Are you still relying on your mother?

At what age is it appropriate to take financial responsibility for your own life? Before college? During college? After college?

When is it appropriate to grow up, financially?

To help us explore this issue, here is a question that I received by e-mail from RichKidSmartKid:

I’m 29 presently in my first year of college where I used money from my inheritance that I had invested, sold and used to pay for college. I’m soon going to be broke and wont have an income and will be relying on my mother to help me financially though school.

I want to bounce back from this financial hell and increase my networth. Possibly even made some money by the time I complete univeristy. I was wondering what advice do you have?

Sounds like her name is where RKSK wants to be rather than where she is. It looks like she had money, but now it’s gone, and would like some again!

Look, with $6k cash and going to college, the reality is that she is still probably $6.5k better off than most college kids, so here is my advice:

1. Talk to other college kids and see how they do (or intend to) get by – it’s amazing how much you can learn by listening to what other people have to say – then do the opposite 😉

2. Read this post, it’s probably my best advice for college-age kids:

Now, this doesn’t directly apply to RichKidSmartKid who is 29 – but, only in 1st year (good on her for finally thinking about her education, though) – but I have an issue with college kids calling themselves ‘kids’:

In most countries (other than those in the privileged west), by the time you reach college age you would be an adult, long married, with plentiful hungry children and a crop in the field.

In those countries, RichKidSmartKid would have been considered a self-supporting adult a LONG time ago!

Maybe it’s time to start thinking like one now?

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4 thoughts on “Are you still relying on your mother?

  1. I put myself through school with grants and jobs, and was (by necessity) completely financially independent at 18. It’s hard to tell from such a brief synopsis of her situation just what she’s capable of or has been through, but at 29 she really needs to drop the “kid”. That’s just using vocabulary to keep yourself in a mindset of dependence and possibly wilful ignorance. Describing yourself as a kid could also mean you don’t need to confront mistakes and deal with them deep down. After all, life happens to kids; adults make their own lives.

    But practically, even one year of college can be leveraged. If you’re behind in life, you have to learn to leverage what you have (a year of education, any special knowledge or skills, chutzpah, standout reliability, etc) to leapfrog ahead. Set concrete goals and work like a dog to reach them. You really can accomplish a lot in a short time if you want to.

    My own story is escaping an abusive marriage in my twenties and working like crazy to get out of debt and build a career while dealing with the emotional and psychological fallout of that bad relationship. It took a lot of hard work internally and externally, but I put my head down and didn’t let up. I also found a wonderful man, got married, and built a family. Hang in there, RKSK! But don’t forget to do the work you need to do, inside and out.

  2. “you have to learn to leverage what you have”

    @ Melissa – Spot on 🙂 And, thanks for sharing your own story …

  3. You would not believe the self-right­eous comments that pop-up here on hourly basis. It’s getting harder and harder to tell

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