Getting Financial Help From Grandparents
It’s understandable if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about the cost of having a baby — it’s estimated that most parents spend upwards of $12,680 in their baby’s first year, according to a 2015 USDA report! Not only do you have to pay for medical bills associated with childbirth and newborn care, there’s all the baby gear you’ll need. And if you need a larger living space, the costs can easily skyrocket! Here’s how to approach the discussion to ask for help.
Work out your budget first. It goes without saying that before you reach out to family members for any financial help you should be sure you need it. Look carefully at your budget and cut out non-essentials, then determine the exact amount of money you’ll need and when. Pointing out all the ways you’ve already minimized your budget will go a long way toward proving that you really need help with this specific expense.
Give advance notice. No one wants to be blindsided by a request for money or feel like they’ve been put on the spot — not even your closest family members. So let your loved ones know that you’d like to set up a time to talk about the preparations you’re making for your baby, including some financial matters.
Walk the talk. Whether you and your partner talk to family members as a unified team or each of you chat with your own parents separately really depends on your relationships with your in-laws. Regardless of how you do it, come to the discussion armed with facts and information about your financial needs.
Be direct. Now’s not the time to dance around the issue or be cagey. Be direct in your request. You can say, “This is something we've decided is important to us. If you’re able to help us, we’d ask you to consider doing so.” And while you should be upfront about the amount of money you need, it’s a good idea to leave the amount you’re actually requesting open-ended. You could say, “We’ve calculated our costs and it’s X amount of money, and we can cover Y. If you could contribute anything to help us cover the difference, we’d appreciate it.”
Be clear if it’s gift or a loan. No matter how much money you’re requesting, be clear about whether you’re asking for a gift or a loan.
Leave emotion out of it. You’re pregnant, your hormones are raging, and you cry over every other commercial you see on TV. But when it comes to the money talk, leave your emotions at the door. Do your best to stay calm, rational, and focused.
Ask them to think about it. Don’t expect (or ask for!) an answer right away. Give them the information, tell them that you want them to be completely comfortable with their decision, and ask them to think about it. Then, follow up in a few days.
Thank them. Finally, don’t forget those two little words! No matter what you think the outcome might be, thank them for meeting with you to talk about it.