How to support your adult kids without spending a cent

Jun 08, 2023
Constantly providing your adult children with financial assistance may not always be the best approach. Source: Getty Images.

More and more Millennials are turning to the Bank of Mum and Dad to access their parents’ savings for buying a house or starting their lives. Unfortunately, this is making it difficult for Baby Boomers to save for retirement.

In an era of soaring living costs and an ever-widening housing crisis, parents face the delicate challenge of supporting their adult children without worsening their own financial strain.

As parents, it’s natural to want to support our adult children in their journey through life. However, constantly providing them with financial assistance may not always be the best approach.

So instead of dipping into the savings and making things tougher for yourself, it may be best to try these alternatives first.

Let them use your car

Cars can be incredibly expensive with registration, insurance and licence fees to consider, not to mention petrol costs, which can increase at any point. If you live in the same city or town as your adult kids then lending them the car when they need it most could be a huge help.

Instead of leaving your car sitting in the street, with expenses piling up, you can simply hand over the keys if you’re jetting off on holiday or have no need to use it for a few days. To ensure the kids aren’t racking up the kilometres and leaving you out of pocket though, a deal could be arranged so they have a set dollar amount per month or per km to use. Or alternatively, you could simply ask them to refill the tank after each use of the vehicle.


Time with your grandkids is always valuable and looking after the little ones can help save your children a bucket load, especially with the increasing costs of childcare. There are bonuses on both sides with the kids’ well-earned cash going straight into the savings, while you get the enjoyment of hanging out with the grandchildren and building relationships. Not only that, there is generally trust between you and your grandkids built already, making babysitting duties that much easier.

There is also research to prove the benefits of grandfathers and grandmothers taking on childcare duties with a survey by showing grandparents were collectively saving working families close to $2.3 billion a year in childcare fees.

Open up your home

While for most Baby Boomers the thought of living at home with their parents into their 20s and 30s was very much frowned upon with teens quick to set up their own homes with friends or a partner back in the day, things have taken a drastic turn since then. Inviting your kids back under the same roof may seem like an odd idea but nowadays it is perfectly normal with data revealing that young adults are choosing to live with their parents for longer than ever.

Data compiled by the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey found that a greater number of Australians aged between 18 and 29 are still living at home with mum and dad, with  55.1 per cent of men and 48.4 per cent of women remaining at home. If you’re willing and ready to share the space again, this could be an excellent plan to help your kids save money, even if its just for six months or so to help them avoid rising rent costs and build up their savings.

Add them to your health insurance

In Australia, adult kids can fall under their parents’ health insurance up until the age of 31, under certain circumstances. For mum and dad, it usually doesn’t cost much extra to include them on their policy and it saves children forking out $150 or so a month that could be going towards a house deposit.

Although this assistance isn’t as long-lasting as other options, it will still help the kids with their finances, and it’s a win-win situation really with parents having the peace of mind that the children are protected.

This article was first published on September 26, 2019 , and has been updated on June 8, 2023. 

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

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