If nothing else, grandparents are givers. They give so much that it may even damage their personal finances. Take the time to consider just how much your grandparents give to your family and think of ways you might give back financially. You’re likely never to be able to give back the same amount in time.
Grandparents Are the Family’s Financial Safety Net
According to a study by MetLife, ‘Grandparents Investing in Grandchildren: The MetLife Study on How Grandparents Share Their Time, Values, and Money,’ shows that grandparents offer caregiving, advice, moral support provide financial assistance to their families, especially grandchildren. According to the study:
- 62 percent of grandparents provide their families with financial assistance
- In the past five years, grandparents gave grandchildren, on average, $8,289
- Grandparents contribute towards investments, education and down payments on their grandchildren’s homes.
- 43 percent said they give more now because of the economic downturn
- 34 percent continue to support grandchildren even though it harms their financial security.
- Grandparents in the study said that the most important legacy they wanted to leave their children was to be seen as providers, even when times were tough. Although this generosity is admirable, what are we doing to thank grandparents for their altruism?
If you took financial help from your grandparents, it’s unlikely you’re in a position to give back. But you are in a position, consider these ways of easing the burden while respecting their pride.
Pay Back What You Can – Try to pay your grandparents back, no matter how small the amount, every month on a regular basis, with a thank you note for their help. Make the thank you personal as that will likely mean more to them than the money.
Take Only What You Need – If you can find a way to get the money you need by taking a second job or cutting back on expenses, do it before you consider taking assistance from your grandparents.
Accept Loans, Not Gifts – Be mindful that your grandparents are willing to give you the shirts of their backs. Don’t accept gifts. Instead, only accept loans that you can pay back over time.
Encourage Others to Do the Same – Discuss the problem with other family members. If your grandparents have difficult finances, make sure other family members understand that and don’t take advantage of their generosity.
You can’t fix your grandparents’ financial troubles, but you can avoid making them worse. If all the grandkids decide to chip in, a big difference can be made. As with everything financial, the greater the human numbers, the greater the monetary numbers.
Your grandparents come from a generation where respect is of the utmost importance. By using these tactics, you can help them out financially without them turning you away.
Look for further resources for giving money to family members. Each grandparent is special. We mustn’t think one size fits all. And make sure gifting fits into your budget. Many people enter giving as an area to their budget. A tithe literally means 10% of your budget. If you’re not religious, consider ‘tithing’ 10% of your money to a good cause such as this one.