Some parents set aside money for their kids’ education or wedding.
But, what happens when the kid decides to elope? Who’s money is it?
Having an open conversation about finances and expectations is the best way to tackle such an uncomfortable topic.
Redditor gotanewcarr encountered this very issue with his daughter. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for spending my daughter’s wedding fund on a car and a trip after she got eloped?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My only child ‘Diana’ and her now husband started dating in college and had been engaged just before the pandemic hit. After not being able to really plan for over a year due to everything they decided a couple weeks ago to just take a trip the two of them and elope.”
“I’m very happy for them and honestly I’m glad to not have to deal with the stress of wedding planning.”
“I had 35k about set aside for her wedding in an account I’ve had for a long time. After she told me the news I was thrilled to be able to put it to other use.”
“My car has been having some trouble lately so I decided to just treat myself and get a new car in cash with the wedding fund. I paid about 30k and with the rest of the money my wife and I decided we would take our own little getaway.”
“I didn’t think this was controversial.”
OP’s daughter was not happy.
“Then this past weekend Diana was over and asked if since I didn’t have to pay for a big wedding if they could get the money to use towards a down payment.”
“I told her sorry but that’s how I paid for my new car and will be paying for my upcoming trip. To say she was upset is an understatement.”
“I figured I’d just let her cool off but then last night by ex (her mom) called me too telling me I made a selfish move and said some more things I won’t repeat. I never told her it was a wedding or whatever she wanted fund so I didn’t think I did anything wrong.”
“Would really appreciate some non biased perspectives.”
OP added some edits.
“Edit: sorry if I worded this poorly, I’m not the best writer. I’m a blue collar guy. She knew that I had money put aside for her wedding. It was something we talked about when she first got engaged over a year ago but it’s came up at times before that too.”
“Just something I planned for due to having a daughter.”
“I never told her it was a fund for her to use on whatever. I paid for her college and planned on paying for her wedding but beyond that didn’t plan on paying her way through life.”
“My parents didn’t/couldn’t help me out financially much in life so my goal was to pay for her schooling and wedding so she could start adulthood on the right foot. I felt like I accomplished that.”
“We are far from wealthy, I did not go to college, but I always did my best to save and be responsible with money so I could help her start off the right way. I never expected to be paying her way through life.”
“Maybe it’s a dated traditional mindset but I always believed after your kids officially start their own family your job as a provider has been accomplished and it is their turn to provide for themselves.”
“Now it’s my time to put myself and own finances #1. I had her very young (19) and still have a lot of working years left until retirement, hence the need for a reliable car.”
“Final response. This blew up way more than expected over night.”
“A lot of people have inserted their own assumptions out of nowhere (‘promises’ that never happened, tension between stepmother, riches I don’t have, an obsession with her getting married even though I said I was relieved she eloped, etc) which is odd…basically what I’ve gathered from the vast majority is that I didn’t do anything ‘wrong’ but I should have communicated more clearly.”
“I thought that I was crystal clear but I see now that I could have been even more clear. Thank you everyone for your time.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NOTE: OP paid for his daughter’s entire college tuition and living expenses so she’s starting out in life with zero college debt. Isn’t that gift enough? NTA” ~ Mary_Misanthrope
“I can hear where the daughter is coming from. She feels that the money for supposed to be used for her and since her big wedding didn’t happen she should be able to use it for another purpose.”
“That said, she is being entitled here. If she discussed the situation with her dad beforehand (‘we decided to elope, would you be open to giving us the ‘wedding money’ to spend on a house etc’) then they might have worked something out, or dad could have said no.”
“The issue is that she assumed it was ‘still hers’ and is now disappointed that they can’t buy a house right away and is behaving childishly.”
“OP, you are NTA. Daughter is allowed to be disappointed, but not an ungrateful, entitled brat. Especially since you paid for all her schooling.”
“Edit: thanks for the awards 😊” ~ Wearealreadyhere
Some argued OP shouldn’t have created unrealistic expectations.
“I love this comment! It is annoying as heck when parents somehow (accidentally or on purpose) create an expectation (in this case a wedding fund) and the game changes and ‘oops sorry you’re SOL.'”
“Not that it’s right to expect you’ll always get your way at life, but the daughter is allowed to have the thought cross her mind ‘oh darn I’m disappointed.'” ~ SnooDoughnuts7171
“Plus they’re basically implying that her dressing up and having a party is the thing that has value to them, not the other things she wants to do. It must sting.”
“ETA: I still voted that OP is not the asshole. I just understand why the daughter would be a bit disappointed. And not purely because of the money, but because of what it says about how her parents view her as a woman.” ~ VisiblePiano0
Money talk is never fun.