It’s true that most of us would like to come into more money, but it’s also true that most of us don’t handle our finances all that well.
There’s a reason why some people manage money professionally, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
When her husband passed away, Redditor Throwawayveal-9 was given a large inheritance to manage for herself and her teenage daughter.
But when all the money was gone, the Original Poster (OP) actively considered spending her daughter’s college fund to bail them out.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for liquidating my daughter’s college fund to keep our dream house?”
The OP received a large investment from her late husband.
“I (50 Female) lost my husband four years ago. I also have a 16-year-old daughter.”
“My late husband left me everything and told me to trust his lawyer.”
“My husband had worked for 20 years as a doctor and did some minor investing so I inherited over seven figures.”
The OP decided to make an investment her husband never approved of.
“A year later, I decided to list our home of 12 years and received an offer too good to refuse.”
“With the inheritance as well as the influx of cash from selling the house, I decided to move my daughter and me to Malibu.”
“We always dreamed of a home next to the beach but my husband was exceptionally tight-fisted and called homes there ‘money pits.'”
“We found a beautiful home by the sea. I never personally handled anything regarding buying a home before, so I did not anticipate all the extra costs beyond the sticker price.”
“But my daughter was so excited, so I decided to go for it.”
The OP began to receive conflicting information about her finances.
“My late husband’s lawyer was furious at my decision, so I decided to stop taking his calls.”
“I ended up signing with a money manager who said that we’d be passively earning 90 percent of what surgeons earned per year.”
“The money manager ended up tanking a lot of our investments. I took the dwindling money out and made my own investments which made it worse.”
The OP found herself in financial trouble.
“Long story short, because of all that I only have around $35k available to me now, not to mention our debts.”
“With the amount available to me, I am looking at only being able to pay one month of a mortgage and upkeep, and then I’m basically out of luck until my business gets clients.”
“However, the place where we do have a significant amount of money is the fund my husband started for our daughter.”
“With the money there, I could prevent our credit cards from being shut down and not have to worry about the mortgage for many more months.”
“So I ended up liquidating my daughter’s college fund.”
“I told her about it today, and she was furious and said she cannot believe all her dad’s work is gone. She also said she won’t be supporting me for retirement.”
“AITA for trying to fix my mistakes and trying to keep our house?”
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 appalled by the number of financial mistakes the OP made.
“I feel horrible for the daughter. OP made some foolish financial decisions, squandered away seemingly well over a million dollars in four years, refused to listen to sound financial advice, made some poor investments, and then stole the daughter’s college fund, only letting her know after the fact.”
“Of course, OP is the AH. Sounds like they should probably go back and grovel to their late husband’s lawyer for help since they don’t have anything left to bail them out and seemingly have little to no financial literacy.”
“I am also curious if OP has worked at all over the last four years, what this new business venture OP has started is, and did they use their daughter’s money to fund this business. (I assume it is business since OP mentioned waiting on clients…)” – Electrical-Date-3951
“You made an extremely poor financial decision and disregarded those around you who were offering you more sound financial advice. Having a home near the beach doesn’t mean you need to move to Malibu, but I digress.”
“You are absolutely the AH here. You robbed your daughter of a chance to start her life off comfortably and took money that was never intended for you.”
“Sell this god-forsaken money pit of a home, get somewhere you can actually afford, and take a class in personal finance management.” – coastalkid92
“Why did you stop there!”
“You also decided to ignore your husband’s financial advice that houses there are ‘money pits,’ which clearly they are. You decided to then invest money yourself instead of going back, tail between your legs, to the lawyer/investor who built your husband’s portfolio in the first place.”
“You lost millions of dollars due to your own stupidity, recklessness, and greed, and now are taking from your daughter with no intent to pay back (if you had the intent to pay back, you could take from the bank or from other family).”
“And when YOU blow through her college fund, you will still be bankrupt and end up having to move back to your old city, in a smaller home, having used up all seven figures.”
“You made a series of insanely stupid, irrevocable decisions; your daughter, being 16, did not. She should not suffer any more for your stupidity at this point.”
“If you are in debt, you find a job that can support your current lifestyle or downgrade to a small condo, accept your loss, and let your husband’s last wish of securing his daughter’s debt-free education be maintained if nothing else.” – InfinMD2
“YTA. You have, at every turn, disregarded your husband’s wishes. And instead of knowing when to quit, you kept digging yourself deeper.”
