Money is such a taboo topic. But, it is in our best interest to be up front about our financial situation and salaries.
Redditor Dear-Bag-3117 encountered this very issue with their roommate. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for telling my roommate that her parents are wealthy?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“This happened before campus closed but we usually get along. We are good friends and we talk a lot. This is the only fight we have gotten into.”
“We were talking about college tuition and it is pretty expensive. I have scholarship and my parents are helping out and I will still end up some debt.”
“I was complaining about tuition and expenses. She agreed with me but said her parents paid for everything and the probably saved up for it.”
“I agreed and we dropped the subject but she again brought it up later. She said a middle class family could probably save up for college and I said it was unlikely because of how expensive it is, she said her parents also had saved up enough for her sister’s education and she graduated from a private college.”
“I told her that was a lot of money and my parents had great jobs and even they were struggling. She got pretty defensive and said I was just exaggerating. I told her that I would give her actual figures and she agreed it to.”
Money is a sensitive subject.
“I did the research and sent her the link.”
“Her parents probably paid over 400K in tuition fees for both of them and I also pulled up median net worth and income in her stated and presented it to her.”
“She was shocked and I honestly think she didn’t realize how expensive it is. She went on about how her parents raised them in a middle class area and they didn’t have luxuries or anything.”
“She didn’t even know how much the tuition was. She also said her parents didn’t get any inheritance.”
“She didn’t talk to me and was really out of it before she left for Christmas. She is very upsets and we always spent all our free time together but she ignored me for two days.”
“I talked to my mom about what happened and she thinks I shouldn’t have stuck my nose in her business and It is pretty rude to openly talk about money like I did.”
“I have never seen her this upset before and she seemed really stressed out.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. This conversation, as presented seemed very cordial. Maybe she is embarrassed she was so ignorant on the costs.” ~ JuiceEdawg
“It was cordial, we talk about everything and we have disagreed on things before but she never had such a reaction.” ~ Dear-Bag-3117
“She’s probably in shock that she didn’t know how good she really had it. I applaud her parents. More people don’t know how bad their situation is, not the reverse. But, not knowing enough about money and the cost of things is something that she does need education on, unless her parents are going to continue paying for her through life, that’s where they did her a disservice.”
“I think your mom might be a little of TA though, but only a little. It’s a generational thing, I think, for people to think it’s rude to talk about money. But it’s a thing that has caused the current economic state we are in, from generations of people not talking about how money works, how to save, how to spend, how not to get into debt… and if we go into the current worker’s climate, then we can add how much people are making.”
“With bosses being able to encourage employees not to discuss their salaries with one another, they are able to hide that they are paying people less than they are worth. I just don’t think it’s worth the end results to keep the culture of not discussing money and financial state up.” ~ elvaholt
Let’s normalize talking about money.
“I just want to point out that while what you said no doubt happens, federal labor law protects the right of workers to discus their salary in the US, per the National Labor Relations Act.” ~ redrosebeetle
“Uh, I went to a private liberal arts university and it was shockingly common for students to have no idea how much things cost, any sense of the value of money, or act idea of how well-off they were.”
“Example 1: neither of my suitemates knew how their $40k/year tuition bill was being paid. Like, didn’t know if they had grants, hadn’t looked at their financial aid placket except to sign after their parents had filled it out. Had no idea how much it was costing the parents out of pocket.”
“Example 2: a friend one time was short $50 for something she genuinely needed (a book? Something for a trip? Don’t remember.) She was super stressed and I suggested she just call her parents and ask. She said $50 was a lot of money and she didn’t want to financially stress them out if they couldn’t afford it. Her parents were paying her entire $40k tuition (minus $12k scholarships), regularly took international/Caribbean vacations, stayed in an incredibly nice BnB when they visited, bought her $2k+ gifts regularly, and her mom didn’t work. She had no problem asking them to pay for plane tickets/vacations, etc because she had no idea how much they cost. But she legitimately thought that asking them for $50 for something she needed might strain their budget.”
“Example 3: another friend told me that her family was facing significant financial stress one year because of a business thing. They later went on two international vacations that year; one was to Europe. She didn’t see the irony in that (they thankfully were not secretly in debt; their accountant had acted badly and they lost some money but not enough to have a lasting impact.)”
“Example 4: a friend claimed her mother was ‘overreacting’ because mom has found out her dad had been hiding $20k/year for over a decade. Mom nearly filed for divorce and friend got annoyed because ‘it was just money and not THAT much money.'”
“Honestly, it was insane the number of students in my college who had no clue about money whatsoever. The ones from a genuinely middle or lower class background were typically much more informed about finances than the upper or upper middle class ones.” ~ Honeycrispcombe
Let’s open up about money.