In a bitter clash between parental expectations and the reality of life’s trials, the Original Poster (OP) navigates an intense familial discord rooted in financial woes and diverging paths.
OP had the noble goal of financially securing his children’s college education from an early age. Setting money aside for her children’s future, OP didn’t want them to worry about financial constraints while pursuing their studies. Initially, her son started college, and the plan was set in motion.
OP’s son’s academic performance started to wane. To make matters more complicated, he decided to drop out of school, shifting his life trajectory away from the path OP had envisioned for him. The son, now 23, began navigating through a series of different jobs that weren’t going anywhere.
Life Choices and Changes
Despite the sudden change in his career path, the son found love and settled down with his girlfriend, a waitress. They decided to take their relationship to the next level and got married. However, they soon fell on hard times as both of them lost their jobs.
Even as they lost their jobs, OP’s son and his wife seemed to always have money for their hobbies and personal interests. They made a habit of going out and spending their money on the luxuries of life.
A Hidden Burden
The conflict intensifies when they confess to being broke and deeply in debt. Despite working long hours, their income was not sufficient to support their lifestyle, and bills were piling up.
The Crumbling Homefront
A new problem surfaced, their home required significant repairs, and their cars needed replacing. This twist further emphasized their financial struggles and the divergence between their lifestyle and their income, which OP had zero sympathies for.
Request for Relief
Caught in the throes of financial woes, her son had the idea to reach out to his mom for help. OP’s son made a surprising request: to use his remaining college fund to alleviate their financial strain.
The fund had approximately $45K left in it, which could solve many of their pressing problems. This request threatened to disrupt the original purpose of the fund and challenge OP’s original intentions.
A Resounding No
Sticking to her principles, OP refused her son’s request to use the college fund. In OP’s eyes, the money was earmarked for education and was not to be treated as a contingency fund.
OP saw the son’s decision to leave college as a forfeiture of the college fund. The deal was to use it for education. Otherwise, it was hers to use as she wished.
The conflict reached a peak when OP expressed her intention to use the fund to remodel her house with that money. With this move, OP demonstrated a commitment to her own needs over bailing out her son.
OP held back criticism and disappointment when her son dropped out of school and took on blue-collar jobs. However, the request to use the college fund was the breaking point, and OP decided to voice her disapproval.
Despite the strained relationship with her son, OP remained unwavering in her decision. The funds remained untouched, and OP was committed to spending them on home remodeling.
Was Remodeling His Home With His Son’s College Fund Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “Not everyone is cut out for university, doesn’t mean you can’t still help your kid out with a start in life. But you go ahead and make your house nicer. I would live in a shack if it would improve my kids’ lives.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “Obviously, your son is not entitled to that college fund, and it looks like he made some unwise choices in his life. But your contempt and judgment for your son and his choices shine through this post, and I’m sure it shows in your interactions with him.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “It’s your money to do with as you wish. But you are SO judgmental of your kid’s life. I get that you want more for him, but the attitude you have towards him probably isn’t fostering a great relationship here.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “I don’t have an issue with you putting strings on what that money can be spent on. College is certainly one acceptable option, but I would hope there are other acceptable options as well.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.