If my mother sends me some money every month, is that considered an income?

I usually fill in a sheet to track my expenses and display my savings for every month. For the past few months, I've been living on my mother's generosity to sustain myself while I'm studying. I was categorising this as an income but felt it wasn't right.

The question is, What do you call the money you receive from a relative every month for a fixed period of time in exchange for basically nothing but your well being, education etc.?

I intend to share this sheet with students who might be receiving some sort of financial assistance from their relatives. The need for me to come up with a term that rightly describes this transfer of cash is to avoid any sort of confusion while using this sheet.

  • $\begingroup$ then, no, I wouldn't think so; my guess is that what you are talking about is a sort of transfer; your mother makes a transfer of funds from her account to your account; $\endgroup$ – user14471 Sep 11 '17 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ ...perhaps it could be thought of in terms of investment too; her sinking funds into your education which in turn will yield returns later in the future; of course the assumption here is that she will somehow benefit from your increased productivity due to the increase of your human capital stock; since nothing is contractual and most likely everything is tacit knowledge I wouldn't be so hasty as to jump on the investment 'metaphor'; I think I'd stick with the 'transfer' scenario $\endgroup$ – user14471 Sep 11 '17 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ Considered by who? The IRS, the Census Bureau, you...? $\endgroup$ – Giskard Sep 11 '17 at 7:24
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    $\begingroup$ What is the purpose of this question? What kind of answer will satisfy you? Please add more details to the question. At the moment its too general and imprecise. Denesp's comment is very pertinent. $\endgroup$ – luchonacho Sep 11 '17 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ I feel this is now primarily opinion based. The answer could be income, cash transfer, remittance, stipend, scholarship, allowance, pocket money, gift, defaulted loan, aid, commission, endowment, pay, honorarium, annuity, allotment, ration, salary, stint, bequest, allocation, fellowship, contribution, ... $\endgroup$ – luchonacho Sep 11 '17 at 8:49

I will simply repeat what I've said in the comments, just so that there's a concentrated version of the argument.

What you are describing is not 'income' but a kind of 'transfer' payment. Your mother transfers an amount of money from her account to yours.

It is possible to consider it an 'investment' on her part; she would be investing in the increase of your human capital stock; such an approach would imply that she would have a claim on a part of your future income stream.

Since, usually, parents don't enter into contractual agreements with their children concerning their future income possibilities (that I know of) I would argue that from the viewpoint of you both, what you are receiving and what she is delivering is a cash transfer.

  • $\begingroup$ Even an income is a cash transfer from an employer to an employee. I want to know the kind of cash transfer this might be considered? Could this be a stipend? $\endgroup$ – dhaliman Sep 11 '17 at 8:18
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    $\begingroup$ It depends on the definition of income. For many government surveys, income comes from a variety of sources, including labour, assets, government transfers, etc. Cash transfer from relatives (e.g. remittances) could well be income. As the questions stands, anything goes. We need more clarity on that the OP is looking for. $\endgroup$ – luchonacho Sep 11 '17 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ The problem is that we could assume something different. How do we know? The question is too ambiguous. It's of bad quality. $\endgroup$ – luchonacho Sep 11 '17 at 8:30
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    $\begingroup$ @luchonacho The information has nothing to do with the question. It only provides my motivation to get an answer. $\endgroup$ – dhaliman Sep 11 '17 at 9:07
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    $\begingroup$ @dhaliman I would first suggest to make the question a bit more "professional". For example,something like "I am interested in producing a sheet to be completed by students regarding their income sources. What is the appropriate term for income coming from their parents?" I would also add which other categories you are using alongside this one. That would provide more clarity too. You can see that such question is entirely different to a one-liner "how do I call the money my mother send me every month?" $\endgroup$ – luchonacho Sep 11 '17 at 9:53

What your mother gives you can be called a scholarship - similar to what some governments and organizations provide to students who need financial support. In this case, she is your sponsor. Scholarships might be taxable or not - see the example of the Australian tax office.

If you need to find an accurate name for that cash, that would be up to you (opinion based). As stated in the comments, you can use allowance, family support or any other of the namings mentioned by luchonacho.



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