Financial management is not a skill that we’re born with but that we can learn and even master over time.
But those who spend money like eating candy can trap themselves in some really tough financial corners, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor cositarica27 was disgusted with her sister’s and brother-in-law’s plan to dip into their son’s college fund to bail themselves out of the financial burden they’d sunk themselves in.
Because the Original Poster (OP) refused to give them any of her nephew’s money, she fully expected them to go no contact with her at some point.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to give my sister access to her teenage son’s money?”
The OP agreed to manage a college fund for her nephew.
“My sister and family overall have poor money management skills, and my nephew, recognizing this, asked me to control his money for him since I am more responsible and manage my money well.”
“He values responsible financial management, and after discussing it with him, I agreed.”
“He’s only a junior in college, but he’s earned a decent amount of money through little jobs he’s done here and there, as well as lifeguarding in the summer. When he needs money for something, I give it to him.”
“Originally his account was linked to my bank but in his name, that way I can do easy transfers for him when needed.”
“He’s 19, but he does not want me off the account; I have asked him. He wants to wait till he is done with college and can move away for good. Since right now he still has to come home for holidays and summer time. He is not confrontational at all, and they would try to use that to take his money.”
The OP’s sister’s financial situation recently got a lot worse.
“Now, recently, his mom (my sister) and her husband somehow bought a house way beyond their means. I really don’t know how they got approved. But now they are drowning in bills and are consistently behind on their payments.”
“My sister recently called her son in college and asked him to give them what he has so they can cover some bills. My nephew, being the honest kid he is, actually told them how much he has saved, upwards of 5,000, and they wanted all of it.”
“He said no because he’s saving this money for when he graduates so he can buy a car or maybe move out and start his life.”
The OP’s nephew’s parents tried to pressure him into giving them his money.
“My sister then forcefully tried to go to his bank and demand money be withdrawn, but she was denied since I am the main account holder.”
“My sister called me and insisted I transfer her the money because it’s her son, and she has a right to that money.”
“I stood my ground and said no, it’s not fair to take from him and what he’s worked for, especially since I know for a fact they won’t pay him back.”
“My nephew offered them a compromise of giving them 1,000 dollars free and clear, but they want all of it.”
“I refuse to release it as my nephew has told me he doesn’t want to.”
The family showed their true colors against the OP and her nephew.
“Now my sister has called our mom and the entire family to make me look like a controlling b***h and saying how I am trying to parent her son and teach him bad manners and not to help the family. She’s telling everyone I should give her control of the money because it’s her son.”
“So, AITA for standing my ground and refusing to give my sister access to her teenage son’s money, even though he and I both think it’s in his best interest to have responsible financial oversight?”
“I’m wondering if I am since they really need it and may lose a lot without it, but my nephew said no, and it’s his money, and I want to respect him.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were shocked at the teen’s parents’ entitlement.
“NTA. Your sister and her husband are absolute garbage parents.”
“The audacity to demand thousands of dollars of their child’s money who doesn’t even live with them anymore is straight up BANANAS.”
“The awful entitlement to march into a bank and try to demand that child’s money is pathetic and abusive.”
“The OP said, ‘Now my sister has called our mom and the entire family to make me look like a controlling b***h and saying how I am trying to parent her son and teach him bad manners and not to help the family. She’s telling everyone I should give her control of the money cause it’s her son.'”
“Fight fire with fire on this one. Make sure EVERY EAR that will LISTEN knows that your nephew came to YOU to manage and protect their money, and not the other way around. Make sure everyone knows that even their 20-year-old (ish) son knows how bad they are with money. So much so that he needed, and sought out on his own, external help with his money to avoid the mistakes that his parents had repeatedly made.”
“What a great decision your nephew made to entrust you with their money. Absolutely brilliant. Stand your ground, don’t give that money up.” – Aggressive-Bed3269
“NTA. You’d actually be committing theft if you gave an adult’s money to anyone else against their will. And a betrayal of your nephew. I wouldn’t blame him if he sued you or called the police on you if you did that.”
“And $5,000 wouldn’t help them much in the long run anyway. They’ll be in the same predicament next month. Then where will they get the money?” – Quix66
“NTA. My dad raised me with the belief that if you are taking money from your child to bail you out of your own financial problems, you are failing that child as a parent.”
“He started telling me this when I got my first job and was giving two-thirds of my checks to help my mother, who I was not living with at the time, but she was giving me the guilt trip that she was losing her house. She neglected to say that she was losing her house due to bad financial decisions, but that’s to be expected.”
“Anyway, the moral of the story is a child shouldn’t have to bail their parents out. The parents are supposed to be the ones looking out for them, setting examples. Not taking advantage of them and fleecing them for whatever money they can get.” – Reyvakitten
“NTA. This is exactly why he asked you to do this in the first place.”
“Do not give her a cent. Honestly, I wouldn’t even release the 1,000 to her. She isn’t deserving of it and it’s not your nephew’s fault to pick up the pieces due to his mom’s terrible financial decisions. 1k is a lot of money to a college student, and it’s 20% of his savings. No way would I give his mom a single penny. He will thank you later.”
“You’re a good guardian. Everyone needs someone like you!!! Keep supporting and protecting him!” – Katiew84
“NTA. If you are so desperate to take money from your son, then you are a bad parent. Hold tight. Someone needs to do what’s right for that kid here. It’s his money.” – bxclrn
Others agreed and supported the OP in having her nephew’s back.
“NTA. This is literally why he asked you to help him. You would be the AH if you caved. Any relatives who disagree do not have his best interest at heart.” – UponHerEyes
“NTA. You are doing exactly what your nephew wants and needs you to do, and kudos to you for that.”
“If anyone from your family starts b*tching at you for not giving her access, tell them they are welcome to donate money themselves.” – ed_luv
“NTA. You are protecting your nephew from your AH sister. Don’t give in; continue to support your nephew in this. He may need you if his parents get really petty and start telling him not to come home.”
“You said it yourself: your sister bought a house she can’t afford. It’s not your problem and not your nephew’s problem. You weren’t consulted in their purchase. They should adult and figure it out.”
“(I am assuming they are not paying his college tuition.)” – SelfImportantCat
“Of course you’re NTA. Your nephew is an adult and can decide what to do with his own money. Clearly, he trusts you over his parents to be on a bank account with him because he knows you won’t steal from him, which isn’t something he could count on with his own parents. Your sister has no right to that money.”
“You can always see about taking your name off the account so it wouldn’t even be an option, and then she can stop asking. If your nephew plans to save the money until after graduation, encourage him to put most of it in a CD or other account that doesn’t allow withdrawals until the term ends.” – Ajstross
“Your nephew needs to have his credit checked. There’s a more than good chance they’ve opened credit lines in your nephew’s name, or they’re about to start doing that. He should also then freeze his credit.”
“I would also consider moving his money to an entirely different bank, one where his parents hold no accounts, and never her tell what the new bank is. She may keep trying to get into the account now that she knows where it is, and a teller may make a well-intentioned error in trying to help the mom, especially if she tells a whopper of a lie to manipulate the situation.” – AnyQuantity1
The subReddit was disgusted that the parents were prioritizing their own needs over their son’s, especially since they planned to use his money to bail themselves out of their own questionable financial choices.
The most they could possibly hope for at this point was that poor financial management wasn’t hereditary.