The merits of parental privilege


In the Philippines, it is common for adult-aged (20 onwards) Pinoys to continue living at home even after graduating from college (usually we graduate at age 20-21) and getting a job. Most stay even after marriage!

Why? Parental privilege of course. It is cultural norm here for men and women to stay home and leave only upon marriage. Because of poor finances of newlywed couples, their parents encourage them to stay home while they save for a home.

For instance, frugal husband and I stayed at home for a month before we found a place of our own. My sister and her husband stayed at my parents’ house for about five years before they finally bought a townhouse of their own.

On the other hand, some people never leave their parents’ house despite already having a family of their own. Let’s discuss that next time on the Perils of Parental Privilege.

Merits of parents who set their limits

For parental privilege to have a positive effect on its beneficiary, parents should preliminarily set limits, such as:

(1) length of stay (i.e. till you can save for a home or rental cost). Otherwise, your kid wouldn’t be moving towards a goal. We need a goal to push us! You wouldn’t want a free-loading kid to drain your finances when you’re on your way to retirement. My parents’ limit on me was until turnover of my condo but frugal husband was too excited to start our lives together alone, like adults. So we moved out early.

(2) demand rent – After moving back from Makati and buying a condo here in Cebu, my parents never demanded anything from me. My siblings never paid rent, after all. But I insisted on paying rent.

If I could afford to pay rent to strangers /landlords in Makati, why not pay my own aging parents?! I had gotten so used to being independent. Also, I needed that monthly cost to push me in budgeting my money even better. In other words, di ko type maging EPAL (I’m not the free-loading type).

Rent is merely reasonable considering the added cost of my consumption in electricity, water and food.

(3) lay down house rules – this can run from your rules on splitting the grocery cost to curfews, to infinity. Restrictions would further encourage your kids to work harder at becoming financially independent and stop mooching of the parents.

My parents cut me off and stopped giving me allowance the moment I graduated from law school. I credit them for teaching me how to be independent in a lot of ways.

Parents who set boundaries turn kids into better adults, who may eventually become millionaires in their own right. What parent wouldn’t want that?

Parental privilege starts us on our way

I’ve often recognized my privilege of having generous parents who fully funded my education costs all the way to law school, even when I offered to become a working student during law school to fund my tuition.

I have to say, my parents started me on my way to adult financial health. Not just with their money, but with their financial advice as well. Their frugal lifestyle was a constant guidance and inspiration.

Parental privilege sets a multiplier for financial success

Having had an early start from parental subsidies, your financial life sets off at an accelerated rate. You are generally more financially literate than the next person and so have the opportunity to act /invest on opportunities.

How did your parental privilege / lack thereof affect your current finances?



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