Should Newlyweds Financially Support Their Parents?

In many cultures, families are very close-knit, and that means that children are expected to help out their families as much as they can. That can involve caring for younger siblings or helping out with the family business while they are still young. But once a couple marry, should the newlyweds financially support their parents

Many western cultures do not expect children to spend their early married life putting aside enough money so that they can financially support their parents, as the parents would rather they spent the money on establishing their new family unit and supporting themselves with their own day to day expenses.

But in many Asian cultures and further afield, children willingly see that it is their duty to financially support their parents who are of modest means, rather than view their parents as a financial burden. Even if the children move to a more affluent country, such as the United States, their culture does not leave them. Many adult children continue to do what they can to support their parents by sending money home each month.

Own Family Concerns

However, not all newlywed adult children are in a position to offer financial support to their parents for a number of reasons. Some couples decide to start a family right away, which means they will need to save as much of their income as possible once they have their own children to support.

A newlywed couple who hail from the same country and cultural background will understand the unspoken responsibility that they will continue to assume. But a couple who do not share the same background may find that they cannot offer financial assistance to their parents because their spouse does not wish to support their in-laws. Instead, they may prefer to use the money to pay off any outstanding wedding debt or to save up to buy a house. This difference of opinion can cause friction in a marriage whether financial support continues or if it ceases. A couple will need to discuss how they feel about the issue of offering financial assistance and decide whether they will stop the support, send occasional gifts of money or if more regular support will be required until the parents are in a position to support themselves.

Division of Responsibilities

While an only child may at times secretly feel financially burdened with supporting his or her parents, multiple children can help to ease the stress by dividing their responsibilities amongst themselves so that they all have a share in caring for their parents.

Offering financial support to your parents when you are a newlywed can help to keep parents afloat as they struggle to make ends meet, or it can cause tension in your own marriage. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to offering financial support. Many factors come into play when deciding whether to continue to offer support or not. But the most important point to keep in mind is to discuss the matter with your new spouse and come to an arrangement that will benefit all concerned without draining your own resources.