75% of parents sacrifice their savings to support kids

  • A third of adults (33%) sacrifice how much they spend and save for themselves to support younger family members, with 42% cutting back occasionally
  • Of the money that’s saved, 57% would be unhappy if it was spent on expensive gifts, going out (55%) or expensive clothes (51%)
  • More than two thirds would prefer savings were spent on a house deposit (75%), university (77%), or a pension (67%)

High living expenses, poor wage growth and uncertain economic times has made more adults feel financially responsible for family members under 18 years old.

One third (33%) of the population are often sacrificing how much they both spend and save money for themselves to divert funds to support their children, with 42% following suit on occasion, according to new research from Foresters Friendly Society.

Conscious of how financially hard up younger family members might be later in life, increasing numbers of adults are having to financially support younger family members to achieve short and longer-term milestones when they reach adulthood. That said, of the money that’s saved, well over half (57%) would be unhappy if funds were blown on frivolous expenditures including expensive gifts for others, on big nights out (55%) or expensive clothing (51%) by their children.

Indeed, more than two thirds of adults would prefer savings were spent on a deposit for a first home (75%), university (77%), or towards retirement (67%).

That said, 49% talk to younger family members about the importance of good money-saving habits on a regular basis and 31% talk through their own budgeting strategies and explain how they plan to meet them. This indicates that while support is needed, parents are looking to encourage younger members to stand on their own two feet as soon as they’re able.

But that’s not to say all parents are without a sense of fun, with only 25% being upset by the idea dedicated savings were spent on a trip around the world. However, surprisingly or not, 51% of dads would be pleased to see their child’s funds spent on gigs and festivals, whereas just 29% of mothers would share the same reaction. 

Paul Osborn, Chief Executive for Foresters Friendly Society commented:

“Saving enough for life’s big milestones can prove tricky, particularly for those on the cusp of adulthood who are starting to come to terms with making big financial decisions for the first time. Knowing there is ongoing parental and guardian support is comforting but ensuring all money that’s saved works its hardest is key. It’s true, older generations are going to have to financially support their offspring for longer but that’s not to say they’re on their own in the process. There are a range of saving vehicles out there that can help with the heavy lifting. For example, the flexibility of the Junior ISA or Lifetime ISA means young people can save up for something meaningful, knowing what they are able to put away is tax-efficient and will give them that added boost when they need it.”


 2,000 UK adults were surveyed by Atomik research company, between April to May 2018.