A major milestone in any young adult’s life is the day they receive the first paycheck from their first job. That is money that they earned themselves from the work they had done.
To then be told to share that money with someone else would be nothing short of insulting, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, even if someone else needed the money.
Redditor saucyyyxdrip recently started their first job, only for their mother to demand rent from them paychecks, even though they were only 15 years old.
When the Original Poster (OP) balked, they were shocked that their mother responded by guilt-tripping them.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for not letting my mom take money out of my paycheck?”
The OP was pleased when their mother was supportive of them getting a job.
“I’m 15 years old and I just recently started working a week ago so I can manage and buy my own things. And I’ve been wanting to get a job for a long time, too.”
“My mother has supported me all the way. I have 5 other siblings, so it’s hard to take care of us all at once, so I decided to take responsibility and get a job, so I can take care of myself.”
But the OP’s mother changed her tune when the paychecks started coming in.
“But ever since I started working, my mom has told me I need to start paying 150 dollars for rent.”
“Mind you, I’m only paid 11-12 dollars per hour, so I don’t get paid much, but she’s demanding 150 dollars per month.”
“I wouldn’t mind giving her 50 dollars to help put food in the fridge, but we’re not broke or anything.”
“My mom and her boyfriend have high-paying jobs. My mom makes 16 dollars per hour, her boyfriend makes 18 dollars per hour, and they make 600 dollars in food stamps every month.”
“I don’t understand why she wants the money I try to work hard for.”
The teen and their mom came to an impasse.
“I told her I will gladly leave her house and take my belongings elsewhere, but she doesn’t believe I’ll do so.”
“I’m planning on moving in with my grandmother, but my mom is so persistent about the money, saying things like it will help me learn about the real world and stuff.”
“She’s even bringing up that she’s done everything for me for the past 15 years as if I asked to be born and I owe her.”
“I really love my mother but I don’t know if I can follow these rules.”
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 thought the mother was being completely inappropriate.
“It’s completely inappropriate to charge a minor rent. She can find other ways to ‘help you learn about the real world,’ which sounds like she means fiscal responsibility.”
“I intend to have my kids save a minimum percentage of their pay when they are old enough to work, but they will NOT be paying rent until after graduating high school. Even then it will depend on what else they are doing. If they are going to school, I will likely have no rent or a reduced rate.” – blakesmate
“Legal or not, why would a parent make their young child pay for anything like that? What the h**l is wrong with people these days? A child is not supposed to be earning money for bare necessities like this.” – Political_Outcast919
“She’s legally obligated to house you until 18. Rent-free. If living with your grandmother would be an improvement, absolutely do that.”
“Your mother’s guilt tactics are completely inappropriate and toxic.” – letsdoitforthememes
“If he refused the mother will probably say that she will no longer help get him to or from work, and maybe not even allow him to work at all anymore. He needs her permission to work when underage. Sad the mother is trying to take the child’s check he hasn’t even gotten yet!” – JSausa
“Children and adolescents should not pay rent to their parents. NTA.”
“Your mom has paid for you for the past 15 years because she made a decision to have a child. You are not obligated to repay her, especially in childhood.”
“She is not teaching you about the real world except that parents can be disappointing at times.”
“When you say that you would go live with your grandmother, is that actually feasible? If your grandma supports you, does she know your mother is demanding rent? What would your grandma’s opinion be of that?”
“As a 15-year-old, do you have a bank account? Is your mom a signer on the account? If so, be cautious because she could take the money regardless. Maybe you can get an account at a different bank with your grandma as a signer on the account instead.”
“It’s totally reasonable at your age for mom to want you to do chores and help around the house. In an urgent crisis, borrowing a bit of money and repaying it urgently wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable. Making you pay for her to complete her parental obligations (to house you and feed you) is not acceptable.” – Hekili808
“Unreal. As a parent, I would never ask you for money. It is her responsibility to take care of you until you are 18. It’s not your problem that she had 5 kids, either. This is your money.” – Comfortable-Cod8177
Others said the best plan was to move in with the grandmother and build a savings.
“NTA, absolutely not. Don’t give her any money. Move in with your grandma and SAVE.”
“You’ll pay rent when you get your own place, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the real world since you don’t have an apartment. Parents love spewing that bulls**t. Just move out, your siblings aren’t your responsibility.” – tangysushi
“NTA. Parents who have children should not be relying on their children to contribute to household bills, that is their responsibility as a parent when they decided to have you.”
“There are other ways to teach responsibility and saving than trying to be a pseudo-landlord as a parent. I get that it is your parent and you may want to help contribute to the household in a tight situation, but that should entirely be voluntary and not demanded of you.”
“You should seriously consider moving in with your grandmother if viable as this situation can get way worse.” – G4Luffy
“She’ll find ways to get it from you, even if you don’t pay her in cash directly. Get out while you can, and go to your grandmother.”
“It is illegal for her to charge you rent, you are a minor. She did the legal requirements to avoid going to jail for neglect. Get out and move in with a family member who will support you for your new independence and offer you comfort.” – AbbyFB6969
“NTA. Any mother with 5 children who depends on the eldest to pay rent is failing.”
“This is your warning. You have the blueprint of a terrible future.”
“Move if you have to. Go see Grandma and get a new bank account. Work hard at school. Save money if you can. Make a plan to be better than where you started. And for goodness sake, NO babies until you can actually afford all of them.” – Ursula_Bot
“NTA whatsoever. You’re a child and should not be paying your mother rent to sleep in a home she is required to provide you. You didn’t ask to be brought into this world and you’re not her roommate.”
“She chose to have 5 kids, it’s her responsibility to provide each of them with basic necessities, including housing, until the age of 18.”
“You’re already working and willing to do your part by taking care of yourself and buying your own extras and things you want. It’s outrageous to then tell you you need to start paying rent. I’d move out too.” – JanellaDubois
“NTA. You are FIFTEEN, not TWENTY. You should not bear the burden of paying your mom’s rent.”
“Your Mon made the decision to have children. Having children comes with the responsibility of providing shelter, food, and clothing.”
“It doesn’t matter that she’s provided for you for 15 years. She accepted that responsibility when she had you.”
“Please call your grandmother and make arrangements as soon as possible to move in with her, and start saving up.”
“Please post an update so we know you are okay. Good luck!” – stinstin555
While the subReddit might understand if the OP’s family was financially struggling, the mother might need additional funds to make ends meet. If that was the situation, however, the mother should have been honest with the OP about what was going on, rather than disgusting it as “rent” and “lessons about the real world.”
That being said, the subReddit also agreed that this responsibility shouldn’t fall on a minor who was also still under the care and protection of their mother, just as much as their siblings were. Even if the mother was honest about financial hardships, it still technically wouldn’t be the OP’s responsibility to financially assist, as they were still a minor.