This is more an ethical/moral question than a nuts & bolts practical finances question.
I don't have any debts, or dependents. I'm 24, female, in the United Kingdom, currently single. Here's the basic thing. My parents are very wealthy, due to their careers (that they are both still high level at (law & medicine), with no plans for retirement - ever. My grandfather worked hard till he was 95). They have a house now worth about £5 million, and at some point in the next 5 years they will sell this, buy another with half the money and divide the remainder between my self and 3 siblings to spend on 'bricks and mortar investment' - ie a house/flat. As this money is earmarked, we can access now, or they will hold onto it until we want it - but we have to justify what we want it for. One of my siblings has already taken some of this money to buy a place for her family. In addition to that, when they die (10-40 years time), there will most likely be an inheritance - there is a big house in France, a car, and money in bank accounts and invested. They never talk about money, so, I donít know the full details.
Gross Salary/Wages: Before any deductions
I work 26 hours (3 days) a week, plus extra one-off earnings (Task Rabbit and babysitting) so I earn about £1100-1300 per month. My next set of taxes (due in Jan), works out to about £85 per month. I'm studying 2 days a week (post-grad diploma in children's counselling)
Individual amounts of each Pre-tax deductions 401k, HSA, FSA, IRA, insurance, etc. - whatever you have
I'm self employed. The above figure of £85 includes national insurance contributions
Adjusted Gross Income: This should equal the additions and subtractions above.
October to Feb (current job) the monthly average is £1275 so minus £85 for tax is £1190 per month.
Monthly averages - I use YNAB software
Rent - £300 (40% of total spending)
Therapy (required for my postgraduate course) - £180
Travel - £100 (London is insanely expensive and I canít always cycle)
Eating Out - £27 (hot drinks, snacks and meals)
Groceries - tricky - I get a £200 bulk food order so the average is off, but works out to about £100 per month all in. Iím a vegan
Entertainment - cinema tickets, alcoholic drinks, Sunday Assembly, workshops, classes, shows) - £25
Clothing - £20 (I am trying very hard to cut this average down!!)
Contact lenses & fluid - £23
Phone Bill - £7.50
Spotify - £4.99
Stationary & Toiletries - £12
Dentist (twice a year) - works out to £4.80 per month
Charity - £10 budgeted on an ongoing basis, but Iím working through donating a Ďpotí of £130 that I got in December from taking peopleís spare change to the coin sorter machine! So it's more like £35 monthly.
Health - (Buddhist retreat in September, swimming, meditation classes) - hard to assess on a monthly basis.. I budget £38 per month and it saves up
Presents for people - £15
Visiting friends and family, usually by train, and socially unavoidable eating costs whilst there - £50
My average spending is about £1150, but it depends which month you average from, as I donít have enough stable months of data to know! I started a new job in August, and I ended an expensive relationship in November (and wonít be doing that again, ever). Usually I manage to save money each month - Oct £222, Nov £217, Dec £835, Jan £-69 (didnít properly budget for my taxes and deposit for the retreat), Feb (should be about £400)
Obviously I can cut a lot of these down, if thatís the route Iím going to take - the hardcore saving-to-invest route. Stop eating out with friends, stop visiting friends, stop giving money at buddhist centre, stop charitable donation.. I dunno. That sounds like a crap life. Ha.
Assets: Amount & description - include current asset allocation plan if you have one
Definition of assets: Any item of economic value owned by an individual or corporation, especially that which could be converted to cash. Examples are cash, securities, accounts receivable, inventory, office equipment, real estate, a car, and other property.
I own a bike that cost £550, should be worth about £450 when I sell. No other assets really, just belongings - which are pretty minimised.
Old MacBook Pro - limited resale value now
Old iPad - as above
Old iPhone 5
Currently all the money I have - £1326.75
I had a car for a few years that my parents bought me but I gave it to my sister as she has 4 kids in a rural location and needed a second car, and I didnít pay for it originally anyway (just upkeep & costs).
Specific Question(s): Providing a detailed breakdown is important, so is asking for specific information so we know what kind of help/advice you are looking for.
So, my question really is what do I do long term, what is sensible? With my life.
I donít want to accept the fourth of the house money - if they do let me have it I will donate it to charity.
I donít accept money from them. I do however let them pay for dinner, and flights twice a year.
If thatís true, then I could work really hard (5/6 days per week) now and invest the money and Ďretireí - the MMM way, I think. But, *should* I accept some money? I just donít deserve it, as all I did to Ďearní it was be born. I could take the money and use it for good, or take a set amount and charitably use the rest.
I currently think that I donít enjoy working (as a nanny) more than 3 days per week, there are way more important things to life - having a balance. I love volunteering, etc. Plus, Iím still studying but that will end in July and I have the opportunity to sort of do whatever i want. I want to move city (scrap transport costs - go everywhere by bike), because I really want to live by myself basically, and be closer to nature. I currently keep my costs as low as I can because I donít want to work any more hours, but obviously I could. I imagine I will likely continue in this way. Because thereís no point planning longer term about my life when I have this huge sum of money waiting for me, it seems. It makes me working my ass off now sort of Ö ridiculous and inconsequential, compared - apart from the personal feeling of success obviously. Apart from if I really am going to not take the money from them, then I should definitely work really hard. But if I have children by that point, (the point of inheritance - from the house sale or from their death) how can I possibly refuse money for moral and independency reasons, if it would help my child/ren in some way? But obviously I have no idea how much I could actually get. I could take the property chunk now, and buy a flat - and use the saved rent costs to volunteer 2 days per week (which would be my ideal!), maybe choose my own flatmate after a bit of time by myself. Or set up my dream childrenís centre/kid club, just do something I want to do. I can just stop objecting to and punishing myself for being born into my circumstances and accept it, just go with it. But how can I possibly do that, keep that money for myself, that I didnít earn at all, given the amount of suffering in the world? I am aware that Iím going to get a lot of flac for being rich and whining about it. Iím not whining! Iím aware of how incredible unfair it is that I have access to this, and I have no idea how to operate my life because of it. I sometimes wonder if I'd have preferred if my parents said they wouldnít give us any money. Or only a certain amount, or until a certain age but theyíve just said they are offering us the money and itís up to us to work out the morals and ethics of it. If I do go the investment route, I donít want to invest in anything unethical, so Iím going to have to do a lot of research and picking and choosing, to get options Iím happy with - and will probably not make as much money as I could.
So, chuck your opinions at me - should I refuse the money and earn my own money - i.e. 5 days a week, save 50% or more, then stop after however many years it takes to have 25 x my yearly outgoings. But obviously, my yearly outgoings if I have children or cohabitate will change - I canít predict what will happen in my life. If I became disabled and couldnít do my work, then would I really refuse my parents help? How much help should a parent give, and should their child accept? Iím not saying anything new now, so Iím going to stop. Help!