An unfortunate fact of life for all of us is that sometimes, our financial situations change.
When they do, we might have to readjust our priorities and spending habits to make our new situation work, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
That was exactly what Redditor Olivia_Sofia realized when her parents would no longer be funding her college education.
But when the Original Poster (OP) decided not to go on a trip so she could afford her school expenses, her parents were livid for not putting their trip needs first.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for canceling my family trip last-minute?”
The OP had a financial arrangement with her parents for her college expenses.
“I (22 Female) have a very big family. I have 3 step-siblings and 4 half-siblings. I am one of the older ones.”
“I go to medical school and moved out 2 years ago. Since my parents (mother and stepfather) have so many kids to take care of, they aren’t able to help me out financially as much.”
“They do pay for my education (which is about 3k per year) just like they do for the other kids.”
“I have a job and use student loans to pay for all of my expenses.”
The OP planned on discontinuing her student loans in the next year.
“Due to the pandemic and other reasons, the kids that go to college (4 of us in total, including me) have some delays.”
“So next year, I still have to finish and pass 3 classes. This isn’t a lot, so I am planning on working extra shifts, and maybe I’ll go on a trip or something like that.”
“The other kids in college have more classes to do next year, so they aren’t able to do these things.”
“I was planning on using the extra money that I am going to make due to working extra shifts for all of my expenses so that don’t need to use student loans anymore.”
Then the OP’s parents changed their financial arrangements with her.
“When I told my parents about my plans for the upcoming school year, they suggested that I pay for my own education now since I am going to be working a lot more.”
“I personally find this quite unfair since they’re still paying for everybody else’s education.”
“So just because I passed more classes than my siblings, I’m getting their financial help taken away?”
“When I said this to them, they disagreed and said that I ‘just need to set different priorities next year.'”
“I was quite upset but decided to let it go since it’s their money at the end of the day.”
When a family trip came into the picture, the OP decided to do what her parents said.
“So this summer, we are going on a family trip. My parents are paying for everything, but they asked the kids above 18 to pay for half of their plane tickets, which is about 200 euros ($204 USD).”
“I was totally fine with this, but once my parents decided to not financially support me anymore, I decided to not come along.”
“I wasn’t very excited about this trip in the first place, but I still decided to go because I didn’t want to disappoint my parents and siblings.”
“But now that they’ve said that ‘just need to set different priorities next year,’ that’s exactly what I am going to do.”
“Those 200 euros can cover my books for the next semester.”
“When I told them I wasn’t coming anymore, they were furious, because ‘I was going to ruin our last family trip together [before everyone grows up and moves out], etc.’”
“My siblings are divided on the matter.”
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 pointed out the OP was listening and adapting her priorities to focus on school.
“NTA. You set your priorities as they asked. Stick with them.” – BluetoYou21
“NTA. They want you to be more responsible with your money, so you are. You have decided to save that money and put it toward your semester. Makes sense to me.” – Emotional_Fan_7011
“NTA. Your parents told you to set different priorities, so you took their advice.”
“If your going on this vacation is so important to them, they could offer to pay for your tickets or pay for your textbooks, so you can continue to take their advice.”
“Is it really your fault if they don’t like that you’re doing what they told you to do?” – Charlie_Parkers_Mood
“Your parents just got to love it when they say things and it bites them in the a**.”
“You’ve done nothing wrong by canceling your attendance on the trip. You’re doing exactly what your parents asked of you in getting your priorities straight. What did they expect to happen when telling you to save for the next year?” – Kqhbabies
“You are a working med student, and you aren’t made of money! And you are completely right, €200 can pay for your books or other school supplies.”
“Prioritize your education. Your family will still be your family after this school year. Your family won’t suddenly disappear right after this vacation. Your parents are completely overreacting.” – SeverallyLiable
“NTA. It’s not about which siblings get what, or getting back at your parents.”
“You’re a med student, you work, you’re on a tight budget, and you have limited free time. A vacation just isn’t feasible right now.”
“Best of luck with school, and take care.” – rotatingruhnama
“NTA. They are paying for that many people to go on a trip, but cut you off from $3k for the year? Your priorities are exactly where they belong.” – holisarcasm
“When OP becomes a doctor, and if afterward, his family starts asking for some cash, he should just tell them it sounds like they need to adjust their priorities, lol (laughing out loud).”
“NTA.” – haveYouLookedIntoIt
Others pointed out the parents couldn’t change what “benefitted” them all of the time.
“NTA. When it ‘benefitted’ the parents not to pay, it was ‘setting priorities.'”
“When it is the parents not getting their way, it is time to ‘lay on guilt’ about the person ‘setting their own priorities.'”
“You can’t have it both ways.” – IgnotusPeverill
“Point out to your parents that they save some money, too: the money they would have spent on their half of your plane tickets (and probably other stuff).”
“They can change their priorities and put it toward your siblings’ education.” – Sea-Confection-2627
“NTA. Parents want to have their cake and eat it.”
“They want you to pay your own way and also pay for stuff they want.”
“You’re still a student. With a limited budget.”
“They want you on their family trip, they can pay.”
“They’re getting exactly what they asked for.” – Bruiscear
“You should say, ‘You withdrew my financial aid and told me to set different priorities. I am prioritizing my education and financial future over a family holiday, and also, I can’t afford to go on the family holiday as I now have to work extra to make up for the loss of the financial aid. Do enjoy the family holiday, though, as the others still have their financial aid, I am sure they will be able to go and enjoy it.'” – Status-Pattern7539
“NTA. Your parents can’t have it both ways. They either financially support you for the college expenses like they do everyone else, or they can’t make decisions that include spending your money, i.e. family vacation.”
“If they want you to go, they need to cover all your expenses. It’s unfair to demand you spend your money to go on a family vacation and then also tell you to take on additional education costs.”
“It’s very smart of you to save that 200 euros. Books are a much better use of those funds.” – voluntold9276
“NTA. When I went to university, my dad told me he wasn’t going to pay a penny towards it, and so I knew that I would need the £2000 I had saved towards stuff for university and bills.”
“He was booking a holiday for everyone for two weeks (I would only have gotten 10 hours holiday pay during that time) and told me it would cost me £1500 to go on holiday because I wasn’t allowed to stay on my own.”
“In the end, he let me stay home.” – Violet351
“NTA. It never bodes well for a large family not to treat all children the same. If your parents are tight on funds to pay for college, that burden should be distributed equally between all children currently attending college.”
“I hope you will take the time to have a heart-to-heart conversation and let them know how their actions are affecting you emotionally and monetarily. ie Mom and Step-dad, when you single me out to be the only child that you don’t help with tuition, it makes me feel (insert your feelings here).”
“Be completely honest with them and use examples that they would understand. If your Mom likes sports, give her a sports analogy. Use imagery that they understand.”
“Hopefully, they will be able to do a paradigm shift and understand your point of view. Try also to do the same for them. Good Luck!” – unapt2do4u
The subReddit was frustrated on the OP’s behalf and completely understood why she wasn’t planning to go on the trip, and why she wasn’t that excited about going, to begin with.
The feeling of being the only child who isn’t financially supported in some way certainly can’t be a good feeling, and for the parents to then feign ignorance and assume she can afford the trip without any financial assistance, that combination wouldn’t make anyone feel like a priority to their family.