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Teen Balks After His Stepdad Demands He Put 95 Percent Of His Paycheck Toward Rent

Ben Collins/Unsplash

As children grow older, it becomes more and more important to teach them the importance of being independent and earning their way through life.

As a result, teenagers will often find themselves getting part-time jobs and no longer getting handouts from their parents.

All leading up to the moment when they eventually move out of their childhood homes.

Redditor throwawaybeardAITA was working very hard to save enough to finally move out into his own apartment.

But things hit a bump in the road when his stepfather made a rather surprising demand regarding his finances.

Finding this demand completely out of line, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not wanting to pay as much rent as my stepdad wants me to?”

The OP first shed some light on his family’s financial situation and his contributions towards helping out.

“I (18 m[ale]) just turned 18.”

“My stepdad is saying I should be paying rent now.”

“Now, before I go any further, I want to explain the financial situation in my household.”

“My stepdad has a job, and my mom used to work.”

“I got my job when I turned 16 and started saving.”

“Shortly after I got my job (I was still 16), my mom lost hers.”

“Money got tight so I started putting 45% of my paycheck towards food and bills, saving 50% and spending 5% or less on myself.”

“If I didn’t spend the full 5%, I’d put it with the rest of my savings.”

“I need to wait around 6-8 months, saving 50% of my paycheck, then I think I’ll have enough to move out.”

But upon reaching his 18th birthday, the OP’s stepfather decided his financial contributions were insufficient and made a rather surprising declaration as to how things needed to change.

“Now that I turned 18, my mom and stepdad want me to pay rent.”

“I thought it was an OK idea, so I said, ‘OK, I’ll pay [50% of my paycheck]’.”

“My thinking was that I’d pay 50% and save 50%.”

“My stepdad said, ‘no, you have to pay [95%]’.”

“I said, ‘I’m already paying you [45% of my paycheck], just let me pay [50%]’.”

“And he said, ‘what you’re paying now doesn’t count as rent, that’s just help’.”

“That was the dumbest logic I’ve heard, so I decided to use it to my advantage.”

“I told him, ‘I’ll be paying you [50%] for rent’.”

“Like you said before, the other [45%] was just help, and you don’t need that now that I’m paying rent’, and I walked away.”

The OP shared how this demand from his stepdad would badly postpone his moving out of the house, something he expressed couldn’t happen soon enough.

“I don’t want to pay 95% of my paycheck because then I’d have to wait way longer than 8 months to move out.”

“And its becoming unbearable living with my stepdad because he wants me to shave my beard but, I’m refusing, so tensions are high.”

“I know I’m going to have to pay more than what I want to now, but I’m still in school, and I can’t work full-time.”

“I’m only working 25 hours a week, but I can’t afford to work more because of school and homework.”

“I guess he talked to my mom because she called me an a**shole and said I was being selfish for not helping out more.”

“AITA for not wanting to pay as much as my stepdad wants?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed the OP was not the a**hole in refusing to pay his stepfather’s demand for rent.

Just about everyone agreed with the OP his stepfather’s demands were illogical to the point of ludicrous and he and the OP’s mother were clearly taking advantage of him.


“Real rent doesn’t work like that.”

“A landlord doesn’t tell you they need 95% of your check.”

“When I turned 18 I paid $500 a month for rent, I paid for my own phone and internet.”

“I also bought my own groceries.”-Dehydrated-Merkin.


“Expecting you to pay 95% of your paycheck monthly towards rent, food and bills is pretty excessive and pretty much guarantees that you’ll never be able to save enough money to move out on your own.”

“If at all possible, I’d heavily consider just moving out now.”

“Depending on how much you’re actually making, I’d be willing to bet it’ll end up being cheaper in the long run.”-sahdbhoigh.


“They are taking advantage of you.”

“So what is your mother doing?”

“She lost her job two years ago.”

“Why hasn’t she gotten another one or does she expect YOU to support her?”

“You are 18, an adult.”

“Your stepfather doesn’t get to force you to shave your beard.”

