The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

February 10, 2014

The Color of Money: Entitlements and family feuds

Everybody knows that one of the top issues couples fight about is money. But this same type of drama can play out between siblings, parents and extended family members. I've learned from my own share of family financial issues that have fractured relationships.

     So I'm here to help with another installment of my occasional feature about family financial feuds. If you have a feud going on and want an independent opinion that might help shed some new light on the issue, send me an email at colorofmoney@washpost.com. Put "Family Feud" in the subject line. Or follow me on Facebook or Twitter (@SingletaryM) and send me a question.

     Already this year during my weekly online discussions (Thursdays at noon Eastern), some readers have asked me to weigh in on family financial issues causing conflict.

     During one chat, there was a discussion of parents paying for college. I think they should. Others don't agree.

     "Where is it written that kids at the age of 18 are entitled to be taken care of by their parents?" a participant asked. "It's as if that elusive 'college experience' is what everyone feels entitled to. Hey, it's expensive."

     Personal finance is just that. Personal. So my views may not align with yours. But when it comes to this topic, here's where I come down -- I don't view parents paying for college as an entitlement issue but one of responsibility. Unless your child has been able to work and accumulated the funds to pay for college, where is he going to get the dough to cover his education?

     Without having money stashed away, the student is going to have to rely on grants and scholarships or loans. And what if there isn't enough free money, or none at all? If the young person has to borrow, he's likely to be deep in debt even before his first full-time job.

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