While most parents view higher education as an inevitability for their children, attending college or university is still something of a luxury for most families.
Many parents let their children know that for them to attend college, they will have to pay for it on their own, requiring them to take out student loans and get one or more part-time jobs to pay their way through.
Other parents want to make sure their children can focus solely on their studies and will pay their tuition for them.
Most of these parents, however, have money specifically set aside for this exact purpose.
Redditor Beneficial-Bottle693 started a college fund for their daughter, which steadily grew over the years, with the original poster (OP)’s daughter even contributing to it herself.
The OP was not at all pleased, however, to discover that their daughter had taken money out of this fund for a purpose other than her college education, resulting in their taking what others considered drastic actions.
Wondering if they were out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA For telling my daughter she can say goodbye to the rest of her college fund?”
The OP explained why they were swift to make changes to their daughter’s college fund after she took a sizable deposit out from it.
“My daughter is seventeen and applying for colleges.”
“We have a college fund saved up for her that we’ve been adding to since she was an infant.”
“Its a good sizable chunk of money and a lot of donations from family have gone into it as well as her own savings occasionally.”
“We have always made it clear that the money in there is for college only.”
“She never had to put her savings in there (has a separate savings account) but did so anyway.”
“Anyway, her girlfriend lives in Australia, and they are both insanely big ‘Supernatural’ fans.”
“They have both wanted to go to a convention for years – at least five that I can remember.”
“Two of the main guys are going to be at a convention in Australia.”
“She begged me to let her go. I said no, but the con is set for after her 18th.”
“I can’t stop her if she pays for it.”
“I assumed she would use her savings.”
“I checked the college account to add some in and noticed a chunk of money missing.”
“I went to speak to my daughter about it, and she admitted to using the money to pay for the convention.”
“She bought herself plane tickets, her girlfriend plane tickets (other end of the country), both of their con tickets as well as booking a hotel.”
“The con is three or four days, but she’s planning on staying for a couple weeks and making a vacation out of it.”
“All in all, she’s taken about 10k.”
“I lost it, honestly.”
“Demanded she cancel, which fell on deaf ears.”
“I tried to cancel for her, but she won’t be refunded everything so I’m hesitant to do so.”
“She’s insisting that it’s her money and she can do what she likes with it.”
“Claims she still has enough for college, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“I believe this has shown her extreme immaturity and inability to manage her future and money.”
“I am so incredibly angry that she would go and do this.”
“I told her she could say goodbye to the rest of her college fund and have locked the account.”
“I’m now the only person with access.”
“She’s said she’ll pay it back, but it seems unlikely.”
“My wife thinks I’m being harsh and that she’s right – she put at least 5k into the account herself, so she really only took 5k (which my mother-in-law has since said she’ll pay back).”
“I think this just teaches her she can pay her way out of messes.”
“I was certain in my decision, but everyone is acting like I’m the a**hole.”
“She’s a teenage girl, and her entire life shouldn’t revolve around college.”
“I’m still uncertain.”
“So here I am.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
While the Reddit community was fairly divided on whether or not the OP was the a**hole by locking their daughter’s college fund from her, they very narrowly ruled in their favor.
Some felt the OP did the right thing by restricting her access, even if many still had trouble fully sympathizing with them, feeling if it was exclusively for her college education, they shouldn’t have ever given her access to it in the first place.
“I say NTA if you are going to make her pay back $5k.”
“I don’t think she should have had access to withdraw from the fund in the first place, but I guess it was set up in her name and could be withdrawn from at 18?”
“The money was set aside for school, not just for whatever she wanted.”
“I think the rest should stay for school only she’s lost the privilege of unrestricted access to the account.”- pnutbuttercups56
“I’m going to say NTA yet, but you’re getting really, really close.”
“So first off, letting her intermingle her own savings into the college account and have direct access to it was your mistake.”
“You should never have allowed either of those to happen, and the fact that you did is now greatly complicating things.”
“Personally, I think you need to calm down and try to have a rational discussion with your daughter. She’s almost 18 now, and if you f*ck this up, then it’s going to have massive repercussions for your relationship with her down the line.”
“Yes, she screwed up, but that’s no reason to destroy your relationship with her utterly.”
“I think the sensible thing to do here would be to keep the lock on the college fund account so that you and your wife can control the disbursement of funds and help her open her own account that is completely independent of you so that she can start to manage her own savings.”
“Then the three of you need to sit down and have a rational discussion about what her college fund will and will not be used to pay for when she goes to college to set expectations.”
“I don’t know exactly how much money is in the account, but it sounds to me like she’s spent the ‘entertainment’ portion of her college fund already, and so while the college fund can be used to cover essentials in the future (tuition, books, groceries, rent, etc.) there won’t be any excess ‘fun money’ in it.”- adeon
“I’d be upset too, but wouldn’t lose sight of the overall goal that she goes to college and uses what’s left exclusively for that purpose.”
“Set up the account where you (distribute the funds) are paying for room/board, tuition, etc from there, and that’s it.”
“When it’s gone, she’s now responsible for the loan or whatever.”
“This life lesson will be learned outside the classroom for her.”- Forsaken-Cheesecake2
“You put the money into the fund to send your daughter to college, not to some fan convention in Australia.”
“Now you are making sure that that money doesn’t help send your daughter to college.”
“If this is your way of getting your daughter to college, it stinks.”
“I can’t help but note that you (the responsible adult) didn’t set up the account with the withdrawal protections that you could have.”
“You should have been wise enough to know that a 17-year-old with free access to that big of a pile of cash shouldn’t have access to it without any limits.”
“That in no way excuses your daughter, but it does mean that you should have had more foresight into the folly that teens can do.”
“MIL is putting herself in where she isn’t needed.”
“She needs to understand that it isn’t about dollars, it’s about being responsible.”
“NTA for telling your daughter that she isn’t getting the money.”
“But you would be a real idiot if you followed through with that to the extend of emptying the account, depriving yourself of the option to change your mind when you cool down and are looking at a high school graduate who needs a job.”- fuzzy_mic
Others, however, couldn’t sympathize with the OP for making the fund available for their daughter, even if they also didn’t sympathize with the OP’s daughter for blowing such a sizable sum of money on a fan convention.
“ESH’s college fund should not have been accessible to her, and her savings should have been kept separate and accessible.”
“She’s immature because she’s young.”
“Don’t be immature and take away her college fund to add insult to injury.”
“But DO make the rest of it inaccessible to withdrawals except for college.”
“For everyone.”- tifotter
On the one hand, the OP’s daughter knew that the money she was using was intended for one specific purpose, making the OP’s anger in her taking money out of it understandable.
On the other, she knew she had access to it, and since she put a sizable amount of her own money into it, it’s hard to blame her for her actions completely.
This seems to have been a valuable learning experience for both the OP and their daughter.