Save. Spend. Splurge.

Why I am not planning on leaving an inheritance to my children

Update: December 2018

Please read the comments and my reply before spewing any more vitriol on my page. It’s getting old.

Almost half of the comments are full of people who already share your opinion so find a commenter and go to town.

1. You know nothing about me or my family, especially if you are just some random troll that happened on this page. This was a tongue-in-cheek post.

2. As of this update, my 4-year old son has over $27,000 saved in his name that we get from the government, that we consider to be HIS MONEY not ours, and we don’t use it to cover our expenses.

We even cover the taxes on it so he just gets it free and clear as a gross amount.

3. I am aiming to have over 6-figures saved for him as his net worth by the time he is 18 and then I leave him to his own devices, hopefully chock full of Life and Money Lessons.

So, really, my son won’t have my inheritance or money, because he won’t BLOODY NEED IT, you fools.

He’s going to crush it in life.

So why don’t you idiotic, disrespectful, ill-raised, and ill-mannered trolls just STFU, and go do something positive in your life?

So you can chalk me up to being the world’s worst future mother and parent right now, because not only am I not planning on paying for my kids’ college education, I am ALSO not going to leave them an inheritance either.

Let me explain before you get out your pitchforks.

An inheritance to me, is whatever is leftover at the end of someone’s life to pass on to the next generation to help them.

So this means if I need to spend $3000 a month to hire a live-in helper to make my last years easier, I am going to damn well do it.

I am not going to guard my money like a Scroogette JUST SO I can leave “something” to the kids. I am not of that cultural mindset.


I can only hope that with my parenting style, my kids won’t turn out to be total screwups (yes they exist, and I hope I am honest enough to recognize this), and will become independent early on.

In the event that this happens, they won’t need my inheritance (this is my current situation with my parents, I told them I don’t need their money, but I hate seeing them waste it and jeopardize their own retirement).


In the even that this fails miserably (there’s always a chance, no matter how good you think you are as a parent, your kids will not be successes), then they will be getting my inheritance over my dead body.

Even in death, I will refuse to enable them in leading a life I did not raise them to live.

As a result, I don’t plan on leaving them an inheritance, and they’re going to REALLY understand this as children, if the whole “I am not paying for your college education either” doesn’t sink in.


Culturally speaking, I am supposed to want to leave my next generation richer than mine was.

In reality? I think not.

I choose me and my retirement over my kids, because I will be helping them learn to be adults and to be independent in ways that cannot be expressed in dollars.

See, I don’t care if my kids end up working simple jobs as tradespeople, but if they can’t sustain themselves with such careers, and are banking on me to kick the bucket early on so they can cash in on the motherlode (literally), they’re in for a rude awakening.


I am not keen on ending up in a modern nightmare where the children basically deprive their parents who are senile out of their money, and bring them to the brink of ruin just because they don’t want their parents to spend their inheritance.

(Brooke Astor, anyone?)

My kids will be sure to have this drilled into them:

Don’t expect an inheritance from me.

You can be sure I will never leave you any debts or money problems, but I won’t have anything significant for you by the time I die.

The happy bonus is that if at the end of my life, I do end up leaving them something significant (unless they turn out to be bums, in which case I change my will timely and accordingly), I will die happy knowing that they will be pleasantly surprised and hopefully grateful for the money to help them achieve their dreams earlier than they had planned.

To be fair, I guess I won’t really be leaving them with $0.

At the very least, they will have the home I have lived in if I haven’t already been forced to sell it to pay for my rising elderly healthcare costs, and that must be worth something.

I say this now in the hopes that when I am a parent and in the sad event I am saddled with such dependent, entitled children, I will look back on this post and realize that I had a resolve early on before any of them were born in how they would meet reality.


  • roger

    You open my eyes to this dilemma I had, I’m on solid footing now.. after reading your article.. After thirty yrs of marriage. I remarried 2 yrs ago my new wife is wonderful in all ways. My children despise her. They are rude on the phone and in person For absolutely no reason. I believe my ex brainwash them into believing there will be no inheritance for them, my 3 children wanted my new wife to sign a prenuptial I said no, she will not sign any such paper. my “ex” children 27 yrs old degree from Stanford University , 31 yrs old degree from U of A, 33 yr old no degree full time Nursery teacher. So very happy with my real life. Been a great saver for a rainy day . Find it hard to make the transition to buying things without guilt. Change my will & trust and remove them because of their behavior. Sad , I feel better now… Thanks again Sherry……

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I’m not certain my post was meant to go this far, but it sounds like you wanted to do it anyway and just needed some sort of confirmation.

