A 20-year-old young woman who dropped out of college decided to return to school after a year of working in her boyfriend’s family’s restaurant business. For the sake of her story, we’ll call her Jane.
She Dropped Out of College And Parents Spent the Money
Jane’s parents had set aside 30,000 dollars in a college tuition account for her. But instead, her parents used the money to remodel their kitchen after Jane moved in with her boyfriend, despite her parent’s advice not to.
When Jane realized what her parents had done, she was shocked and angry. She asked for access to her college tuition account. Still, her parents refused, citing their previous conversation where they explicitly stated that they would use the money for something else if she dropped out of college.
Jane’s parents advised her to attend a cheaper college or work part-time while attending school to help pay for her tuition. Additionally, her mother has offered to help her financially.
Still, the father is hesitant as they are approaching retirement age and a little behind on their retirement goals. The father has also offered to let Jane stay at their house for free so she can focus on paying for college.
However, Jane has been ignoring her mother’s phone calls, and the father is now questioning if he is the jerk in the situation. Here is how the internet responded to his concern.
It’s a Costly Lesson
“This situation is harsh on your daughter, but you’re not the jerk,” one explained. “She decided to drop out, and with that came you telling her that you’d use the remaining college fund money for something else.
I also presume that at the time of her dropping out, she presented her decision as permanent since she said that college wasn’t for her, meaning that you don’t know how long Jane would’ve taken to return to college if she had gone back at all.
‘But I thought you were bluffing’ is an inadequate response. You don’t get to use that line when making a life-changing decision and are given conditions by the people financing you. She just learned a costly lesson.” Another agreed, “That was a gift, and she didn’t use it, and her way of responding to the situation shows how ungrateful she is.”
You’re the Jerk
“You spent all 30k on a kitchen remodel? That’s not a retirement goal; she only took a year off. Have you spent all of it already? You’re the jerk for not having the foresight or consideration that she might regret the boyfriend thing and spending the money that quickly.
Many kids make mistakes during college, mainly because it was just a year off. You didn’t need to jump to use that money. I get she made a choice and the mistake over a boy, but you could have been a safety net for her.
Parents are supposed to account for the fact that kids make stupid mistakes and choices. But instead, you took it as an opportunity to make sure she couldn’t bounce back quickly over something cosmetic and superficial, and you did it quickly. Which is gross.”
“You’re the jerk. You saved for your daughter’s education for 18 years, yet you didn’t hesitate to put the money to other uses the moment she diverted from a traditional education path. If you genuinely meant the money for her education, you could have held it for her in case she returned to school.
Often, people who don’t complete a four-year degree in one go still return to finish their education later or pursue trade school. It is your money. Your daughter made a poor decision leaving school, and you did warn her the money would go to other uses.
Therefore, you are not technically wrong, and your daughter is facing the consequences of her decisions. That said, people make mistakes, especially when they are young, and you’ve chosen this to be a much bigger mistake for your daughter than it had to be.
It was your right to do with the money as you saw fit and to remodel the kitchen, but it was not a compassionate decision as a parent. What do you think? Did this Reddit dad do the right thing, or do you think he is the jerk in the scenario? This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Wealthy Nickel.