Family members sometimes find themselves in need of money, but sometimes they will do underhanded things to get what they want. Lawsuits, estate disputes and even downright thievery are not unheard of.
Reddit user Significant_Sky_5341 found herself in a really awkward position when she suspected her stepbrother of taking money from her without asking.
Unclear if she was doing something wrong by setting this boundary, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for validation.
“AITA for not getting my step brother a birthday present?”
Our original poster, or OP, got a nice little bonus from work.
“Last week I (18F[emale]) got to take my tip jar home from work. I sat it on my dresser.”
“When I got home a couple days ago I couldn’t find my money anywhere. I asked my whole family if anyone had seen it and they all said no.”
Suddenly, OP’s stepbrother was in possession of something rather expensive.
“My step brother (19) who doesn’t work at all happened to get a new game for his ps4.”
“And our parents said they didn’t give him any money. When asked how he paid for the game he said that he ‘found some money laying around the house’.”
So she abstained from buying him a birthday present.
“I am almost certain that he took my tip money. He just had his birthday today and I didn’t get him a gift and when asked why I said that the ps4 game was his gift.”
“He then called me a ‘petty bitch.’ I asked him again if he took my tip money and he repeated word for word that he ‘found some money laying around the house’.”
“AITA for assuming things when I have no proof that he actually took it?”
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 agreed OP’s stepbrother was being pretty sus about the money.
“NTA. You’re probably right that he stole the money and nobody automatically deserves a birthday gift anyway.”
“I would keep a close eye on your valuables and create a plan to move out of that house.”~Tegdag
“He never denied taking the tip jar. He mislead by saying ‘I found some money laying around the house,’ which is technically true.”
“He also called OP a ‘petty bitch’ for stating that the game was his gift. Again, he didn’t deny that the game was gotten by taking her money.”
“If someone is accused of something they didn’t do, they state that outright. There is no deflection or carefully worded vague responses, they say directly ‘I didn’t take the tip jar. I found $X in (insert location here).'”
“If it were me, I would confront him, with parents present, and make him give a definitive answer. ‘Did you take my tip jar? It’s a yes or no answer.’”
“If he repeats his ‘found it’ answer, ‘Okay. Where exactly did you find it?’ If he still doesn’t admit it or tries to play coy and deflect, remind him ‘No one just leaves $60+ laying around the house, and even if they did, it still wasn’t yours to take.'”
“‘By the way, on top of my dresser in my bedroom is not laying around the house. I want all of my money returned to me before Friday, or I may find some stuff ‘laying around the house’ to sell to get it back.’”~StellaLuna108
“NTA, But I think there’s more at play here. If you’re fairly certain that your brother took the money, you probably have reasons, like at pattern or some other history.”
“But your parents didn’t get involved either. I’m assuming the tip jar had $40-60 in it, and that’s not a small amount for your brother to just take and your parents not have an opinion on it..”
“It seems like there might be more issues in the house as a whole if your brother is so willing to steal from you and your parents are completely apathetic to the issue.”
“If it were an option I’d vote Everyone Else Sucks Here. But you’re definitely good here though.”~breakawaychris
“NTA! If he had a legitimate way to getting the game he would just say it. Those things are like 40-60$ on average so it’s not like he counted change. You’re nta.”
“Your parents kind of are though along with your brother for not getting involved. That’s messed up.”~JaclynnMarie
“It was always very clear to me growing up that any money I found around the house was not mine and was my dad’s, and that taking it was stealing from my dad.”
“Even when I grew up enough to steal his booze I wouldn’t have ever stolen his money. Anyway how are you supposed to buy stepbro a present when someone (who lives in your household) just stole your savings?”
“I think it’s acceptable to ‘find’ a few coins under the couch and keep them. But it’s wrong to ‘find’ any paper money and claim it as your own.”~mmmbopdoombop
And some people were even suggesting revenge tactics.
“NTA – take *all* his PS games and go to your nearest gamestop and sell them back. Then get yourself something nice.”
“When he asks where you got it just tell him you found some things around the house.”~loudent2
“NTA. Yeah, he found just 40$ laying around. I also need watching my steps because there is so much money on the ground.”
“You better keep your money safe from now on. And everything with worth. You know now your step brother has sticky fingers and your parents won’t help you.”~Acceptable-Abalone20
“NTA. He found your money, laying on your dresser. And even if he didn’t, he had to have taken someone else’s money that they had set down somewhere.”
“Your parent’s should crack down on this sh*t. If he didn’t steal from you, then it was someone else in the house.”
“And his ‘petty’ statement is telling. He’s aware that you know, and the fact you didn’t get over it is his definition of petty.”~NobodysBabyDaddy
“NTA. He wouldn’t have called you petty if he didn’t steal it. And ‘finding money around the house’ only applies when it’s your house/purse/couch/pants pocket, and you’re the only one who’s in it.”
“Otherwise, the word he’s looking for is ‘stealing.’ How are your parents ok with this? I would lose my sh*t if one of the kiddos was stealing hard earned money from the other, especially at his age!”
“I mean, when they’re little and their brains can’t quite grasp the difference between sharing and stealing, that’s one thing. But barring some serious disability here, he’s certainly old enough to get it.”~MariContrary
And people were also wondering where her parents were to keep her brother in line.
“NTA Where your parents in this? This is thief, it as clearly good money-where are they?”
“If anyone asks you can mention ‘I would have had the money to get him a gift, but my money was stolen I my own home. Anyone care to get to the bottom of that?’”~MomIrishTwins
“NTA. Your step bro doesn’t respect you, feels entitled to gifts and sounds like he is goin down the path of a gaslighting/abusive/toxic personality.”
“I bet he doesn’t get you anything for your bday. He sounds like a nightmare and as if the parents coddle him cos of their divorce and at least 1 getting remarried, which he may be milking.”
“He sounds exhausting and i imagine he throws lots of tantrums.”
“Your money is gone. He admitted to ‘finding money layin around the house.’ He took it. Also, no money means no gift. Sucks to suck. Seriously.”~curlyseal
“NTA, unless your parents have shown themselves to be thieves in the past.”
“Did you ask him *where* he specifically found it? I would tell his parent you want your money back, and force them to address this before it becomes common place.”
“If they won’t, start hiding your money or even better, hide your money, get a bank account in your name only and start putting all your cash in there.”
“Then start saving to move out.”~OldMamaSpeaks
OP definitely doesn’t owe her stepbrother a birthday present, as it’s almost certain he took her money.
His lies and misdirection didn’t work this time, and hopefully he learns his lesson about stealing.