Think you’re free of the expensive little blighters once they reach 18? Think again. Got a spare £34 billion Dad?

money wordChildren cost loads of money. That’s a fact*. Many parents might assume that when their beloved offspring leave home, they get cheaper. However, new research by Sainsbury's Finance suggests that adult children are still drawing on the bank of Mum & Dad (or any other parental arrangement) into their twenties, thirties and even their forties. That’s right, that sweet little newborn is going to bleed you dry for another forty odd years. And it won’t nearly be quite so cute by then.

In total a whopping £34 billion in loans and financial gifts has been paid out by over 13 million long suffering parents in the past year. A mere £1.6 billion of the total has been lent or given to children over the age of 18 for tuition fees and student living expenses, but with the tuition fee increase extending even to the Open University (expected fees of £5,000 per 120 credits), this figure is only likely to increase.

The supermarket bank's findings also reveal that parents have also lent their grown-up offspring £8.4 billion for mortgage or rental deposits or payments, £3.5 billion for home improvements and £2.2 billion to pay off debts. Some 3.5 million parents have also handed their ‘adult-dependant’ children money to help with their grandchildren’s schooling or other expenses.

The amount of pocket money required varies between ages. For example, 18-24 year olds get an average of just over £1,876, while their older siblings aged 25-30 get less at £1,659. Those in their thirties are the most needy, 31-34 year olds pocketing £2,569 and 35-39 ers getting a huge £4,733 in their begging bowl.

More than a million parents have given financial handouts to their children over the age of 45 in the past year according to the findings, giving an average of £2,437 each in loans and financial gifts. Parents have given a further 1.7 million ‘adult-dependants’ in their early forties an average of £1,882 each in the past 12 months.

Of course, Sainsbury’s Finance are using these figures as a shining example of how you should never cancel or reduce your life insurance, as even when your children are past it, they still need you to come up with the cash, alive or dead. We think the research is more effective as a contraceptive.

Besides, I need to go tap up my old man...

*unlike the 9 million bicycles thing. That is clearly an estimate.

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