“Time to make a grown-up decision and sell your house, get money back to the original attorney and refund your daughter’s education fund. This way, you are covered until you get your business up and going. The reality is you have set yourself up to not have any money left for your own retirement.” – Roadgoddess
“OP needs to sell the house. Put the money back in the college fund and get a small condo in Westlake Village (right down the road from Malibu).”
“Then get a fricken job!” – Hwats-In-A_Name
Others were especially upset about the OP not taking the lawyer’s calls.
“OP, just grow up? OP literally ghosted the attorney because they weren’t telling her what she wanted to hear…” – flmdicaljcket
“Have a few lawyers in my social circle. This is… extremely common.”
“From the sounds of it, emphasis on the word, extremely.”
“Client: ‘This is what we want to do.'”
“Lawyer: ‘That’s illegal, you’ll almost definitely be caught, it’s a waste of your time and money.'”
“Client: ‘Well, I want to do it.'”
“Lawyer: ‘I advise the exact opposite. Here is a list of reasons this is a terrible idea.'”
“Client: ‘God, this is why people hate lawyers. You don’t get it.'”
“This is a conversation I think I’ve heard complained about dozens of times at least, haha.”
“Why would someone hire a lawyer for legal advice and then completely fly in the face of it? H**l if I know.” – RiledAstaldo
“From being in Finance stuff, I feel that’s a common issue.”
“Accountant/Lawyer/Other Professional: ‘Please don’t do this. You literally pay me to be able to tell you not to be this dumb.'”
“Client: ‘What are you talking about? I’m a business owner/successful person/smart. I clearly know what I’m doing, and you are paid to agree with me and do the busy work.'” – JinFuu
“The sad part is this all could have been avoided if she’d listened to her husband’s final wishes: trust his lawyer.”
“Want a house in Malibu? Fine! I’m sure the lawyer could have given her a reasonable timeline to sell (likely not in the middle of a recession) and budget for a new house based on their savings and investments.”
“Instead, she made the worst possible decision at every turn, assuming she was that much smarter than everyone else.”
“Her poor late husband must be spinning in his grave like a rotisserie chicken on Christmas Eve.” – beingsydneycarton
“She has $35k, and that’s only enough for one month of mortgage/upkeep? Plus, she’s worried about her credit cards getting ‘shut down’ (?), so they must be maxed out.”
“Her husband obviously knew she was s**t at money management and tried to put up some guardrails and refer her to a lawyer he trusted, but she just decided to blow right through them.”
“Bye-bye, dream house. Bye-bye, OP’s relationship with her daughter.” – SuperDoofusParade
But most were heartbroken for the daughter and what this meant for her future.
“OP made a lot of extremely poor financial decisions, one after another after another. OP’s daughter shouldn’t just be angry about her college fund. She should be lining up another place to live for when they find themselves homeless because of OP’s stupidity.” – Veteris71
“‘Daughter was so excited so I did it anyway,’ my a**. OP latched onto that to justify her horrible decision. If it was up to the daughter’s full disclosure, she would’ve said f the beach house.”
“It wasn’t for her daughter, OP is incredibly selfish.” – Si0ra
“And stealing her daughter’s college fund is only going to help for a few more MONTHS.”
“She has no long-term goal and s**t seven figures away on an unnecessary home.”
“Moments like these make me hope there isn’t an afterlife because imagine if there is, and the husband had to watch his wife destroy their daughter’s life. Just. Wow.” – FreakingFae
“The selfishness of this woman.”
“She was handed everything on a silver platter and not only wasted it all, but she also took the college fund that her husband specifically left for their daughter and is going to entirely blow through it too in no more than a couple months, before she inevitably loses the house she can’t afford.”
“She blew through seven figures, while her daughter will be penniless by the time she turns 18.” – tripwire7
“I wish her husband had the foresight to put his daughter’s college fund in a trust that his wife couldn’t touch, but he probably didn’t think she was a thief. She STOLE this money from her child and compromised her future. She’s stunningly stupid and awful and STILL has to ask if she’s TA?! Wow.” – PsychologicalHalf422
The subReddit was disgusted by how the OP handled this situation, if for no other reason than that she had used her daughter’s future to bail herself out of her own mistakes.
But the worst thing about this was that the OP had taken herself and her daughter from a financially secure place, including her daughter’s childhood home, and placed them potentially in a life of ruin in under four years.