      For me, I’m not planning on leaving an inheritance because my goal is to not have our son ever pay for anything for me, from healthcare to food, to shelter etc. My own money will handle all of that. Whatever is left, will be his. I just don’t plan on hoarding money and living like a monk to leave him a big amount of cash.

      I would also caution you to talk to them. They’re your children. You may not know or understand the whole story. Ask them what they’re feeling and why. They may have legit reasons for caring like this.

  • Michael

    I couldn’t agree more. After getting married 32 years ago, my ex wife of 7 years after having 2 children decided she wanted more men in her life. After her giving me a sexually transmitted disease and her lying about it, I gave he until the end of the month to have everything packed and a place to go. I bought the house and paid the mortgage too without her help at all. After she left, she was married again within less than a year then her and her new husband pitted my 2 children against me. I haven’t heard from my son in over 10 years and my daughter just ignores me, so I want to spend everything I have and leave no inheritance for anyone. I worked hard to get what I have and my family ignores me. I own the house, but I don’t want to re invest the money if I decide to sell it. What do I do?

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  • Ryan Colantino is a Tool

    The vibe of these comments is shocking. As if some donkey in a comment box can really influence how you love your life . I’m talking about you Ryan Colantino. If you truly believe your children deserve an I heritance you are the same silver spoon sucking goofs that think climate change is a hoax and Donald Trump is a good politician. I can’t believe people on the internet are so hateful and misguided. I agree with this article 100%. I applaud the author for her ability to manage her finances well enough to not burden her children in the coming years. Baby bonus is given to everyone with children in Canada. How that money is used is to the discretion of the parents. If you are butt hurt that she is able to save it and you have to spend it… You shouldn’t have had kids or you should have managed your finances better. I feel no sympathy or pitty for you welfare families crying because your lot in life is shittier. We should all kill ourselves like Ana advises. Real mental giant she is.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      A little stronger than I would have put it, but I appreciate the support and thank you for the comment.

      You know, the internet is anonymous. I know it because I am, so I am transparent, but then people expect that they can say what they want as well. Sigh.

  • Fuck you

    You sound like an absolutely despicable worthless cunt. You have no obligation to give money to anyone, but the fact that you reap some sense of sick satisfaction and moral superiority out of it is truly disturbing. I hope your children piss on your grave. I sure as hell would.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      You do know you sound like an idiot because my son has over $27,000 saved from money the government gives us and we do not use for our own expenses, because we consider it to be “his money”…… and he is only 4 years old = right?

      I don’t reap a sick satisfaction from it, I am setting my son up to be an independent person who will be able to take care of himself, be respectful, and not be resentful or jealous of others, but to see them as inspiration. You know, basically the opposite of you.

  • Sam Clemens

    You are a selfish person from a selfish generation that experienced no wars, no real poverty, no massive recessions, and no real environmental threats. Further, your generation generally worked themselves to the bone, forgetting about family anyway. So I can see why you would hold such a distorted view of how things are. The generation you raised was born into a recession, which is why they’re killing industries that feed off of excess and greed, like the diamond industry, for example.

    Education today is WAY more expensive than it was when you were growing up. You can no longer work a summer job to pay for a university education. Basically, you are actively pushing your children away from a University education, and pretty much sealing their fates.

    Your generation is the only generation since recorded history to have screwed your parents out of health care, increased the cost of education as soon as you left school, so your kids had to pay through the nose for the same education you got for less than 1/10th the cost. Basically slamming the door on your parents, and selling your children down the river on education costs.

    It’s okay though. The baby boomers are starting to die off, and I hope they go quickly in the next 30 years, but you jerks seem intent on extending your old age, and stressing the rest of us with your own health care costs, letting the burden for taking care of your sorry butts fall on the rest of us, and even those of us that are just getting started in life. I wish we could just light a big dumpster fire and throw your whole generation in there. At least it’d save us on energy costs for a while.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I’m glad you got your rant out and have gotten it off your chest because my son has over $27K saved and he is only 4.5.. you’re obviously not a regular reader to know that I take all the money we get from the government, invest it for him and save it FOR HIM and don’t use it to offset our expenses.

