you be the judge

A Teen Is Hurt That Her Parents Want To Split Her College Savings With A New Baby

The 17-year-old feels like her parents have plenty of time to save for their new kid.

Originally Published: 
A senior in high school thinks that it's unfair that half of her college savings are going to her br...
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One of the best things that parents can do for their kids is start saving early for their future college career. Having a college fund for your kid means fewer (or no) student loans, less expenses on your part, and a greater chance that your kid will attend and graduate from college.

So, why is one family taking away half of their teenaged daughter’s promised funds, just months before she graduates?

On Reddit’s infamous Am I The A**hole? forum, a 17-year-old girl is wondering if she’s right to be upset with her parent’s decision to split her college fund with a brand new baby who just entered the picture.

Here’s what she has to say:

“I (17F) am a rising senior at my high school,” she begins. “I'm getting ready for the college application season in a couple months and have several schools selected, most of which are various state schools. I have a spreadsheet with information on them, including costs of tuition and CoL for students there. I have functions on the sheet they show how well I'd be able to afford it using my college savings account that my parents have and my own general savings.”

So far, she sounds incredibly prepared for the next step in her life and has a financial plan for it. But here’s the catch.

“My parents (40F) and (41M) recently welcomed in my baby brother (1.5M),” she goes on. “I was an only child before. I was talking to my mom about college and showed her my spreadsheet. Then she told me that I need to adjust it for half of the college savings as they were planning to give my brother half for his college savings. I was pretty shocked by this since they have 16+ years to save up for his college, if that's something he'll even want to do.”

Not only did it seem unfair to her, but it’s going to drastically affect the plan she had in place.

“I ran the numbers with half the savings and it's not looking good. I want to graduate with as little debt as possible and taking away half is pretty damaging to that,” she said.

“I tried talking to both of my parents about it but they wouldn't budge,” she said. “My dad said it's their money so it's up to them how they get to spend it and I'm not entitled to it, which I understand. They said they're hoping to retire early so they have more time with my brother. Funding another college fund would push back their retirement. He also said I should just save more money and not waste it (he's upset I bought myself a switch with my paycheck last month). I usually put most of my paycheck into my savings. He said I'm a smart girl and they can help me figure it out. I still don't think it's fair to lose a good amount of my college funding 15 months away from starting to someone who won't use it for over 15 years,” she added.

She wants to know: is she being a jerk for pushing back against her parent’s new plan for the money?

Down in the comments, readers strongly took the side of the teen. And their central point was pretty clear: if they wanted to retire early and avoid a second round of saving for a kid’s college, they should have thought about family planning more.

“I’d say NTA If they started your college fund when you were a baby then they have the same amount of time to do it for him,” reads the most popular comment. “If they don’t want to keep putting money away for another 18 years they should have thought about that before having another kid.”

“They led her to believe this was her money and she planned accordingly, only to have them pull the rug out from under her at the last minute when there was no time for her to plan differently,” another added.

A few math geniuses also added that while it seems fair to give the baby half, it won’t be if you stop to think about the time, interest, and income involved.

“They probably have better incomes in their 40s than they did in their 20s, so saving the same amount could be done in a shorter time,” one explained. “My eldest was born when I was 18 and my youngest at 29, I definitely have more income to save towards the youngest’s college than I did for the eldest.”

Another added: “Not just are their incomes better but half the amount that OP has currently with 16 yrs of compound interest is going to be way, way more than what she’s getting, even if her parents don’t contribute another dime.”

And the final good point? Doing this is going to breed a lot of resentment in the family, both toward the parents and toward the new sibling. Doing things in a fair manner would keep way more relationships intact, even if it means a few more years of saving for college for the parents.

This case seems pretty clear: the money was meant for her, and she deserves it. Having another baby means starting another college account.

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