OP (Original Poster) lived with his family rent-free and bought groceries as a contribution. So, it was only natural for him to stop doing so when asked to pay rent, but they think otherwise!
Paying Off His Loans
When OP graduated college, he had some student loans to pay off. So, he moved back in with his parents and his older brother.
He said, “I’ve been fortunate that my parents have let me live the last three years completely rent-free.”
Appreciating the Gesture
Because he was thankful for their generosity, he tried to help out around the house as much as possible.
OP wrote, “I do the majority of the yard work and help with maintenance around the house.”
His Main Contribution
However, the main thing OP does to repay them is to buy all the groceries for everyone in the house. He had been doing this for the last three years!
A Hefty Sum
Because they were a four-person household, the total bill would equate to as much as $700 a month. OP wrote, “This was something that I just started occasionally doing and soon became just something that I did for the family. I was never asked to do it.”
Changing Their Agreement
Then, a month before this story was posted, OP’s parents asked him to start paying them rent. He said he didn’t have an issue with this at all.
His New Contribution
OP’s parents asked him to pay $750 a month. So, he thought his parents wanted a “more similar situation” that they had to OP’s older brother, who paid the same amount as rent but didn’t contribute around the house.
Let’s Do It
So, OP agreed and wrote his parents a check for that month on the spot.
He noted that he already did their groceries for that month, so they already had a fully-stocked pantry.
The Following Month
In the first few days of the following month, OP paid his parents another $750 for the month’s rent. He believed everything was settled.
However, a few days after, when he got home from work, OP’s dad “casually mentioned” that they had no food in the house.
When OP was about to head to the store, he was “caught off guard.” He told his dad he’d need money to pay for everything.
What Do You Mean?
OP’s dad was confused, and he told OP that he had never asked for money before.
He wrote, “I reminded him that I had started paying rent and couldn’t afford rent and feed the whole family.”
Now, everyone’s mad at everyone. However, OP doesn’t think he did anything wrong.
He wrote, “I might not have been paying rent, but I have more than made up for it in other ways, including buying the groceries for my whole family.”
The Community’s Two Cents
Users suggested OP get his own place and be independent.
“Not the a**hole. Pretty much like everyone else said, if you were spending $600 to $700 on groceries every month, you were paying rent. If they want additional rent money, you should just move out; $1,300 a month—$750 plus grocery money—should be more than enough to get your own place,” one user wrote.
Some users said that OP’s family members are being ridiculous. They’re pretty “silly” to ask for rent and groceries!
This woman pointed out, “Not the a**hole. Once you start paying rent, you’re now basically a tenant. You’re required to clean your messes from the common area and do your own thing, but you really don’t have to help with anything else you don’t want to. This is silly.” Another commented, “OP helped—as a family member—contribute to family expenses. But now he pays rent. He should no longer be treated as a family member; she should be treated as a tenant. Which means he is responsible for his own food expenses only. OP’s family needs to decide if they want to treat OP as a family member or a tenant because they can’t—or at least shouldn’t—do both.”
You Did the Right Thing!
People also called OP’s parents out for being entitled.
This Redditor commented, “Not the a**hole. Classic entitlement. They didn’t realize you were contributing. You were already paying ‘rent’ in a way without it being directly financial. At best, I can assume obliviousness, but I think they were trying to double-dip you. Stand firm, good buddy; you did the right thing.” Another user wrote, “Not the a**hole. You basically paid rent all the time. Now it has another name, so if they want you to go get groceries, they have to give you money ‘cause now they have the money for food in their hands and not yours anymore.”
Did OP make the right decision? Should he move out?
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This post first appeared as He Refused to Buy Groceries for the Whole Family After His Parents Forced Him to Pay $750 Monthly for Rent. Now They’re Furious He’s No Longer Giving Them “Free Food!” on Quote Ambition.