A 17-year-old high school senior, preparing for the upcoming college application season, had carefully selected several state schools as potential options for her higher education. But her plans and budget was thrown into disarray when her parents had other plans for her college fund. Here is what she had to say:
The young woman diligently maintained a spreadsheet that included vital information such as tuition costs and the cost of living for students at each institution. Her goal was to make an informed decision about where to attend college.
College Savings Plan
The parents of the young woman, aged 40 and 41, had recently welcomed a baby boy into the family, who was now 1.5 years old. Up until then, the high school senior had been an only child.
Discussing Her College Plans
One day, the young woman decided to discuss her college plans with her mother and shared her well-organized spreadsheet. It was during this conversation that her mother dropped a bombshell.
New Financial Plans
The mother informed her daughter of a decision that would have significant implications for her future. “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.”
A Shocking Revelation
The high school senior was taken aback by this unexpected revelation. “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”, she explained.
Her Plans Were Ruined
In an attempt to be grateful and make the most of the bad news, the young woman prepared some new calculations. “I ran the numbers with half the savings and it’s not looking good”, she lamented.
Attempting To Reason
In her efforts to understand her parents’ decision, the high school senior attempted to have a conversation with both of them. Her father firmly asserted that it was their money, and they had the right to decide how to allocate it. He emphasized that she wasn’t entitled to the savings.
To make matters worse, the young woman’s father expressed concern about the family’s retirement plans, mentioning that they hoped to retire early to spend more time with her younger brother. Funding another college savings account would jeopardize these retirement goals.
An Unnecessary Purchase
In response to his daughter’s negative retaliation, the father also pointed out her recent purchase of a game console with her paycheck. He claimed this was a frivolous purchase, in an attempt to give her some perspective on the financial situation.
Seeking A Fair Solution
The high school senior, known for her financial prudence, found this comparison unfair. She typically saved most of her earnings and believed that retaining her college savings intact was crucial to graduating with minimal debt. However, she wondered whether she was being selfish, recognizing the importance of her parents’ savings for their new son too.
Sharing On Socials
The woman headed online to her favorite social media, opening up her story for responses. “If they started your college fund when you were a baby then they have the same amount of time to do it for him”, one person pointed out. “If they don’t want to keep putting money away for another 18 years, they should have thought about that before having another kid.”
It’s Their Money
Almost everyone sided with the young woman, but many people saw the parents’ side too. “Sadly, your parents are right in this it’s their money”, another commenter wrote. “They get to do what they want with it. That’s the truth. But it is also okay to be sad and hurt by this. Your parents did not set this up well.”
The same user also offered the young woman some practical advice: “I would ask them if you can split it 70/30, which will allow more to grow. And promise that if you have a really good paying job, you’ll contribute some to your brother. Trade less debt now for a maybe in the future.”
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