Almost half of adults admit they still rely on ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ for cash, a new study by Virgin Media has found. Over the course of the last year, adult children have ‘borrowed’ a total of £708 from their mums and dads to help with university fees, bills and home improvements.

Others even admitted they have asked for cash to pay for contact lenses, coffee pods, mobile phone bills and even dog food. And a hopeful 47 per cent believe their parents don’t expect them to pay back the cash. It also emerged three in five of the 2,000 adults polled reckon they would struggle to make ends meet without having their parents as a financial buffer. Whilst four fifths feel more secure knowing they can go to mum and dad should they find themselves in financial difficulty

Annie Brooks, Executive Director of broadband and mobile at Virgin Media, said: “Our research shows that ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ is still very much in business, with Brits depending on their parents even when they’re grown-up.”

“Balancing finances, family life and everything else in between can be a challenge so Virgin Media’s new Family Plan was created to take some of the pressure off parents, making their family’s mobile services simple, affordable and safe, and giving them one less thing to worry about.”

The research also found British parents believe they should typically stop paying their kids’ mobile phone bill when they turn 20 and would like to encourage their children to have left home by the time they are 21. But it also emerged parents aren’t just picking up the bill for everyday items, with two in five respondents admitting their mum or dad have picked up the bill when they’ve gone out for dinner.

One in five confess to using their parent’s generosity to help cover the costs of holidays, while 13 per cent take money from their mum and dad to make car payments. Respondents also revealed some of the strangest things their parents still pay for, including bus fares and haircuts, with one sweet-toothed Brit admitting their mum often treats them to a custard slice when she goes past a bakery.

Half of British adults are also enjoying random cash gifts from their parents – with 13 per cent saying they ‘often’ receive a windfall. These financial boosts are most likely to be provided by mum and on average come to the tune of £229 in a single instance.

But a lucky eight per cent take in cash sums of £1,000 or more.In total over their lives so far Brits have borrowed, or been given, a whopping £4,557 by their parents, according to the figures.

However, seven in 10, while happy for the financial help, admit to being left ‘embarrassed’ at needing assistance with money.

And more than two thirds have felt ‘ashamed’ about asking for cash. The reliance on parents goes beyond their bank account though, as Brits look to their mums and dads for advice on cooking tips, house-buying issues and career queries too.


1. Paying for holidays
2. Clothes shopping
3. University fees
4. Mortgage/Rent
5. Grocery bills
6. House deposits
7. Home improvements
8. Car repairs
9. Loan/debt repayments
10. Car payments