, set requirements for your assistance, such as full financial disclosure. Politely tell them that their lack of planning will negatively affect you in the long run.

Ultimately, you don’t owe it to yourself or your parents to exert dominance over them. You mean well in offering assistance, and you certainly have the option of providing none at all.

If they’re not taking you seriously or can’t help without harming yourself, you shouldn’t.

Make Sure to Prioritize Your Future

It would help to put your retirement plans first so you don’t end up like the parents in the stereotype. You shouldn’t take money from your retirement or your child’s college fund to help your parents.

For this reason, you shouldn’t let the thought of helping others compromise your ability to provide for yourself. Investing in a secure financial future for yourself is more crucial.

Involve your partner in decision-making as much as possible if it concerns the two of you.

Putting your relationship with your partner through this will not assist you and is not worth the trouble.

You could also request their credit card and bank statements to understand their financial situation.

If they feel threatened by this, tell them that the goal is to help them, not to control them.

Bottom Line 

Living with parents that don’t take you so seriously and neglect you regarding financial support can be infuriating for a child. However, every human being ends up making some mistakes, and no one is always perfect.

There may be various factors that might cause your parents to be financially irresponsible towards you. However, you need to be sensible if you have ignorant parents.

You may not always want to end up fighting or arguing with them; it’s not the right thing to do.

In this article, we discussed all the possible ways that you can deal with your financially irresponsible parents.

Also, you will find some ways that you might want to utilize to take care of your parents even if they are not good to you.

Here, we conclude our article. For more informative articles, stay tuned!

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