  • S Young

    I absolutely agree with you about not leaving children any inheritance. My husband died suddenly 20 years ago leaving me four children to raise, the eldest was 10 and youngest 4.
    I worked full time to continue paying the mortgage on our home etc, didn’t buy new clothes for myself so they could go on school trips and do extra curricular activities.
    All four went to university where the bank of mum helped them out when their student grant ran out. They lived at home after graduating, paying me minimal rent so they could save up for the deposit on a home.
    I downsized the family home last year and went from a 4 bed house to a 2 bed flat. I’m now enjoying myself on the equity gained. I go on a foreign holiday twice a year, have a reasonable car, eat out weekly, buy new clothes and work part time.
    Why shouldn’t I after going without to give them a head start in life. All are now in well paying jobs and wouldn’t have the lifestyle they do if it wasn’t for my drive & determination during their formative years.
    When I enter those pearly gates, they’re welcome to whatever is remaining but until then, I’m going to enjoy myself as you’re a long time dead.

  • Matt

    Just like to add some people have some pretty serious issues like for one chronic social anxiety that pretty much rips your whole life plan apart stopping you becoming a “success” as you put it, whatever that means objectively.So that screw up may have a lot more going on under the hood than your judgemental attitude suggests.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      And that is a minority, not the majority. I am talking about the majority and aiming for what in general could work as the best strategy. If a hiccup occurs, of course I would help and step in, but that is an exceptional situation, not something that is the norm.

      If you think I’m being judgemental it is because you are, on yourself. Don’t put your #%( on me.

  • Ana

    You should not feel guilty of not leaving inheritance. You should, however, feel guilty of breeding. Great philosophies and philosophers have found out that life is not worth living. Why bring the misery of existence to new children, especially if you dont want to help them? It is not selfish of not leaving inheritance, it is selfish to have children.

  • Doc Martin

    Just read this and couldn’t agree more! I’m just passed state retirement age in the UK, worked for over 50 years without a break, paid for my three daughters to go through college, my wife died 5 years ago and I’ve just decided that the fruits of my labour are for me to spend to live as I choose for whatever time I have left. Like you I will not pass any debts onto my kids, my funeral expenses are paid for and they’re welcome to anything left over when I die but meanwhile I’m going to enjoy the rest of my life – and I don’t feel at all guilty about it

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      It’s your money. Spend it, enjoy it reasonably and whatever is left is left. I don’t want to pass on any debts (that is confirmed) but although I will pass on assets (more than likely) I’m not working for my kid…

      • Ryan Colantino

        You know that leaving a legacy(including inheritance to the next generation) is actually what responsible citizens do? You’re claiming to be such a responsible person with your money, but leaving no such legacy isnt the responsible thing to do. Just and FYI for your ignorant self. BTW, how does it feel to have stolen 27000k from tax payers to give to your clearly unneeding child? The government funds we to be used for basic necessities, not savings and investments.

        • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          Womp Womp. You clearly haven’t really read anything or even my roundups. All the money I get from the government is my son’s money, not mine. So your argument holds no water.

          Why don’t you try asking in a polite manner and enquiring properly to get the facts straight about all of this before going off on a rant and losing your #$*@?

        • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          Also I haven’t stolen anything. The government is giving me this money. I am using it for him and his education in the future. Prove to me I stole it. Did I go into the government coffers and steal the money? No. STFU.

  • Tes Janssen

    I almost agree with you abot don’t leaving an inheritance to children, But I also agree with the following statement in previous comments that,”Our support was a significant contributor to our children’s educational success so we would pay their education”.

  • Eloka

    Typical baby boomer. Greedy, selfish, me generation.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      1. You obviously didn’t read the post.

      2. I’m a Millennial not a Baby Boomer

      3. My son will get what he will get at the end (I won’t go nuts), but I am not going to sacrifice my life and my retirement to live in poverty just so he can “have it all” and live a rich life on my dime; I’m already seeing these effects on my peers and they’re obviously not properly prepared for the real world and its bills.

      • Figuring it Out

        I so much agree (Gen Xer). I am trying to plan how I can retire early and spend down to my death to leave practically nothing (except maybe real estate). I have the hindsight of spoiling children (thanks to my wife) vs. expecting nothing and improving my station (me and my wife have similar backgrounds, but she’s kinder on this topic).

