This dad did all he could to secure his son’s future, only for him to blow it up in flames. Now that his son’s in another dilemma, he refuses to help again!
Securing His Children’s Future
OP (Original Poster) had consistently put money away for his kids’ college funds since they were young. Education was important to OP, and while he worked diligently to get his bachelor’s degree and master’s, he didn’t want his kids to be burdened or worried about money when they went to school.
Up, Then Down
His son got into a “decent school” and started off well. However, after some time, his grades slumped, and he suddenly decided he was dropping out.
OP’s son is now 23 and has been bouncing from one “odd job” to the next.
He wrote, “He took some blue-collar job and moved out with his girlfriend, who is a waitress.”
An Irresponsible Decision
Then, after some time, the couple ended up getting married. As fate would have it, OP’s son and his wife both lost their jobs!
At first, though, OP wasn’t worried about it because they always seemed to have money for sporting games, home decor, and more.
Their True Financial Situation
So, OP was surprised when his son came to him, saying he and his wife were “flat broke” and were “severely in debt.”
OP wrote, “True, they worked long hours, but they still weren’t making enough to support their lifestyle, and it’s important to them to do fun things together.”
The Wrong Priorities
He explained that his son and his wife were very “social and fun” people who liked to have “nice things.” OP always felt like his son was spoiled, but his son never agreed with his statement.
OP shared, “He wants all the things he couldn’t have as a kid even though he can’t afford it. He does not get that I can afford stuff, and he can’t.”
I Need Help, Dad!
Now OP’s son says their home needed some repairs, and they both needed new cars. He asked OP to let him tap into what remained of his college fund so they could get out of debt, fix their home, and get the cars they wanted.
It’s Too Late for That
OP noted that there was around $45,000 left in his son’s college fund, but he couldn’t use it. He explained that the money was for his college education; it wasn’t a “newlywed slush fund.”
He added, “He had two years to go back to college, and he decided he didn’t want to.”
You Can’t Have It
For OP, his son no longer had any rights to the money. He forfeited it when he turned his back on college, and now OP plans to use it to remodel his house.
The Last Straw
OP explained that he “bit his tongue” when he got married, dropped out of school, and took dead-end jobs. But this time, he’s not bailing him out of his troubles.
Mistakes Piling Up
In an edit, OP clarified that he “couldn’t care less” about what his son’s wife’s job was. However, his point was that she was “making as much money as the person who started months before” when she was already working in the same place for three years.
Again, for him, this was a “dead-end job.” He added, “His wife’s restaurant is closing permanently.”
What Are You Even Doing?
In the same edit, he mentioned that his son was a “process engineer.” But he didn’t understand what the job entailed.
Worse, it also got shut down!
The Community’s Take on the Matter
Though some Redditors think OP was a bit harsh, they believe he was right to refuse to help.
One said, “Not the a**hole. Some of your wording is a bit harsh. However, the money you worked to earn, save, and invest with the intent of helping your son financially with college expenses is your money, not his. If it isn’t used for his college or other education—for instance, trade school—then you are well-reasoned to spend it on something else that you value. Your son and his wife are adults and need to take responsibility for themselves.”
“While OP is not the a**hole in this scenario, he is kind of the a**hole for his view on blue-collar work. The son is obviously doing a poor job at managing his money, but assuming that it is all because he didn’t finish college is straight-up false. People support families with blue-collar jobs,” commented another user.
Think Things Through
Other Redditors think OP shouldn’t lose hope. There was still a chance for his son to get back on his feet because it’s never too late to study.
A woman wrote, “I totally agree. OP is not the a**hole for refusing to give his son college money for debt or lifestyle funds. However, the son is plenty young enough to still go back to college. While it’s OP’s money to do with however he wants, if OP really wants his son to go to college, it’s not too late. So don’t spend the money on a remodel yet.”
He Needs to Change His Ways
People also think OP’s son needs a wake-up call. He’s young but not too young; if he continued down this road, who knows where he’d be in five years?
One Redditor said, “Son needs a lifestyle change, not a bailout. OP could wipe the slate clean, and the son would be back in debt and begging for more money within five years.”
A woman agreed, saying, “Exactly. I’d be happy to use money to help my kid turn their life around and build something better, but not just hand a bailout. There has to be a clear turnaround on behaviors.”
Does OP need a wake-up call as well? What should his son do?
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This post first appeared as He Refused to Give His Son His $45,000 College Fund After He Dropped Out, Got Married, and Drowned Himself in Debt. He Said, “I’m Not Bailing Him Out This Time!” on Quote Ambition.