When Helping Hurts: How to Set Financial Boundaries

Do you have a child who has struggled to find their way in life or is still dependent financially as an adult? As parents, we want to help our children, but there comes a time when continuing to help them might do them more harm than good. You have to learn to set financial boundaries. The article mentioned at the start of the video talks about five recommendations for parents who are dealing with this.

  1. Recognize that Financial Help can Hurt: Money acts as a powerful reinforcer. Providing funds to someone who has not earned them encourages further dependent behavior. Financial enablers often do not realize that their support contributes to their adult children’s financial dependency and associated issues.
  2. Understand the Curse of Too Many Options: Financial dependence often leads to a lack of creativity, drive, motivation, and passion, as unlimited freedom to choose how to spend one’s time can result in immobility and existential struggles.
  3. Acknowledge the Curse of Unstructured Free Time: Contrary to popular belief, excessive free time can be bad for your health. When you go to work every day, you have built-in goals, social interactions, and feedback mechanisms. Too much free time can cause people to spend too much time reading into their problems.
  4. Rip-off the Financial Band-Aid: Chronic financial dependency often persists despite multiple warnings from enablers that support will end, as these warnings frequently lack follow-through, leading the dependent to believe the support will continue indefinitely. Try setting a firm date to end or taper off financial aid.
  5. Make a Referral: If the dependency continues to be an issue, you may want to consider seeing a mental health professional or financial therapist.

Contact us if you have questions. Click here to schedule a consultation with one of our financial advisors.

Casey Smith
President, Wiser Wealth Management

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