Life After College: Five Ways To Thank Your Parents With The First Paycheck

It is undeniable that you have your family to thank for who you are today. As an American, you may have assumed independence earlier than other people, but it is still mom and dad (or your acting guardians) who have done their best and sacrificed a lot to raise and provide for you.

What Is It Like In Other Countries?

An average third-world college graduate will be shocked to know that an average American college graduate owes $37,172 in student loans after graduation. That amount in Philippine peso is a whopping 1,858,600! Yes, 1.8 million pesos!

The US total student loan debt in 2018 is what they call a $1.5-TRILLION crisis! Most people in the USA are no longer “under custody or responsibility” of the parents when they reach 18 years old.

So, these students have to take care of themselves. They work so that they can go to college AND still have enormous student debts because of the expenses (books, dorm, and others) along with the miscellaneous fees that come with getting a college degree.


According to statistics, most students take at least ten years to pay off these loans. It probably means that most of them will have already gotten married and have their kids and still be under the burden of their student debts. That is tough and will bring a lot of strain and stress both for the physical and mental well-being.

Good thing most Filipinos do not have to live that way. Why? Because in the Filipino culture, the parents take care of their children’s college education (most Americans will be shocked to learn this too).

In most cases, it is the parents’ only legacy to their kids. It is Filipino family pride to be able to send their kids to college. After getting a degree, most do not have to worry about paying burdensome student debts. They have to concentrate on getting a job. Hence, paychecks will automatically follow.

Instead of owing the government, banks, and other financial institutions, most Filipinos owe their parents their college education.

How then can you thank your parents with your first paycheck?

Practical But Sentimental Ways Of Saying “Thank You”

There are more than a million ways. For now, we can list down some doable five. Anyway, if you do well and work hard in your career, you can have a lifetime of thanking your parents through your paychecks you are receiving.

  1. Dine Out

First and probably the most common is to treat your parents out for dinner to celebrate with them and have them “taste” the fruits of your labor (literally). For sure it will bring joy in their hearts when you do that, and they will be talking about that “first paycheck dinner” to their friends. The memory of that dinner is something that they will cherish and mention time and time again in many special meals (birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries) in your home.

  1. Write A Special Letter

The second one may sound corny, but writing our parents a love letter normally touches them. Tell them how thankful you are for being their child and for sending you to college, thereby giving you the chance to have a job and receive a paycheck. You can also add in the letter many things that you know will warm their hearts—childhood memories like travel, toys, tantrums, disciplines, and others that made you who you are today. Writing and giving this love letter is something virtually inexpensive (won’t cut that much in the paycheck) but definitely will be treasured by your parents.

  1. Get Creative

The third is too sentimental and entails more work than writing a love letter. Another way to thank your parents with the first paycheck is making a scrapbook of your childhood pictures with your mom and dad. Label (cute designs included) them accurately so that they can remember what happened, when, and where. Now that will be awesome for them!  Again, minimum expense, maximum impact. That scrapbook will be the coffee table book in your parents’ living room for ages to come until their sunset years.

  1. Spa Day

Fourth would be pampering. Treat your parents to a massage. Maybe they haven’t experienced it before. It might be their first time (how significant from your first paycheck!). Hey, sending you to college made them break their backs. So why not pamper them a little to ease and relax the joints and back muscles that paid for your college tuition. That would be wonderful!

  1. Give Them What They Need

The last one is buying something practical for your parents. Something that you know pop and mom needs around the house. It could be a magnifying lens for pop to read the newspaper better. Mom probably needs a new pan or utensils for cooking. Whatever it may be, get something that will be useful for them to have a happy and better everyday life.

Showing that you’re grateful doesn’t have to be costly. It just has to be thoughtful and sweet enough to let your parents know that you are such a grateful child who remembered them when you got your first paycheck.