Whether or not we tend to be responsible with our money, most of us will struggle to be totally responsible when we receive a large sum of money out of nowhere, like winning the lottery.
But not all money is “fun money” like what we might receive from the lottery, cautioned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
After getting injured at work, Redditor ThrowAANAN received a large sum of money for any current or future medical expenses.
Because he thought he had a lot of money left over, the Original Poster (OP) felt conflicted when his wife started telling him how to spend the rest of the money.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to give half the money I will give to my parents to my in-laws?”
The OP was recently injured at work and received compensation.
“Two years ago, I suffered an accident at work and recently reached an agreement with the company, it was a huge amount.”
“For example purposes, and to make it clear that these are not the real values, I received 100k.”
“I decided to divide it as follows: 30K for me, 30K for my wife, 25K for emergencies, and 15k for my parents.”
“I am the main breadwinner at home and my wife and I split the bills 25-75 (I don’t know if this is important).”
The OP’s wife did not agree with how he wanted to split the money.
“Well, my wife wants me to divide the money I’m going to give to my parents in half and share it with my in-laws, because it’s money that would help them too.”
“I refused, saying that this is money that is up to me to decide how to use it and that if she wants to help her parents, she is free to use hers as she wants.”
“To be clear, she and I are financially stable, childless and this money is not needed to pay our expenses, so it will be used for other things.”
“Her parents are also financially stable and my parents have absurd expenses because my father has several health problems, and basically, this money would cover a year or two of his medicines, they are struggling financially even with my help monthly.”
But the OP’s wife continued to pressure him.
“She said that this money should be a joint decision and that I was being selfish in deciding its destination without listening to her.”
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 advised the OP to be mindful of future medical bills.
“The settlement is for your future and benefit. Why are you giving the money away? Are you so sure you will have no lasting effects from your accident you may not need that money in the future?”
“You really should think about this as what it is and not just some short-term windfall. Do you REALLY think $25k is enough for emergencies? What happens if one of you becomes unemployed? If you need a new roof on your home? If you lose your medical insurance?”
“Very short-sighted of your wife and yourself.” – Odd-End-1405
“That is your money to compensate you for the trauma you suffered.”
“I don’t understand why you are giving it away. It’s not a lottery win. It is compensation.”
“What if your circumstances change? E.g. you could be sacked, or you could develop health problems either as a result of the accident or simply through aging. (Last applies to your wife as well.)”
“What if your wife blows her gift from you on luxury items, a new car, or new furniture and then develops a life-threatening illness?”
“What if you both require carers and live to a very grand age?”
“It is lovely that you can help your parents with their medication costs but do they need 15%?”
“NTA.” – Time-Tie-231
“NTA. What the f**k? You didn’t win the lottery, you were injured on the job. That money is intended for you and only you. How are you going to pay for your medical bills if this injury flares up again in the future?”
“Personally, I’d invest it and put it aside. Why do any of your relatives think they’re entitled to your injury settlement? Sheesh.” – schmoopser
“I’m sorry, but don’t be dumb. Why on earth are you splitting this money? This is for your health now and future. This was your accident, not your wife’s. She is not entitled to it and she’s also acting entitled. It’s def def def not her parents’ money.”
“I do understand you want to help your parents and you should. So buy your dad his medication. But that’s it. The rest you need to save or invest. Do the right thing for yourself!”
“If down the line your wife needs some money for her health, by all means, help her. But do not give her a chunk of it. Be smart! Good luck!” – Ritocas3
“NTA. This money is as a result of an injury that happened to you, not her, and covers both compensation for your loss/injury, as well as the cost of care (past and future). Your ILs have nothing to do with this. It’s not a windfall for them.”
“While your wife could provide input on how the money is divided/spent, this isn’t matrimonial money (until you mix it into your shared bank account).” – Snackinpenguin
“NTA. I don’t understand why you’re only putting 25k in an emergency fund… in the grand scheme of life, that’s not a ton. That part aside, money given to extended family should be based on need, not on ‘fair.'”
“They aren’t your children. You aren’t responsible for them. Your wife’s parents expecting just because they want money is asinine. No.” – BadLuckBirb
Others encouraged the OP to keep all of the money and invest it.
“I would advise you to keep it all. It’s kinda noble you want to share the big sum you got, but this money isn’t a lottery win. It’s money that is supposed to pay for current and future costs that come up because of your accident at work, be it physical or mental health, accommodating resulting disabilities, etc.”
“So unless you committed insurance fraud, you need the money for yourself, even if you can’t see it right now and you won’t get more money later on if your health declines later in life as a result of the work accident.” – _Katrinchen_
“NTA. But this isn’t the lottery, it’s an award for injuries received. Why are you handing this case out like it’s a gift? It’s not a gift. You should be saving it. It’s also odd that you specifically say you get some and your wife gets a separate amount.”
“It really seems like you should rethink all of this and save this cash for future health issues that could occur.” – TryingToBeLoved
“NTA. I assume this settlement was between you and the company, not you, your wife, and the company? If so, then you can split it up however you want.”
“Since it sounds like you and your spouse do not share money to start with, this would count as ‘your’ money. If you share finances as a married couple, then I’d say she has more of an argument about how it’s spent.” – Hot_Box_4574
“NTA, but as others have said, if you and your wife have separate finances and this is intended to help with your medical bills as a result of your workplace injury, I wouldn’t even share any with your wife.”
“Put that whole amount in your emergency fund, invest it in a CD (Certificate of Deposit) or something. If your parents are really struggling, they are the only ones who should benefit and you should make it clear this is a one-time windfall.” – dragon34
“NTA. If she wants her parents to get money, she can give them some of hers.”
“Did you remind her of your father’s medical costs? And point out how they actually NEED the money rather than how it would just be nice to have the money. Either way, your money, your choice.” – kurogabae
“NTA, but I wouldn’t give any funds away. If this was a work accident, then only give funds to people who helped you during your injury or illness to make them whole. It’s not a windfall, it is a settlement. I’d tuck that away for your medical expenses or to make up for the loss in wages.”
“If you mingle it with your spouse’s money, then those are community funds and they can do what they want with those funds. Put it into a separate account and transfer when your family needs it.” – elainegeorge
“Hey, have you heard of investment? It’s this thing where instead of spending money you save it towards the future. You could buy a house and put it up for rent, or buy indexed funds, and then you can use the money in the future. For example, you could retire earlier.”
“It’s great that you want to support your family. But you’re probably not helping anyone by giving your dad money. For some health issues, social medicare will first make sure you have no assets before they help you. So it may make more financial sense to not help them with medical needs for now, invest that money, ensure a suitable lifestyle, so medicare kicks in sooner.” – Accomplished-Yam7599
While the subReddit thought it was kind of the OP to want to give his wife money and to help out his family with their medical expenses, they encouraged the OP to keep the funds for himself instead, since there was no telling what expenses he would have in the future.
If his injury was severe enough to result in a settlement, then he likely would have some medical expenses that would need to be attended to and paid for at some point.