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Teen Sparks Drama After Refusing To Keep Giving Money To Her Sister Who Makes Minimum Wage

Tatna Maramygina/EyeEm/Getty Images

We would all like to be able to help our loved ones when money is tight.

But we have to put our own expenses first when we’re considering lending money to someone.

One young woman struggled with this balance on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor ThrowRAwantedmoney felt pressured to help for the sake of her family.

But when she was criticized for her choices, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she made the wrong decision.

She asked the sub: 

“AITA because I didn’t want to keep giving my sister money?” 

The OP recently got a better-paying job.

“I’m 19 [Female] and I recently started a new temporary job a few weeks ago that I love.”

“I finally heard back from this field trip instructor/teaching assistant job where I help at this school and they pay me and everybody $16/hour because of the travel and hard work.”

“I feel like I made the mistake of answering my sister (26 [Female]) when she asked how much I was making, and she’s been asking me for favors or wanting to be close lately.”

“Her boyfriend (27 [Male]) and her make minimum wage, which is a little above $8 per hour in our state.”

The OP felt pressured to give her sister money.

“So since money has been an issue for them, I guess that’s why she has been asking me for some in small amounts, but it piles up.”

“Like her $20 for groceries and $15 to buy takeout is going to pile up, and I’ve probably given $100.”

“It doesn’t bother me that much since I still have enough for savings, but I feel like all of a sudden my sister sees me as a moneymaker.”

The sister didn’t respond well when the OP tried to save money.

“So I tried to back away or spend less, but she caught on.”

“She called me the c-word and a b***h for turning my back on family now that I’m doing better than them.”

“It’s starting to get to me emotionally because she was never like this.”

“I know she’s not good with money either since she gives it to her boyfriend for spending so she doesn’t have much either.”

“AITA really because I’ve tried to put a stop to giving her money?”

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 said the OP shouldn’t feel responsible for her older sister.

“If she can’t afford groceries, she can’t afford takeout.”

“NTA.”

“She’s 26, OP is 19. If either sister should be helping the other out, it’s the other way around.”

“Older sister has had 8 years as an adult to get her s**t together, OP has had one. Continuing to support her is not supporting her – it’s just helping her avoid learning how to adult.”Fraerie

“NTA. It’s time to wean yourself off the idea that ‘faaaamily.'”

“You already got a taste of what will happen if you don’t establish boundaries, OP. Is this what you want for the rest of your natural life?”

“This is over $15-20. What happens when she needs $500 because she’s behind on her utilities? A couple of thousands because she got careless with a credit card?”

“She will b***h and moan regardless; you can only control how you let it affect you.”Noirceuil_182

“NTA. Just text her, ‘I love you and don’t want money to come between family. I no longer want to discuss money, pay for things, or loan money to anyone in the family. Please respect this boundary, so we can go back to a loving relationship.'”

“If she does anything but agree, then just say, ‘I’m really disappointed money is more important to you than our relationship. I’m going to take a step back from you, because this isn’t healthy for me.'”crystallz2000

Others pointed out that takeout is not a necessary expense. 

“Just blows my mind that when she asks for help she asks for money to buy takeout? Lmao. Sis, if you’re struggling, you can’t afford takeout.”

“Tough sh*t. She’s 26. Still not too late to learn how to save money.”Hermiona1

“NTA. You do not owe her a penny. Takeout? Takeout is a luxury. Why would you fund her luxury items?”Superfastmomma

“When you’re broke you cut out all luxuries until you get back on your feet. This especially includes takeout and also junk food.”

“And no, I’m not being high and mighty. I’ve been broke. Like I have $20 to feed 2 people for 2 weeks broke.”

“And the very first 2 things we cut from our budget were takeout, convenience foods, and junk. We ate a lot of eggs, potatoes, chicken, pasta, and rice. But we got through.”

“We made a game out of grocery shopping. I’d be like, ‘ok, I have $20, so we’d try to spend less than that.’ We’d try to spend less on the next pay (got paid every 2 weeks). If we spent $19 last time, we’d shoot for $18 this time.”

“We’d walk around the store with a tablet, pen, and calculator and wrote down everything in our cart and how much it cost. If it was over budget, I’d figure out what I could take out so that we’d make it.”

“It wasn’t easy and I’ll admit it wasn’t always super healthy, but at no time did I ever expect anyone to buy our food for us, let alone takeout. That’s ridiculous.”

“Now if you were like, ‘hey, why don’t you guys come over, I’ll order a pizza, and we can watch movies or play games, my treat,’ and they accept, there’s no problem with that.”

“But if your sister is like, ‘hey, we’re hungry, give me $20, so I can go to McDonald’s,’ my response would be, ‘nope, sorry, not gonna happen.'”

“That is your money, OP. You are earning it. You are not their personal ATM, and you are NTA. If they don’t like it, they can get a 2nd job to pay for their treats just as someone else suggested.”MsPeaces-2846

Some also pointed out how much the OP was actually spending in order to help out.

“How is OP supposed to save money if she keeps giving it to her sister after subtracting her own cost of living?”

“Sister is super entitled and needs to become self-sufficient if she wants those added benefits.”

“Either live within your means or get another job or a higher-paying job. Or research some government subsidies or other food programs.”hello_friendss

“OP, every 15-20 you give your sister is an hour of your hard work and time.”

“It is okay to help family. It is okay to decide not to help family.”

“You are NTA to refuse to give her money. It is not okay for your sister to expect help from you just because you make more money.”

“Nothing is stopping her from finding a second job, or looking for a better paying job, or asking for a raise.”abqbrie

“The keywords in your story are ‘temp job’ and ‘few weeks.’ You may be making more per hour for now, but you need to save for after the job is gone. She’s making less, but will still have her job when your income stops.”seamuswasadog

The subReddit was absolutely in agreement on this one that the OP was in no way obligated to help her sister, especially if she wanted to spend money on technically unnecessary items.

Money can do a very strange thing to people, especially when they catch wind that someone they know is making more money than they do. The subReddit hoped this wouldn’t have a lasting effect on their relationship.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.