Saving for the future is sadly not a skill everybody has. Some people really prefer to spend their money right away, or else they want to save their money only for themselves.
Saving for a future or for a child is an uncomfortable new skill that takes a concerted effort.
Redditor summerscent26 found herself facing a husband who didn’t want to save for their child’s future, preferring to spend his money on something more for himself than their child’s future education.
This understandably made her angry.
Needing objective feedback from strangers, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to get some input from objective observers:
“AITA for getting angry at my husband after he refused to contribute to our child’s education savings plan?”
Our original poster, or OP, talked us through what was happening between her and her husband.
“My husband (Alden 27m[ale]) and I (26f[emale]) are both RNs here in Canada. Both of us send money to our respective families in our home country that is why we have 3 separate bank accounts—his, mine and ours (for bills and mortgage).”
“I send my parents 8% of my salary every fortnight while Alden sends 10-12% of his, as he helps pay for his brothers college tuition fee.”
“I gave birth to our first child January of this year and I had just gone back to work last July. Yesterday I told my husband that we need to start saving for our son’s college education.”
“I told him we should open a RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) and start contributing towards it.”
OP came up with a solid plan.
“I proposed we start with $100/fortnight each. Alden said that RESP is a great idea but I have to pay towards it in the first 3 years alone because his brother still has 2 years left in college.”
“He reminded me that he can’t reduce the money he sends to his parents until his brother graduates, passes the licensure exam and finds a job.”
“I said I understand his family’s circumstances and that $20-$50/ fortnight is fine with me. He said he CAN’T afford it and that I need to stop pressuring him.”
“I said that is not what I’m doing, and suggested we can cut some of our expenses like dining out, Netflix subscription and Xbox Live Gold subscription.”
“He then became more irate and accused me of taking away his stress reliever. I was so angry at him I almost threw my phone to his face. I walked out and left him in the lounge.”
But it seems like something else might be going on.
“I guess he was also angry with me because he slept on the couch last night. We are still not talking now and I’m starting to think I may have overreacted.”
“My friend said I am an AH for the way I handled the situation and I should have been more understanding. AITA?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors said OP was not at fault, but it’s likely something else was going on with her husband.
“Cancelling a $20 per month Netflix bill to save for college is frankly stupid. Same thing with Xbox gold if it’s being used routinely.”
“People do need some stress relievers and hobbies. Those are not expensive hobbies! Your husband’s main problem is that he is contributing a massive amount to his parents and brothers but now neglecting his son.”
“However, it sounds like these are prior obligations that he can’t just suddenly back out of. It also sounds like you were aware of them before marriage. Perhaps seek marriage counseling.”
“Try and let him know how it looks that he is prioritizing his brother and parents over his son. But realize that if he made a commitment he can’t suddenly flake out.”
“That said, if you wait three years to start saving for the newborn’s college will that be enough? Obviously 18 years is better, but 15 is still probably adequate. Is this saving plan really critical to start now?”
“Or is the real issue that you’re angry your husband is willing to give so much to his brother but not his son?”-SledgeH4mmer
“NTA, but I wonder why he feels he can’t cut down on either daily expenses or contributions to his brother’s studies, even if incrementally to give his parents/brother time to secure more cash flow locally.”
“Best to contribute as much as you can to the college fund as soon as you can.”-BurnedPotatoe
“I imagine that he sends a lot more than 100 bucks to cover his brothers college experiences. He says it’s not in the budget right now for him.”
“So maybe when his brother graduates, he can just start putting what used to give the brother, to the fund for your son.”
“And by the way. You’re NTA. Your husband could have tried to reach a compromise with you rather than flipping out on you.”-Phoenix92885
“I actually don’t think anyone is the a**hole here. I think your husband is under a lot of pressure as are you.”
“You seem to be more worried than most about financial planning ahead and that is great but maybe it’s a little too much and could be cut a little?”
“You have to live your life in the now too. If you can’t even have Netflix as a stress reliever (and like you say it’s only $20) that’s pretty sh*tty.”
“I work hard and I save but i need to have some enjoyment/hobbies to keep me going. As you say you don’t know when something will happen. Your child may not even want to go to college.”
“I honestly think most of your issues are from putting too much pressure on prepping for the future and you’re losing sight of the here and now.”
“I don’t think your husband should stop paying for his brother. I think that it’s highly likely the brother will contribute in his own ways later in life as that’s how it seems to work in your respective families.”
“It would be pretty awful for him to have to drop out of college because you guys had a baby especially when the baby college needs is 18 years in the future not now so there is more time to save for that later.”
“Good luck! I do think your husband overreacted but that to me is a sign of all the pressure you’re both under and not him just being an a**hole”-chingness
Family and finances takes a lot of work to try and get right.
“But it isn’t the same. Because you are now expecting him to rearrange his finances. I think this is NAH/NTA, I agree he should pay for his sons future but if you knew he was sending so much home where did you expect him to get it from?”
“Cutting out luxuries is one thing but I can also understand not wanting to give up the small things that help relax after work (however this bit makes him slightly the AH because he needs better priorities).”
“You two just need a sit down adult discussion about finances and expectations moving forward, getting angry won’t solve anything.”-EmotionalDay4025
“NTA. Your child comes first. I don’t know how much Xbox live gold costs, but is there a silver option?”
“And how does a parent of an infant have time to work and play enough video games to warrant a subscription? Shouldn’t he be doing housework, cooking (so you don’t have to order take out), and caring for the baby?”
“I’m puzzled as to why his brother gets to focus solely on schooling, but it sounds like your own child may not get that same opportunity because your husband refuses to start saving for that now.”
“Compounding interest is powerful. The more you can save now, the better off you will be. And if you have more children, this will become even harder.”-StreetofChimes
“I can understand your husband’s frustration. I bet he feels like he’s dead last in his own life and Netflix and XBox gold are one of the few things he has for himself, and $20-$50/month for 3 years isn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of saving for college.”
“I’m not saying his priorities aren’t wrong, but check in with your husband emotionally right now. I bet he’s feeling taken for granted, used, and that he has no control over his own life.”
“I bet he isn’t feeling special or loved and that after he cares for everyone else, no one cares for him.”
“NTA, but your husbands reaction isn’t about $20, it’s about everyone in his life who says they love him taking him for granted and ignoring his emotional needs.”-the_sociopaths_dghtr
“NTA. When you become a parent, priorities change. They must. It seems that your husband hasn’t yet changed his priorities.”
“His parents and brother still take precedence over the family that he has created with you.”
“The 3 accounts worked well when it was just the two of you…. but like most things that change when you have a child, so must the budget.”
“You and your husband need a new financial system for your family. You need to recalculate what your contributions to your new family and extended family can be because you can’t continue to live like you did before the birth of your son.”-Intelligent_Fox12
OP came back with a couple updates about what her husband was actually upset about.
“Hello everyone. Thank you for your advise and judgement. Alden and I talked about our finances today and he told me he is in great pressure right now as his parents asked him to send more money to help pay for his uncle’s Covid treatment.”
“I didn’t know about it til now and I feel so bad for not noticing how much stress my husband is under.”
“I asked him why he didn’t tell me and he said he didn’t want to worry me. We both agreed to put off opening Resp until his uncle gets better. I also offered help.”
Which changes the context of the conflict greatly.
OP and her husband have already come up with a solution: one that works for both of them and prioritizes husband’s needs, as he is being stretched thin.
We wish his uncle the best.