Opening one’s wallet to help a family member or friend is “a hidden dimension of the financial system,” according to a study from the Pew Charitable Trust. “Transfers of money across household lines are really important for keeping families afloat.”
25% Of Households Lent to Friends Or Family.
About 25 percent of American households gave or lent a median of $1,000 to friends or family in the past year, the study showed. More than 7,800 households were included in the survey. Black households are most likely to give or receive such help, but the practice is spread among all demographics.
It isn’t always easy. One in five of the respondents said the “gift money” creates a burden on the giver. Not unexpectedly, the households with the least income saw their donations as a difficulty. But even those making $85,500 per year reported that their generosity was a burden.
Single Mothers Receive And Give The Most.
Single mothers are among the most common recipients, but they also are more likely to give when necessary. Half of all the single-mother households either received or gave help, compared with 30 percent of two-parent households. Some 75 percent of the single parents said it was hard to give, but they also are the group that recognizes it may need a boost at some time. They are, in essence, investing against future need, creating a safety net that they can use to tide them over emergencies.
More Common For Parents To Help Adult Children.
The study showed that adult children in the period from 2005 to 2013 were more likely to draw on cash from their wealthy parents than was common in the 1980s. About 10 percent of those in the more recent group received help with a home purchase, Pew found. Slightly more than 30 percent were given money to help with education costs, enhancing their ability to become more wealthy in the future.
The bottom line of the Pew Study: Poor people tend to help each other out so they can get through tough times. Wealthy families benefit financially when they donate to kin.