Millions of empty-nesters still paying their kids' bills

Making a present of money

The Bank of Mum and Dad isn’t just helping kids take their first step on the property ladder, it is funding their lifestyles too.

Following research from Legal & General earlier this year that revealed parents would lend their children £5 billion in 2016 to help them buy property, new research from television service Freesat shows that millions of parents are still paying for TV subscriptions, mobile phone bills, and food shopping once their kids have left home.

According to Freesat, 18% of empty-nesters pay their kids’ phone bills, 17% shell out for their car insurance and 12% foot the cost of food.


One in five parents also admitted to paying more than they needed for their own TV package so that their adult children could benefit from a shared account.

Despite paying a typical £45 a month for their TV subscription, parents confessed to only watching a quarter of the channels available to them. They were also much less likely to switch providers, even when they weren’t happy with the service provided.


Freesat spokesperson, Jennifer Elworthy, says: “Many parents with empty nests are paying through the roof for expensive TV packages that they may no longer need now their kids have left home. These parents could save significant amounts of money switching to a service that better suits their viewing habits.

“The average Pay TV customer watches just 25% of the channels available to them, but pays around £540 a year for their service – this equates to hundreds of pounds wasted each year.”