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Mom Pissed After Ex Tries To Dictate How She Spends Child Support He Gives Her Each Month

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Different people can have very different perspectives on how to manage money. For one woman on Reddit, she and her ex’s different approaches to money has sparked conflict over how she spends the child support he pays for their son.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by aitalivingcheaply on the site, wasn’t sure about how she was handling things. So she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

OP asked:

“AITA for making my son live ‘cheaply’?”

She explained:

“I honestly can’t believe I’m posting this but here we go…”

“So, my ex gives me a generous amount of child support every month and I use about 20-30% of it maybe. I’m very good at budgeting since my mum raised me on her own and we always stuck to a strict budget. My ex grew up being overindulged and knowing he would never have to worry about money in his lifetime, so we have different ideas of what living cheaply looks like.”

“Recently my ex wanted to have a word with me because he didn’t like the fact that I made our son walk home from school. He wanted to know why I wouldn’t buy a car and offered me money to get one when I told him cars were expensive and I thought it was a waste of money. I told him no since I would rarely use it.”

“He then told me to take an uber home instead of making him walk. Again, I told him no and he brought up all of the other ways he thought I was making our son ‘live cheaply’.”

“For example: I didn’t buy him new football boots or a goal when he started getting into football (he is only 4), I buy him ‘cheap’ clothes, I rarely take him to eat out and if we go to a toy shop, I only ever let him get one thing and it can’t be super expensive.”

“My ex wanted to know what I was using all of the money he gave to me on if I was raising our son like this, so I explained I never used most of it but kept it in a separate account for either a rainy day or for our son.”

“Now he’s angry at me for making our son ‘live cheaply’ and essentially told me to stop saving and actually give our son the things he wants now because he had already made sure our son would be fine in the future.”


Redditors were then asked to judge who is in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Some felt OP was very much in the wrong.


“All that money should be used to support your son not ‘put away for a rainy day’ put any access money in a college fund or something for his future. This is not your money, it’s for your son.”Massivesigh100


“Child support is for the child. If you aren’t using it for the child, maybe he should take you back to court to renegotiate how much money he is giving YOU and instead buy your son stuff.”

“There’s nothing wrong with buying cheaper clothes or stuff that he’s going to get messy and outgrow, or not buy lots of toys…but there needs to be a clear discussion about what child support is for. Does he have any custody. Is the child support court ordered?”

“Also, how far is your kid walking to/from school? As he’s only 4, I assume it’s with you? There’s a difference between 2 blocks and a mile.”Usrname52

But others defended her approach to money management.

“I think it depends on what rainy day fund means in this case. Say op loses her job and needs to dip in to the fund to feed her kid, is that so bad? Or saving in case of a medical emergency for her kid (assuming US and it’s awful healthcare costs)?”

“Its always important to have an emergency fund, but especially important when you have a kid. Just because it’s going into a fund doesn’t mean that it’s not for the kids needs, the kid just hasn’t had a need for it yet.”asdf3141592

“I’d imagine the child support is hundreds a week. Spending all that on a 4 year old with turn him into a spoilt brat. Then the mum could have unexpected repairs needed to the child’s home which she couldn’t afford. Little timmy ends up living in a sh*t hole with his mountain of unused toys”tallnotsmall

“Lol no, its her money to raise her son. She is literally doing exactly and saving for his future. We should all be so lucky to have had a parent that is so thoughtful and frugal.”SisterResister

“My dad used to spew this same bullsh*t to my mom. He would give her crap because she’d save his child support money or use it for bills. Spoiler alert: raising a child involves more than new toys and expensive clothes.”

“Think about how much money OP would save each month if she had a one bedroom apartment rather than a two or three bedroom that has room for her kid? Child support pays for that. What if the kid breaks his arm? What if the stove breaks or the boiler goes? People need to stop trying to tell moms how to spend their own money.”Morrya

When several commenters asked for more information, OP offered an update:

“Edit: I was trying to avoid editing the post but since so many people are asking me to/asking me the same question over and over again…”

“Of course my FOUR YEAR OLD son doesn’t walk home alone from school. I drop him off and then pick him up. The teacher only lets him leave the building after she sees me. Also, it’s a 25 minute walk for anyone who cares.”

Hopefully OP and her ex can figure out a way to work this out.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.