We always want to help out our friends and family as best we can.
Particularly those who are less well off financially than we are.
Doing so regularly can complicate things, however, as it might result in those friends and family becoming dependent on you.
As the saying goes, money doesn’t go on trees, and very few people have the means to give money away without a second thought.
Redditor UsualAd8306 initially had no trouble helping out his wife’s family financially.
But when the requests for help started becoming more regular, the original poster (OP) made it clear that going forward, he would be giving them money much more selectively.
When the OP stayed true to his word on the matter, his wife was less than pleased by his alternative solution.
Wondering if he was being unreasonable, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for using my wife’s fun budget to help out friends and family?”
The OP explained how he drew a clear line as to when and how he and his wife would be lending money to friends and family.
“I am the breadwinner in our home.”
“My wife has the much tougher job of being a stay at home mom and wrangling our offspring.”
“She works hard to make sure we have everything we need.”
“Our budget is pretty simple.”
“We put away about 15% of my earnings every month.”
“Then we pay all the bills.”
“Whatever is left we split and we can use it however we want.”
“I like to use mine to work on my hobbies or treat us to a night out.”
“I pay for the babysitter and whatever activity we do that night.”
“She uses hers to go to a spa or to buy herself pretty things that make her happy.”
“Every once in a while she will ask if we can send money to her family.”
“Not because her family is homeless or anything.”
“They just earn less than we do.”
“Like in November she asked if we could give her brother $500.”
“He wanted to get his kids a PS5 for Christmas.”
“I think that was the last straw.”
“I told her that we could but it would be the last time that I contributed money to give away to people who just asked her for it.”
“December went fine but then in January one of her friends had car problems and needed to rent a car to run errands and drive her kids around.”
“My wife gave her money.”
“When she told me about it I said I was proud of her for sticking to our agreement that any money she decided to give away would come from her fun money and not ours.”
“She looked really sour and asked if I was really not going to help her pay for her spa day with her friends.”
“I said yes because I had spent my money on a new drone already.”
“She asked if we could take money from our savings account to pay.”
“I said no because that is for emergencies and household expenses.”
“She is mad at me for not helping her friend.”
“I pointed out that she could have kept her money and driven her friend around on errands and to pick up her kids.”
“She said I was being a jerk and slammed the door.”
“For the record, my kids and I are still playing games on our PS4 and switch.”
“She gives away our money to be a big shot.”
“I don’t have that need.”
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
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for telling his wife that if she wanted to give her friends money, it would have to be hers and not his.
Everyone agreed that the OP was being more than reasonable by drawing a line at how and when he would let her use his money on his friends and family, particularly after most of the previous occasions were anything but urgent.
“But your title is way misleading.”
“I thought you sent the money allocated to her, but it was her that did that.”
“She can’t keep giving away money and then expect you to bankroll her vanity.”- ProjectCrazed
“So she’s happy to help out her family and friends when it comes out of your pocket, just not hers?”
“Yeah, she’s being an AH for expecting you to keep on footing the bill.”- IHaveSaidMyPiece
“Wow, that title is misleading.”
“I’m tempted to call OP the AH for that.”
“But as it stands, NTA.”
“Wife is spending money with no input from her partner – that’s fine, but she should only be doing that with her own money.”
“She does not get to unilaterally decide what to do with the family’s money, that needs a conversation and agreement first (unless a genuine emergency, of course).”
“If she’s upset with the way she spent her money, she has the ability to control that, OP is not interfering.”- JsCTmav
“You’re not an ATM, and she needs to learn to live within her means rather than supporting friends and family in that way.”- PurpleGreyPunk
“Your wife cannot make unilateral financial decisions, especially if they aren’t for any of emergency, any more than you can.”
“If she wants to give money away to friends and family without questions asked, it’s only logical that she uses her own money, the one she doesn’t have to answer anyone for.”
“She’s throwing a tantrum because she didn’t think you’d stick to the agreement.”
“However, this will snowball if you guys keep the bad communication going.”
“You issuing an ultimatum and her throwing tantrums aren’t solving the problem.”
“You need to have a calm and deep conversation about your views on money, expenses, and giveaways.”- Jolly_Tooth_7274
“She wants to be Johnny big potatoes with her money that’s her business you don’t have to support that.”- ReviewOk929
“Change your title, because it is very misleading.”- Critical-Musician630
“You aren’t using her money to help out friends and family.”
“If she wants to give away her money that is fine but she shouldn’t allocate your personal budget to try and look good.”- SecretJealous4342
“She is trying to have her cake and eat it too.”
“She is welcome to play benevolent benefactor with her own discretionary funds.”-Imaginary_Building_4
“If she were dealing with a real emergency (like her family WAS about to be homeless) then I would say you were being callous by not helping her out.”
“But all these ‘donations’ she’s making are not, in fact, emergencies, and therefore whatever money she gives away is her own choice.”
“She can choose to go to the spa, or she can choose to fund her nephew’s PS5.”
“She can’t have both.”
“The people in her life have to stop relying on her as an ATM.”
“SHE has to stop being an ATM.”- LilPajamas
“This one is pretty cut and dry.”
“It’s not your family’s job to fund friends and family.”
“You’re right, if wife wants to do that, it’s out of her account.”
“That’s how it works in our house too.”
“You should not be guilted into spending your own savings, and you were kind to get her brother’s kids a PS5.”
“My guess is that your wife offered to get her friend a rental car, that the friend didn’t ask.”-Message_Bottle
“I thought you did it as well and was gonna be like no sir, not okay.”
“Title isn’t quite right.”
“You have your own fun/extra money to use how you see fit.”
“If she’s sending hers to other people, it’s going to come at the expense of other ‘fun’ stuff on her side.”
“That makes sense.”- herdingcats2020
“If your wife wants to give away money she should get a job and give whatever she makes.”-ComplexButterfly9699
“I think your wife has a Santa complex, and I’m slightly concerned that her brother’s giving his children Christmas presents which are actually from their aunt.”
“Does she also give them presents from herself as well?”
“Is she going to be expected to give them money to buy games for the PS5 as well because they’re ridiculously expensive.”
“And just for the record, I’m still playing games on a PS3.”- RichSignal7022
“You two had an agreement on how to budget and spend said money.”
“She chose to give her friend out of her own budget.”
“This is her problem.”
“She can’t save the world using shared funds if you don’t agree.”
“She can save the world with her allotted money.”- KronkLaSworda
Needless to say, no husband should have complete control over how his wife spends her own money.
But there is a big difference between lending someone money to help them pay their rent or mortgage and lending them money so they can buy their son a new gaming system.
Something the OP’s wife should have probably considered before offering money that her husband had earned.