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This Woman Spent Her Daughter's College Fund On Herself, And Now The Daughter Thinks Her Mom Should Use Her Work Bonus To Repay Her

"My mother remodeled her house while I was away at university, and I had never known where that money had come from. The money was actually meant for me."

I'm obsessed with reading r/AmITheAsshole, because I live for drama.

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In case you're not familiar with Am I The Asshole, it's a subreddit where people post tricky situations they've found themselves involved in, and ask their fellow Redditors to determine who the asshole in the situation is.

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I recently stumbled upon this post about a mom who spent money that was supposed to go into her daughter's college fund. Now, the mom has received a huge bonus at work, and the daughter is wondering if she would be the asshole for asking her mom to help pay for the rest of her education with the money.

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Here's the full situation, as told by u/bbburmah, who is the daughter in the whole predicament:

"My mother divorced my stepfather about a year before I began university. I still keep in touch with him now and then. A couple of years ago, he mentioned being glad that I didn't need to struggle with money in university because of the funds he allocated for me during the divorce settlements."

a person handing folded money to someone else
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"What funds? [It was] apparently around $15,000, which I had never heard about. My mother remodeled her house while I was away at university, and I had never known where that money had come from, as she doesn't have a very well-paid job and never had much in savings. That money was meant for me, and she spent it without ever telling me. I've known this for around two years but never brought it up with her."

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"I'm currently studying for my master's degree, and have never received any financial support from my mother throughout my education. As a result, I have a little bit of student debt, and have been working pretty much full-time to try to cover for myself. Now, as I'm still struggling with money, she has just been told that she is getting a backdated pay increase from her job. She was supposed to be on a higher pay rate for the past nine years, and the backdated bonus will amount to around $8,000. She's been telling me how excited she is to spend it on some vacations with her new boyfriend."

a person handing over a check
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"WIBTA, would I be greedy, would I be petty, if I told her that I know about the $15K, and asked for a share of her $8K to help me cover my student expenses?"

As per usual, people on Reddit had thoughts about the situation. While most didn't think the poster would be the asshole for wanting the money, some thought asking for the bonus was a bit harsh.

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Most commenters thought that the daughter should talk to both her mother and stepfather (and even maybe seek out some legal advice!) to get a grasp on the whole situation before requesting the money from her mom.

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"You need to discuss the $15K with your stepdad, your mother, and a lawyer. You’re entitled to the money if it was set aside for you legally in the divorce. This back alley plan is not the way to go about getting it but you’re NTA for wanting what’s rightfully yours." —u/Beneficial_Parking16

Some people wondered if there was any official statement that the money from the stepfather was supposed to go towards the poster's education.

"Have you seen evidence in writing that your stepfather actually allocated the $15,000 for you? Was there a university fund set up? Was it meant to come to you directly? When your stepfather mentioned the money to you a few years ago, did you let him know you didn't receive it?" —u/TemptingPenguin369

A commenter said that the daughter is not the asshole for wanting to be paid back, but would be the asshole for demanding the bonus because it likely wouldn't end well.

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"YWBTA if you handled it this way. You have a couple of options: confront your mom to get her side of the story, then decide what to do from there; or, continue to let it go as you have for the past TWO years. If you go at your mom with 5+-year-old accusations and a request for thousands of dollars, how do you think it's going to turn out?" —u/Team-R-and-R

Another poster suggested that the daughter not ask for the bonus, because then she would likely end up never getting back the full amount she was owed.

"Her back pay has nothing to do with you, but you do need to find out what happened to that $15,000 your dad told you about. Do not conflate one pot of money with another pot of money. Your mother may owe you $15,000. If you ask for part of the back pay and your mother gives you any amount, she will tell you she can’t afford it and already gave you money if you ask about the $15K again." —u/Sprezzatura1988

Now it's your turn to weigh in:

  1. Would the daughter be the asshole for asking for her mom's bonus?

    Would the daughter be the asshole for asking for her mom's bonus?

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Would the daughter be the asshole for asking for her mom's bonus?
    vote votes
    Yes, she's the asshole for wanting her mom to spend her bonus on her.
    vote votes
    Not the asshole. She deserves to be paid back, even her mom has to use the bonus.
    vote votes
    She's not the asshole for wanting to be paid back, but she should go about the situation differently.