College Life Essentials: How To Ask Your Parents For Financial Help


It’s the moment all college students dread, but know is inevitable. You run out of money. The bank account is dry, and you’ve days to go before you’re next going to see income flow through to you account.

Oh, and you have literally nothing to eat in the entire house, and you’ve got payments due that are currently set to bounce.

There’s only one thing to do: call your parents.

It’s not a conversation that any of us take lightly. It’s embarrassing, both for the fact it’s necessary and the actual phone call itself. We’re supposed to be a grown-up now! Standing on our own two feet! Yet we have to go to the source to find the finances we need to… get us back on our feet.

The first thing to ask yourself before you make the dreaded phone call is if you need it. If you see your bank account run dry, then it’s easy to think: “I have no money! I must get money!!” even though you don’t have a specific, good reason for doing so.

So what’s a good reason? As mentioned above, having payments due is a viable reason. Being totally out of food (and with housemates even in the same boat or refusing to share) is also acceptable. Splitting open your bag and desperately needing a new backpack for college is also right up there in the acceptable stakes.

What isn’t? Everything else. Let’s say right now your mind is being distracted by a thousand and one Christmas parties and you want cab fare home for the evening. That’s not going to cut it. Only make the call when you’re in dire need!

So how to go about it?

Option 1: Be Direct


No messing around, not even a “how are you?” and barely a hello, just get straight to the point from the off. This might sound brutal, but it has its benefits. Your parents don’t feel that they’re being buttered up and may even appreciate your honesty. It’s best not to use this too often, though. It doesn’t take long for honest to start to feel like demanding.

Option 2: Buttering Up

So on the opposite side of the coin, you can choose to butter your parents up. Talk sweetly about the stresses of college, how much you miss them and tell them every bit of information you have learned. Then slide the request on in there as a natural part of the conversation. It’s effective and may work, but it depends on how well you can act it.

Option 3: Nuclear Hinting

This one is preferable if you don’t like the idea of a direct request. Instead, you hint. And you do it hard. Asked if you’re going out this weekend? “I wish, but I haven’t a dime,” you reply. Or are they worried about how you’re eating? “I’m sure ramen are suitable sustenance, right?” This may well work and helps your parents feel generous – but it might also fly over their heads. Best reserved for times you’re not in dire need but could just do with a funds boost.

Good luck!

Thanks for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

December 19, 2016
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