One of the hardest things you can be forced to do while in college is to ask your parents for money. Here you are, on your own for the first time, trying to prove that you are an adult. Then, the unexpected happens and you need help. Suddenly, you are reduced back to that child that has to depend upon mom and dad once again. While it can be frustrating and difficult for you, there are some ways to ask your parents for help that should make the process somewhat easier.
The most important thing is to be honest. If you tell a lie and say you need help to pay your rent, what will you do when you have to call them again later for rent money? Make it simple by honestly telling your parents why you need the money. Is it an emergency? Do you need the help for school expenses and bills or is it for something you really want to do but can’t afford? Odds are, your parents will be willing to help you out regardless of the cause. Don’t destroy the trust with a lie. It’s also a good idea to be clear about whether you are asking for a loan or a gift. Don’t promise to pay the money back if you know you can’t.
It is also important to look at things from their perspective. Will they be worried about you because you have had an emergency or will they be upset that you mismanaged your money and have come up short this semester? By taking the time to see things from their perspective, you will be more prepared for any reaction you get. If you have had an accident or medical emergency, it is probably fear and worry you are hearing instead of the disapproval and anger you think you hear.
Your parents have most likely already made sacrifices for your education. If they are unwilling or unable to give you money at this time, make sure you still express gratitude for what they have done and let them know you understand their decision. If your parents seem hesitant, make sure you let them know your plan to avoid getting in this type of a financial bind again. If they know that you are aware of your mistakes and are taking steps to fix them, they will probably be more willing to help.
Finally, be prepared to try other sources of help. Your parents may be more than willing to give you any money you need, but they don’t have it to give. Many families today are struggling to make ends meet and the chances are that your family may be having it as rough financially as you are. If they can’t help you, accept their advice and moral support while searching other sources of money. Check for emergency loans from the financial aid office, extra hours at work, or the sale of some of your nonessential belongings. Your parents will respect you for trying to handle things on your own.