According to Kevin O’Leary (of Shark Tank fame) it’s the day of their college graduation.
That seems a bit harsh to me. Give the kids at least a couple of months to acclimate/find a job!
Of course, if they have a job right out of college, then it makes sense to close the purse.
Even so, you might want to help them get set up in an apartment (assuming they have to move for their work). A lot of college grads aren’t going to have first, last and deposit to plunk down, after all.
My own history
I suppose I was on my own financially starting at age 22. And it was a dire time. I was trying desperately to find work I could do to support myself, while fatigue continually overwhelmed me.
Even though I was mainly responsible for myself, Mom sent me a little money when she could. It wasn’t a lot, though, since she was constrained by shared finances in her marriage. (I was no longer talking to my father at that point.)
It made it that much harder that I was balancing work with being a landlord. I had a house and rented out all of the spare rooms (plus the mother-in-law suite). It was about the only way I could afford rent in Seattle without a full-time job.
But of course things would break (that’s the way of homeownership) and, since I was barely getting by as it was, I’d be up the proverbial creek sans paddle. And armed only with my credit card. I did my best to fight debt, but my balance slowly crept up.
Help them out
So maybe that’s why I’m so defensive about the idea of cutting kids off as soon as they graduate.
Sure, it may make them work that much harder to stay afloat. Or they could quickly find themselves in debt as they navigate all the new expenses they have: rent, student loans, etc. Especially if they don’t already have a job lined up.
Of course, they could take an interim job — something at a restaurant or movie theater or some such — while they search for something more permanent in their field of study. But as the infamous McDonald’s budget proved, minimum wage jobs don’t keep you afloat. Or at best, you just barely scrape by. Few people want that (or should want that) for their child.
That said, if you’re helping your adult child at the expense, as it were, of your own finances then by all means let the suckers fend for themselves. If it’s them or your future.
And plenty of parents are helping their adult children to the detriment of their own savings, particularly retirement. In those cases, I’m not sure how much parents should be helping their kids even before their progeny graduate.
This is especially a problem for those feeling the pinch between two generations: kids and aging parents. People may be trying to support both generations to the detriment of their own money situation/retirement funds. In those cases, parents definitely need to prioritize their own finances and future.
But if you can afford to help — and if your child is truly trying their best to make it on their own — doesn’t it seem a little heartless to stand by and watch without pitching in?
Would you cut your kid off on graduation day?