“Your body, your rules.”

“He also does not get to force you to pay over 95% of your pay.”

“That is totally ridiculous.”

“Stand your ground!”- patjames904.


“Petty-me would stop paying anything, no bills, no groceries, nothing.”

“I also would not give them any cash.”

“Only money transfers with the clearly stated purpose ‘rent june 2022, water bill share august 2022’ etc…”

“I could be wrong, but this establishes tenancy rights so they can’t kick you out of the house without given proper notice.”

“It maybe prohibits your parents to claim you as a dependent on their taxes next year.”

“Cherry on top?”

“If they are ‘lucky’, it counts as income they have to pay taxes for.”

“Get a P.O. Box, go to a bank neither you nor your parents use, open a new account and let them send everything to the P.O. Box.”

“This way they are not able to get hold of/interfere with your bank statements, credit card, login information.”

“Why a new bank?”

“Because there are enough criminally stupid helpful bank people out there who wouldn’t think twice to let mom gain access to your new account.”

“‘Look, I’m OP’s mom, here is the old account at your bank, here is his new account at your bank’.”

“‘He forgot to put me on it’.”

“‘Kids these days, so scatterbrained, can you please put me on it without him noticing that he forgot to do it?'”

“‘I don’t want to embarrass him, thankeeeee,’ and she drains your savings.”

“If possible withdraw the money in cash from the old bank and deposit it in cash in the new one.”

“Make sure that there is no connection between these two if your ‘parents’ have any kind of access to your old account, be it that they read your bank statements, have any kind of online access or are on the account itself.”

“Oh, and if you are paying rent, be aware that you are a tenant, not a family member anymore.”

“‘We go out for xyz, you have to clean/do/repair bla bla bla’.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Show me the lease where you have to scrub the landlords own bathroom, vacuum their bedroom, do their laundry, paint their basement.”

“Petty and a**hole-ish? yep, that’s me.”-Tessa_Kamoda.


“I am so sorry this is happening to you when you are trying to go to school.”

“Is there anyone you can stay with: a grandparent, a friend, your dad?”

“Is there a counselor at school you can talk to?”

“This situation sounds really bad.”

“I am sorry your mom is not standing up for you.”

“That’s so sad.”

“I can’t imagine that you’ll ever find peace with your stepfather.”

“He’s a completely unreasonable AH.”

“I hope you find a safe place to land.”-AngryWriterGrr.


“I can see making an adult child pay rent if they’re a bum.”

“But someone still in school who has a job and helps out and just turned 18 seems like a purely joyful a**hole move versus a ‘teaching you about the real world’ move.”

“Also, mom can get a damn job if they’re that hard up and she hasn’t worked in over a year.”-  2aAllDay9556.


“Tell him no.”

“You are already paying 45% of your paycheck as rent.”

“He can say all he wants, but what he is not saying is that he needs you more than you need him.”

“You have the power in this situation.”

“What’s he going to do?”

“Kick you out?”

“Sure that would be inconvenient for you but its likely you’ll find a place to crash temporarily.”

“Your mom and stepdad on the other hand would be destroyed financially by that.”

“So no.”

“Don’t give them a single cent more.”-YanceyWoodchuck.

“NTA Never accept an unfair deal because someone says you owe them.”

“Never accept unreasonable offers.”

“Never accept offers by those unwilling to negotiate in both part⁸y’s interests.”- Jedi_Lazlo.

“I think they’re doing this to prevent you from moving out.”

“They’ve gotten used to relying on your money so when u move out they’ll have to pay everything.” 

“Do not hand over 95% of your paycheck.”

“Freedom is within reach.”

“Don’t let them take it away from you.”

“And your mom is a hypocrite since she’s not even working anymore yet she says you’re selfish.”

“NTA.” -U88UU

Many parents who were struggling fi8Ina87ncial87ly would find themselves lucky to the point of blessed to have a son willing to contribute a significant portion of their paycheck towards helping out.

It sounds like the sooner the OP can move out and find his own place, the better.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.