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Parent Called Out For Refusing To Use Young Daughter’s Savings To Help Pay For Stepson’s College


Some people are sadly far better at spending money than they are at saving it.

They often do this with the mindset that saving probably doesn’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Only to find themselves out of a job or on hard times, and with no money to fall back on.

The stepson of Redditor pefertig found himself in such a situation, when he could find the means to pay for his college tuition.

His father eventually came to a solution, but one the original poster (OP), flatly refused.

Wondering if they were being unsympathetic to their husband and his son, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**Hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not giving my 18 yo stepson my 4 yo daughter’s money?”

The OP first offered some insight on their familial situation, as well as their stepson’s recent good news, which posed something of a financial problem for the family.

“My husband and I have been together for seven years, married for five.”

“He has a son and a daughter from his previous marriage, 18 and 13, and we have a four-year-old daughter together.”

“Although we have some shared expenses, for the most part we keep our finances separate.”

“Custody is shared 50/50 between my husband and his ex regarding the older kids.”

“Long story short, my oldest stepson graduated a couple weeks ago.”

“He’s only ever wanted to go to one school which happens to be a very specialized and hence very expensive university out of state.”

“He applied, was accepted, and got a decent but not phenomenal scholarship from the school itself.”

“Meanwhile, my husband has been encouraging him to look into additional scholarships and potentially ROTC or Air National Guard to help with the remainder of expenses.”

“My husband’s company went under a couple of years ago and he is just beginning to recover financially so paying out out of pocket for his son’s tuition is simply not an option.”

The OP’s stepson also didn’t seem to be willing to help when it came to paying for his tuition.

“Unfortunately for Stepson, his focus here lately has been on his new girlfriend and not his academics and scholarships, and unfortunately he’s decided his dad is an idiot when it comes to scholarships and military service and that he’ll figure it out on his own.”

“All fine and good except for the fact that he hasn’t figured it out on his own, and sometime here in the next several months the University he wants to attend is asking for roughly $25,000 in tuition money.”

“After dodging financial conversations and scholarship conversations with my husband for the past six or seven months, he finally came out and asked his dad how he was going to be paying for the tuition because the school is starting to ask for deposits etc.”

“Husband ‘broke it’ to him that there is no college fund set aside.”

“Apparently BioMom has been telling him there was.”

“I have no idea where she got that idea.”

“Now the whole family is up in arms that my stepson may not be able to go to the school of his choice.”

The OP’s husband thought he found a solution to solve his son’s problem, but the OP was vehemently against this solution.

“Now it’s come up that our four-year-old has a college fund and investment account, because on my computer there is literally a folder on the desktop that has the investment links and logins and paperwork organized.”

“Right now it has about $8000 in it, all of it from me personally depositing money and all of the little cash gifts my daughter receives for Christmas and birthdays etc.”

“Because of how badly this whole tuition and university situation has exploded, my husband now thinks we should pay for my stepson’s stuff with my daughter’s money and he will pay me back.”

“The problem is, I’ve already given my husband a pile of money for other things and I’ve never gotten it back so I said no.”

“Am I the a**hole for ruining my stepson’s university opportunity?”

“Everyone else seems to think so but I seem to think this should have been talked about and dealt with a long time ago.”

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 – Everybody Sucks Here

The Reddit community was firmly in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to use their daughter’s savings to pay for their stepson’s tuition.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s husband and son dug their own graves in this instance, and the fact that the OP’s husband still hadn’t paid back previous loans was all the more reason not to give him the money.


“Protect that money at all costs.”

“Change whatever passwords you need to, call the bank and ensure that you’re the only one who can access it.”- BuildABeaver


“You said yourself your husband has never paid you back.”

“His ex is equally responsible for helping her son get to college.”- Willing-Survey7448


“You have given your husband a lot of money that he never paid back.”

“There is your answer, if you give this money over you will never see it again.”

“Your husband hasn’t sorted out the college fund for his older children why would you trust him to be responsible for your daughters college fund.”

“$8K is also not enough to make a significant difference in a college that is that expensive so you would be just delaying the inevitable.”

“Son will need to get student loans or reconsider other options.”

“Maybe defer for a year.”

“Your husband has not been honest with his son about the lack of funds and should have been.”

“He would have been more likely to knuckle down if he knew he needed to.”

“Keep your finances separate and make sure your daughter investment fund can not be emptied by your husband.”

“The other child is 13 there is still time to heavily encourage your husband to put money away for her and be clear with her what the situation is.”- Whitestaunton

“NTA Your husband, his ex, and their son got themselves into this mess through their own laziness, inaction, and plain stupidity and they need to figure it out.”

“It’s not like they didn’t know for 18 years they’d probably need a plan for college.”

“Do not let them anywhere near your daughter’s money.”- DerpDevilDD.

“You did not ruin anything.”

“If he really wanted to go to a certain college, it was on him to at least do the best he could and get a better scholarship, and it was on his parents to put away money for him.”

“You know, like you’ve been doing for your daughter.”

“Also, someone who focused on the girlfriend rather than school, what’s to prevent him from doing the same thing in college?”

“And also, $8000 is a nice amount but it’s about 30% of what he needs right now.”

“Where’s he going to get the rest?”

“NTA.”- Princess-She-ra


“I know your daughter doesn’t need the money for a few years, but you can’t risk it because you have prior experience of lending your husband money which he didn’t pay back.”

“Nor does it sound like your stepson is doing everything he can, instead it sounds like he’s sitting back and waiting for other people to solve his problem, which is not going to serve him well.”

“Actually, you’re doing him a favor by refusing!”- Extension-Curve-353

“NTA If your stepson can not get a loan he can defer acceptance for a year, work and figure out the finances for his college education.”

“Any miscommunication between your stepson and his parents is not your fault and it certainly has nothing to do with your four year old daughter.”- laude_nam

“Obviously NTA.”

“Your stepson is the one who is interested in going, he should have looked for additional scholarships or extra income.”

“That is your daughter’s college fund, funded with your money, no one else has a say on it and I would make sure to delete the info from the computer, change ALL passwords and login info RIGHT NOW, and hide it somewhere else.”

“Clearly you can’t trust your husband or anyone else who snooped on your computer.”- Huntokar_Goddess.


“If husband had a better track record of repayment, it’d be a different discussion.”

“If you give Stepson that money, you’ll never have it for your daughter.”- IllustriousPomelo152


“That money belongs to your daughter, not you.”

“You’ve been putting your daughter’s birthday & Christmas money in that account.”

“She shouldn’t have to give that up.”

“Your husband has discussed options your stepson has to help pay for college, and he’s chosen to ignore the situation and just assume someone else would pick up the tab.”

“That person should not be a 4-year-old child.”-Hemenucha

Seeing the track record of OP’s husband and stepson when it comes to money, it’s easy to understand their hesitancy in lending them any further money.

Here’s hoping the stepson can find a way to pay for college, and hopefully won’t take money for granted going forward.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.