How To Text Your Parents About Money If You Don't Know Where To Begin
Do you remember when your parents sat down and gave you “the talk”? Well, those anxious feelings are only the beginning of the emotions involved with asking your parents for money. A text might not be their preferred route for communicating about a topic as sensitive as money, but talking over the phone might turn you into a nervous mess at first. It couldn’t hurt to educate yourself on how to text your parents about money, because a little extra intel might save you the headache.
Sure, you’re an adult, but every human being needs help sometimes — and when it comes to money, there are so many potential ways you can mismanage funds. Are you unsure of whether or not to get a credit card, or are you clueless about how to budget? It's time for you to start reaching out to people, and not necessarily just your parents. Not everyone comes from a household where money is not an issue, and there's no guarantee that your parents have the answers for your finances — but, hey, they have been adulting longer than you, so they might be a good place to start.
As much as you might want to cringe whenever your parents refer to you as their "baby," you are their kid. So, give your backspace button a rest and take a little bit of advice below, sourced from a few experts who gave Elite Daily readers the green light to press "send."
1. "Hey mom, I know you would prefer that I didn't send you messages like this, but..."
It can be a little embarrassing and awkward to ask your parents for money, especially since you don't want to make it seem like you can't take care of yourself. But if doing so still makes you feel uncomfortable, author and relationship expert, Alexis Nicole, suggests an interesting clarification to give to your parents.
Nicole tells Elite Daily, "To ease the [discomfort], [you] should highlight that they understand that this is not the best way to conduct the conversation, but due to the urgency in it (even if it is not), all you could do was send a quick text."
Remember, your parents are likely going to hear you out. Texting may not be their forte, but they'll still listen.
2. "Hey Dad, can we chat later about a few financial things I need help with?"
"Financial things" covers a plethora of topics, which is why you should attempt to zero in on the specifics in a more vocal way, like through a phone call. Noted psychotherapist and author of Smart Relationships, Dr. LeslieBeth Wish suggests adding a snippet of your financial issues to the text as well.
Wish explains, "This text is very good. What would make it perfect is adding the things mentioned above about inquiring about your parents. And add a few words that give your parents a sense that you are responsible, a feel for why you need money, and a gauge of the degree of your financial dilemma."
3. "Hi Mom and Dad, lately I've been really stressed out about money and could use your advice. Will you call me tonight?"
Most people want to relay that they are "fine," even when they really aren't, but you should be honest about what's stressing you out to your parents. Claudia Cox, author of French Seduction Made Easy and founder of Text Weapon, a source for communication advice for texting, agrees with this text, since it doesn't blatantly ask for money.
Cox explains, "Never ask your parents out of the blue to give you money via text. Discuss it with them face to face (or over the phone)." Cox continues to say if your parents agree to "chip in," it's OK to follow up with a reminder, such as, "Hey guys, thanks again for helping me out, I really appreciate it. I'll let you know when it's in my account."
4. "Hey Mom, can we talk later? I'm a little worried that I'm falling behind financially."
Texting can really only relay what you want to say, and not what you're feeling. Adding a little disclaimer in there about how the situation is affecting you emotionally will help get your point across. Licensed marriage and family therapist, Gary Brown, says this text gives your parents time to compile advice for you.
Brown says, "This is a pretty good text to also start a conversation with. It's important to understand that money is a very loaded topic. Your mom could imply from your text that you may need to ask her for some financial assistant. Texting her in advance gives her an opportunity to think about how she may initially respond."
5. "Hey Dad, how'd you manage to pay down your credit card? I could use some advice."
Your parents might actually love the fact that you still confide in them for advice, because they love being there for you.
Brown tells Elite Daily, "Our parents never really stop being parents. There are going to be times when we need their guidance. This text doesn't necessarily imply that you are going to ask for money. It doesn't mean that you can't ask for some financial help, or you may and this can be a good way to stage your dad for that possibility."
Depending on the relationship with your parents, you will most likely know whether or not to expect advice from them. If asking them for anything genuinely makes you feel uncomfortable, consider branching out to other parent-like figures you trust.
6. "Hi Dad (and/or Mom). I know that it has been a while since we last spoke. Normally I wouldn't ask for any help but I am in a desperate situation. I don't want to seem entitled at all, but I am pretty scared about whether or not I can make the rent and pay for my basics. I could use your help with a loan. I also understand that we didn't end on the best of terms and will completely understand if you need to say 'no.' Either way, I hope that we can find a way to bridge the gap between us."
Unfortunately, an active and healthy relationship with your parents isn't the case for everyone. For those who have severed ties with their parents or don't have much of a relationship with them at all, this approach acknowledges that you'd at least like to begin the process of fixing things before seeking out a favor.
Brown tells Elite Daily, "Asking for money before any repairs have been made between you and our parents, has the potential to [go in two opposite directions]. [Your] parents may feel used if you are the one who broke things off to begin with, or your parents may welcome the opportunity to reconnect."
7. There's Hope If You Can't Rely On Your Parents For Financial Help
If your parents are unavailable for financial assistance and guidance, try getting more involved with the bank you associate with. Wells Fargo has a helpful tool where you can track your monthly spending. It's easily accessible through the mobile app. You can see where your money is going and where you can make adjustments.
Looking to find small, but beneficial financial habits you can incorporate to your long-term money management? CEO and co-founder of Anoo World, Oona Rokyta, suggests three ways to get a grip on your finances.
Rokyta explains to Elite Daily, "There are three things I would do that are relevant at any age. One, invest in your learning. Figure out what you love doing and invest in getting better at it. You love running? Put in the investment — good shoes, gym membership, coaching — to get really good.
If you're looking to make money for the future, based off of something you're already doing, Rokyta says, "Figure out what you want to do for an income and what you want to do as a hobby. If you think your passion is something you want to drive your income, figure out how to monetize it." She continues, "Finally, three is pay toward your future [...] Scrounge and save toward your future business. Try to get by with as little as possible.”
Asking your parents for financial help isn't necessarily going to get any easier as you get older. You're an adult, but you're still going to need guidance and advice in all corners of life.