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3 in 4 parents dipped into personal funds to help their adult children during the pandemic

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American parents stepped up to help their adult children in the last year.

More than three-quarters of parents provided monetary support to at least one son or daughter who was 18-years-old or older during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they dipped into their personal funds to do so, a new CreditCards.com survey reveals.

The parents who sent money to their offspring reportedly opted for different amounts.

Forty-seven percent of parents say they gave their children more than $1,000 and 28% say they gave more than $2,500. Nearly one-fifth (18%) of parents went the extra mile and gave their adult children more than $5,000.

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On average, adult children in the U.S. received $4,154 from their parents throughout the pandemic, according to CreditCards.com’s survey.

Not so surprisingly, parents that had a higher household income were able to provide more in-kind support.

For example, households that made more than $80,000 annually gave adult children $8,530 on average while households that made between $40,000 and $80,000 annually gave $,2170 on average. Households that made less than $40,000 annually gave adult children $1,403 on average.

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American parents stepped up to help their adult children in the last year. (iStock)

When it comes down to what parents were funding for their children, the top three categories were food (47%), housing (33%) and cell phone costs (27%). Cars and debt relief were two other popular spending categories at 23% and 21%, respectively.

Only 11% of parents funded their children’s entertainment needs and 17% funded something else. Meanwhile, 13% of parents admitted they weren’t sure what their adult children used their gifted money for. 

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Roughly 79% of the parents who funded their adult children’s lifestyle throughout the pandemic would have used that money on themselves.

Previous financial plans they had in mind for their own benefit included paying down debt (33%), covering daily expenses (27%), adding to emergency funds (27%) or retirement savings (16%) and investing (10%).

Fourteen percent of parents told CreditCards.com they would have dabbled in "discretionary expenses" while 6% had other plans. Slightly more than one-tenth (11%) weren’t sure what they would have done if they got to keep their money.

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CreditCards.com’s survey found that 45% of parents in the U.S. gave money to their adult children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are around 63.1 million parents in the country. If the survey is correct, that would mean nearly 28.4 million parents provided funding to help their children weather the pandemic.

The World Economic Forum estimates that 114 million people lost jobs in 2020 due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

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