Since I was eighteen (ie since I started uni) I've bought Christmas and birthday presents for my immediate (mum, dad, siblings (and, actually, step-family, too) family because, really, I'm an adult now and should be learning to budget, etc. I got £1,000 from my grandparents when I got into Warwick, but have received no other help from my parents (and we also don't qualify for the means tested grant). Like I said, I worked in various holidays, too (and during term time as a favour to my Dad because someone was unexpectedly taken ill at work), to boost my income because I have a car (on Motability
, so I don't pay tax or insurance, but I pay for all my own petrol. And, to be honest, I'd trade my FIAT 500 for a pair of legs that work any day of the week).
My sister (yes, you can see where this is going) is almost nineteen, never buys anyone anything (apart from her boyfriend) - it's my sister's birthday today, for example - has a BlackBerry phone contract provided by my parents (they always said to me that I had to pay as soon as I wanted to go onto contract, and once texting took off four or so years ago, it made absolutely no sense to stay on PAYG) and shares a car with my Mum and another sister who's not passed her test yet. My parents tax and insure it - fine, I'm not complaining about that, since I don't have to pay that either (albeit for different, non-parent controlled, reasons) - and put all the petrol in. She's never paid for a single drop.
Okay, so she's a medic so getting a job in term time (or Christmas or Easter holidays) would be a pain, but she had an academic scholarship for two years that paid for half her school fees a year. My grandparents (who paid our fees) gave her that money (because her ability had effectively saved them money) plus £1,000 when she left for uni. I've got no qualms with that, either, because she worked hard to be awarded that scholarship but, the point is, I absolutely know she's got more money in the bank than me (and I'm not destitute) and yet she pays for nothing. And because my parents know I've got extra money in the bank, they've never supported me at uni, despite topping sister's bank account up regularly "because her loan barely covers her accommodation." Hello, neither does mine.
I've tried bringing it up with my parents, and they just keep saying "Well, you can afford it." That's not the point! They have said that she'll have to pay for her own phone contract when it's up for renewal, but I don't know whether they'll hold her to that since it's got a year+ left, by which time I'll be long gone. And then they just accuse me of being "bitter and jealous." Well, to be honest, yeah, it does make me a bit jealous when she's getting money thrown at her left, right and centre.