        One key thing I noticed is that you said that you were not currently a parent…

        All I can say is: good luck with that. 😉 And REPEATEDLY read this post to your kids. They will listen, and they will decide later in life to make similar decisions (yes or no) based on their beliefs: which will come from you right now.

        • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          Hang on.. I am a parent 🙂 This is an old post. I have a little boy, and I do plan on not leaving anything to him still. He will get what he gets in the end, I will give and provide everything he will need, but I am not going to be handing it over on a silver platter. 🙂

    • Ron

      More like typical woman. Greedy, selfish, me me me.

  • Patricia

    I’m so glad to see this other side of things. Fortunately, our kids are doing very well in life – in some ways better than we are! We’ve gone to great lengths to create a revocable trust so as to avoid probate, etc. But then it occurred to us, rather than spending the money on attorneys to set up the trust, we could have used that money on ourselves! So what, if the kids have to wait it out through the probate process? They would get the same inheritance anyway. We’re also looking at a long term care insurance policy, but again, it’s geared to offset the cost of care so that your own assets will not be depleted. It’s not a matter of getting the needed care or not, it’s a matter of paying for it. This LTC policy costs about 50G, and in the end our kids would inherit even more money, plus a death benefit from the policy. Everything seems to be geared towards protecting the inheritance for the heirs, but it costs a lot of money out of our pockets to do that for kids that really don’t need it!

  • C

    A point to ponder: Consider that you will reap what you have sewn. If you treated your children poorly and are living long enough that you end up dependent on them, their hope of getting an inheritance might be the only thing keeping you from being put into a nursing home or worse. Spend if you were kind, let them inherit if you were a not.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I’d be spending then although as of late, I won’t be spending recklessly. 🙂

      He is not going to be deprived but I am also not going to be like these parents who are sacrificing their own happiness to give money to their kids who look as though they’ll be turning out quite spoiled from their parents STILL paying their car payments, cellphones, etc (and they’re in university!), not even working part-time jobs to help out, going back for multiple degrees like it’s free candy…

      Then these parents have zero saved in retirement, a mortgage to clear and expect their kids to fund their lives. Then what happens? This: The scary side of freelancing.

  • Marie-Josée

    I don’t plan on leaving an inheritance to my children either, but paying for their university tuition is certainly the best decision my husband and I ever took. Few of my children’s contempories attended university, and many are holding down jobs that frustrate them. Of course, this is a complex issue, where each child’s personality and all kinds of other issues come to play. Because kids are staying in school longer and longer, most technical trade schools require a three year cursus, I think it is normal and healthy to support them through school. I certainly think conditions need to be attached to this, such as maintaining grades and giving priority to school. From my perspective, our support was a significant contributor to our children’s educational success. They both are professionals and are leading fulfilling lives. They have always known that we would pay their education whether through trade or technical school or university. I think we can educate children to be responsible, grateful and resourceful without having them incur a debt to get an education, if as parents, we can afford to pay tuition. We are expecting so much from everyone these days and life is getting so much more complicated (skill-wise) and in so many other ways.

  • Linda

    Hi Sherry!

    LOL this article came at the right time….my grandmother is def guarding her $ like a Scroogette!

    The more and more I experience the current situation with my grandmother, who is 85 with adv glaucoma and early onset of dementia, and in dire need of social interaction, the more I see how important retirement for oneself is extremely important. I also realized and have made the decision, that you must SPEND to make your life easier no matter the cost.
    My grandmother is a homeowner so help from the city/state is limited. She does has some income, but she refuses or she constantly states she has no money! I have to reiterate over and over and over, “mama you have money and you need to make like easier and better at this stage”. It appears to falls on deaf ears…I for one don’t believe I should spend my $$ if she has it. Its a rough situation either way….
    Anyway, for the current situation, I am almost in full agreement with you abt not paying for kids college at this point. I go back and forth, b/c it seems to be embedded in my head to pay for kids college etc, even though my parents didn’t help me. Initially I was upset and pissed off to say the least! But now because my mom helped my little sister through college and now they have debt, I feel great that I don’t owe any college loans!
    I don’t have kids now, but plan to. I stand with you on choosing my self/retirement than to leave kids with $.
    I will at least make sure the house is paid for and there’s no debt left in my name for them, but I hope they’re self sufficient as well w/ the proper tools of course.

    Someone once said, love your child now, because when they grow up, you may not like them. I hope this isn’t the case when that time come.

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