Family is there to help whenever we need, but we should also pay them back for their help however we can.
Especially, if they are helping us by loaning money.
Redditor FlourInTheGravy encountered this very issue with his family. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for calling out a family on social media for showing off their fancy purchases, when they owe me money?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I’m 50 and work as an engineer. Straight middle management; not too ambitious.”
“Decent salary, nothing spectacular. Have a wife (SAHM) and one son, we put him through school, now my wife sells homemade scarves on Etsy.”
“Middle class. We have a small, two bedroom house we still make payments on. Son (25) is now a middle school math teacher.”
“My older sister (54) and her common-law husband (my age) have a 22 year old daughter who went to school for a degree in music. My sister works at the DMV, her husband is pensioned from the Coast Guard and now retired.”
OP’s sister asked for a favor.
“Toward niece’s last year of school, her parents had financial problems. Sister asked to borrow some money to pay daughter’s last year of tuition, several thousands of dollars.”
“I talked it over with my wife and though we’re not rich, we want to help. We knew the unwritten rule: if you ‘loan’ money to family, pretty much say goodbye to the money.”
“Sister thanked me, took the money, swore she’d pay it back, yadda yadda yadda.”
Fast forward a few years.
“That was two years ago. Daughter graduated, but moved back home, still works at the mall.”
“It’s okay, she’s young.”
“What isn’t okay is my sister and her husband posted photos all over Instagram and Facebook about their European vacation, their new Range Rover, all kinds of random stuff.”
“My wife and I always wanted to go to Europe, and we will when I retire.”
OP was trying to ignore it.
“I was going to let it go, but my sister kept bragging on social media about how she made good investments, her husband is retired and living the life, etc…”
“My sister and I communicate most conveniently just on Facebook.”
“Maybe it was passive aggressive and mean, but under a photo of her and her husband beneath Eiffel Tower, I posted ‘You’re so lucky! Wife and me will go there someday after the house is paid and we take care of other debts’.”
“Sister private messaged me and accused me of trying to ‘shame her’ on social media.”
“I replied why, do you have something to be ashamed of?”
“I had already written the debt off in my mind, but at the same time I thought it was tacky for her to wealth-flex when she knows she borrowed $9,000 from her brother who has his own family to worry about.”
OP didn’t mean to offend her.
“And I didn’t even say anything too mean, like, ‘Oh, look, why are you spending money when you owe ME money?’ Or something d*ckish like that.”
“In fact, many people in our family and mutual friends/acquaintances ‘liked’ or ‘hearted’ my comment, so even if I felt kind of petty when posting it, it didn’t read like an accusation.”
“Sister still thinks I was being tacky and sent me a text saying so, saying how her daughter hasn’t even found a job yet, it’s her daughter’s debt, etc…”
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
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. You didn’t directly call her out. And she’s wrong. If SHE borrowed the money, SHE owes you, not the your niece.” ~ princessnary
“I really don’t understand. How can some people be like that? If I ever borrow anything, I just want to return/repay it as fast as possible. And that’s a lot of money too!” ~ Miraster
“Not only that, BRAGGING about how good with money she is!! ‘Good investments’ and saving and such! Ma’am!” ~ Kathrynlena
“NTA. You made the exact comment I would have made. Only the people who know about the ‘loan’ will even know what’s being said.” ~ id10t_you
Redditors argued some people are bad at handling money.
“I’ve never met anyone that bragged about being good with money that actually was good with money. I would bet that OP’s sister has huge loan on that car.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if a large portion of the vacation is still on her credit card.”
“OP is of course NTA. His sister and her husband are huge AHs.”
“When you borrow money you pay it back. Anyone that brags about anything is an AH. In this situation doubly so.” ~ unusedusername3
“You should meet my ex wife. She started a small business and despite the accountant’s advice, did specifically what he told her never to do, and got herself into a $10K hole.”
“That screwed us financially so I asked my parents to help and they gave her the money.”
“They knew they’d never see it again so it was a gift but she swore black and blue that she’d pay them back one day. Not only did that never happen, but a few years later when the marriage ended (largely over money) she got all bitter about them saying they never did anything to help us.”
“I can’t believe I married someone with an attitude like that. Love truly is blind.” ~ A_Fluffy_Duckling
“I don’t get it either! My dad and step-mom just loaned me a couple thousand to help with a move so that I could leave a toxic job that was far from family and start again in my home state just 2 hrs from home.”
“Before they sent the money, I wrote up and presented them with a payment plan showing how I was going to pay them back.”
“They assured me I could take twice as long as I wrote out, (6months) but I wrote this up, I can’t imagine borrowing with no timetable of repaying.” ~ PracticalLady18
Borrowing money from family comes with expectations and usually disappointment.