There’s a truth universally known that the two subjects that will often hurt relationships are money and intimacy.
Money can also be hugely trying for families, especially when there’s an important event coming up like a wedding or paying for college, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
The Redditor, who has since deleted her account, went off to college and got a good job, which set her up well financially but strained her relationship with her family.
When her sister demanded she help her with her wedding expenses, the Original Poster (OP) was unceremoniously uninvited from the wedding when she said no.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not putting my sister’s wedding expenses on my credit card and humiliating her?”
The OP had a problematic monetary relationship with her family.
“I (27 Female) was the only person in my family to go to college and get out of poverty. My family is from a small town, and we struggled a lot growing up.”
“I got out, but it’s hard because I make a good salary now, and my family expects me to share it. I still have student loans and bills to pay, but they seem to think I’m rolling in money.”
“I also bought an apartment in 2019, and when my parents found out, they called me selfish and wanted me to pay for their expenses.”
“I have loaned money to my parents (about $800), and they ‘forgot’ they borrowed money and claimed I forgot that I gave it as a gift and said they didn’t need to repay.”
The OP’s sister was recently struggling with her wedding day expenses.
“My sister and I use to have a good relationship, but once I left for college and did better, our relationship got more strained.”
“She got married, and I came back a few days before the wedding to help her set everything up.”
“We went to the grocery store, and she bought $1700 worth of groceries as we were cooking it for the wedding.”
“Her card was denied, and she tried a few, but they were all denied. We stepped aside, and she called the credit card company to find out she nearly maxed out her cards. She started to panic and checked her accounts and found out she has $200 left in her checking.”
“I told her to check her savings, and she snapped back that she didn’t have any.”
The OP’s sister and mother expected her to assist with her sister’s expenses.
“Our mom checked her card and still had $600, so she said she would cover $600 and volunteered me for the other $1100.”
“I told them I didn’t have the money. I did, but I don’t think my sister would have the money to pay me back.”
“My sister demanded to see proof that I had maxed out my credit cards and I didn’t have any money in my checking.”
“I told her I don’t have to give her proof; I just don’t have the money.”
The OP’s sister lashed out at her.
“She started crying and yelling at me that I was looking down on her for being broke, and she knew I had the money and that I was just being stingy.”
“My mom started on me, too, telling me that people are staring, and people are going to gossip about this, and I was humiliating my sister for making it seem like she couldn’t even afford her own wedding.”
“I had enough and walked out and told them I’d had it with them expecting me to pay for everything.”
“I walked back to my parent’s house, and my sister sent me a text saying I was no longer welcome to the wedding.”
“I drove home without another word, and I’m wondering if I should have just put the groceries on my card to keep the peace.”
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 reassured the OP that she didn’t owe her family the money she had earned.
“I’m still in awe at $1700 worth of groceries. That sounds like a feast!”
“NTA, OP. I’ve discovered that people who never really had money don’t understand that you can’t just spend willy-nilly when you’re in a better financial situation. You still have to pay for housing, food, bills, insurance, savings, etc: you may do well now, but you need a safety net should anything happen and you can’t work.”
“You don’t owe your family anything. There is always a way out of a bad financial situation if you’re willing to research and do the work.” – IndependentRace5
“I am also under the impression that in the family, anyone will pay for the others if they can.”
“For instance, the parents don’t want to give the $800 back, but they did immediately pay the $600 for the sister, even if it maxes out their credit card. This kind of solidarity is common among people who have little, and most of us lose it once we start being able to care for ourselves.”
“Now with such a revenue imbalance, OP would literally have to pay for everything and would end up in debt again. Which, she can’t because she learned something her family hasn’t: managing a budget.”
“Neither to say, credit cards aren’t money we have. It’s money we can borrow. So she didn’t lie when she said I don’t have the money.”
“NTA, but maybe offer to participate for a lesser amount if you want to help anyway.” – Cuuldurach
“Not to be rude, but my weekly groceries for two people are 200 (this is all homemade, non-organic, and cheap crap, maybe 15$ dedicated to snacks). Let’s be generous and say 10$ a person per meal. If it’s a wedding, it’s kind of fair to maybe do 20$ for nice sides and salads and stuff since produce got expensive as h**l.”
“That is an 85-person wedding WITHOUT alcohol. Then consider how expensive booze is, and yeah I can see this for maybe a 40- or 35-person wedding, including bride and groom.”
“Stilt NTA though, your money is not their savings account.” – ArchimedesTheOne
“This is complete bulls**t. Nobody with $200 remaining on their almost-maxed-out cards actually thought they had $2k available. The entire plan all along was to guilt OP into paying.”
“Separately, OP: I’m the one in my family with money. Draw these lines early, and hold them hard. Otherwise, there will be an endless parade of id**ts digging themselves holes that they want to use your money to bail them out of.”
“Until you’re a billionaire, you can always spend it faster than you can make it. Or in this case, they will spend it faster than you can make it.” – xasdfxx
“I don’t know, usually those that struggle through poverty are the ones that should understand what money is worth. It just sounds to me like both parents and sister are irresponsible, immature, and unable to take personal responsibility for their own lives.”
“That spending is ridiculous considering she had no savings, and the MOM was willing to bail her out with the only money left in her account… I highly doubt ops parents were good role models at demonstrating financial responsibility.” – De-railled
Others were certain the sister planned for the OP to pay for her groceries the whole time.
“I’m stuck at ‘she had $1700 in groceries in her cart’ and had no plan to pay for them! You can’t convince me that she was unaware of her balance or how close to the limit she was.”
“She walked into that store, loaded that cart, FULLY expecting her sister to pay!! She created the situation, brought on her own humiliation, and seeded the rumor mill. She should’ve been prepared with a budget and guaranteed payment BEFORE placing one item in her cart!”
“NTA OP. Your sister and your parents are a**holes.” – jenren0608
“NTA. She put up a scene to get OP to pay and then put OP in a pressured/urgent situation to coerce OP.”
“This is literally a scam tactic, one of the oldest tricks in the book.”
“OP, your family just tried to scam you. Get the f**k out and never look back, or else they’ll bring you back down to their level.” – strikethree
“I’m not great at budgeting, and even I know a ballpark figure out how much I have to spend and how much the stuff in my cart is costing me when I shop. Is it possible that I’m a little off when I get to the register? Yep. Sometimes I’m off… By like $15, not by $1500.”
“I know when the ballpark in my head is a little-league t-ball field rather than a major league stadium, and I check my banking app, watch the actual total very carefully, and scan the stuff that I need most first if that’s the case.”
“(Yes, I know I should be better at budgeting. My point is that even if someone isn’t good at it, it’s unlikely that they’ll pick up $1500 more in groceries than they can afford.)” – PepperVL
“This sounds like a setup. How does she have that little knowledge about her own finances? Have her call her fiancé.”
“I don’t get why people expect others that worked to get through college should provide because they made a different decision. You came from the same household so I’m guessing she had the same chance, but she didn’t take it.” – westcoast7654
“OP, just to be clear, this was all by design. She knew she didn’t have the money on the card when she went to the store. She went through the whole dog and pony show to garner sympathy and just knew that you were going to rescue her from her fiscal irresponsibility.”
“NTA.” – sarcastibot8point5
The subReddit was left collectively shaking their heads over the way the OP was being treated by her family and how they expected her to give her money away after working hard to earn it.
While weddings are expensive by design, if a person cannot afford a giant wedding, they’ll just have to be okay with having a smaller one or putting it off for a while.