A third of millennials and Gen Z still have some bills paid for by their parents

One in three millennial and Gen Z adults still have some of their bills and subscriptions paid for by their parents, research has found. A poll, of 1,000 adults aged 18 to 35, found 32 percent still have their phone bill paid for by their mum and dad, while 35 percent also use their parents’ logins to TV streaming services.

Other bills paid for by the bank of mum and dad include utility bills (30 percent), housing costs (32 percent), and even insurance policies (22 percent).

It also emerged the cost-of-living crisis is biting for the younger generation, with those polled estimating their bills have risen, on average, by £154.49 since the start of 2023.

And parents are contributing an average of £46.10 a month – or more than £550 a year – to their offspring’s coffers.

The research comes amid warnings that smartphone overpayments – when network providers don’t fully or automatically reduce bills once the cost of the phone has been paid – exceed more than £530 million a year.

Rob Orr, chief operations officer at Virgin Media O2, which commissioned the study to warn parents they could be overpaying on their children’s phone bills, said: “In the current economic climate, people can ill afford to waste money paying for phones they already own.

“Whether you’re getting support from the bank of mum and dad, or helping your kids, we’re urging everyone to check you’re not being charged for a phone that’s already been paid off.

“Many parents across the UK will be paying for multiple phone contracts, so it’s crucial they avoid the pernicious practice of smartphone overpayments.”

The study also found 26 percent of youngsters feel guilty about taking money from their parents, while 38 percent worry they might cut back their financial support in the next year. But despite this, 12 percent expect their parents to help out financially.

Almost half (45 percent) believe money went further in their parents’ generation, with 55 percent feeling it is harder to get on the property ladder now than it was 10 years ago.

However, millennials and Gen Z adults who don’t receive financial support, are 40 percent more likely to view today’s mortgages as expensive, compared to those on the parental payroll.

And they are also 38 percent more likely to describe inflation as too high, compared to those who enjoy the extra budgetary backing.

It goes both ways, though – as 37 percent, of 18-35-year-olds, pay for some of their parents’ bills or subscriptions, according to the research, carried out via OnePoll.

TV streaming services such as Netflix (37 percent), as well as utility and phone bills (both 33 percent), are among the most common things the younger generations cover for their parents.

The main reasons for this include being able to help, and feeling like they should (38 percent), along with wanting to show they love them, and wanting to give back (both 37 percent), after their parents supported them growing up.

Rob Orr, from Virgin Media O2, which automatically reduces bills once the contract ends, for phones bought directly from them, added: “With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to bite, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re only being charged for what you owe.”

Following the findings, the brand has created an online mobile overpayment calculator.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.