It all started a few months ago when my 22-year-old son, Jason, graduated from college. He had been studying graphic design, and he had a lot of talent and passion for it.
I couldn’t have been prouder of him when he got his first job as a junior graphic designer in a well-known advertising agency.
I’ve always believed in the importance of hard work and financial responsibility, values I’ve tried to instill in my children.
Jason was well aware of this, and he had seen me work tirelessly to provide for our family over the years. We had a close relationship, and we often talked about life, work, and money.
A few weeks into his job, Jason received his first paycheck. I was genuinely happy for him, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit concerned when I saw the amount.
He was earning a good starting salary, but I knew that life in the city was expensive. Rent, bills, groceries, and student loan payments would soon add up.
That’s when I had an idea that I believed could teach Jason a valuable lesson about financial responsibility. I sat him down and proposed that he give me 10% of his monthly income.
This percentage, I argued, would not only contribute to the household expenses but also serve as a savings fund for him.
My reasoning was that he’d get used to living on a slightly lower income while saving for the future.
I explained my proposal to him, emphasizing that it was meant to help him manage his finances better and that it was just for the first year of his job.
I also told him that I’d hold onto the money and give it back to him when he wanted it, provided he had a legitimate expense or investment in mind.
It was meant to be a sort of financial safety net, something to fall back on in case of an emergency or to kickstart his own savings.
Jason was taken aback by my proposal. He didn’t see it coming at all. He argued that he should be free to spend his entire paycheck as he pleased, and that he wanted to have the independence to make his own financial decisions.
Jason also pointed out that he had worked hard to land his job and felt he deserved the full reward for his efforts.
The discussion quickly escalated into an argument, with both of us standing our ground.
He accused me of not trusting him to handle his finances and of treating him like a child. I, on the other hand, believed that I was only trying to guide him towards financial stability.
Compromise and Resolution
After several days of tension, Jason and I reached a compromise. He agreed to give me 5% of his income for the first year, with the understanding that I would only return the money to him if he had a legitimate financial need.
I also promised that this arrangement would only last for the first year of his job, and he would have full control over his finances thereafter.
This compromise eased the tension between us, and we went back to having a relatively normal parent-child relationship.
However, the incident still left a lingering question in my mind: AITA for taking a percentage of my son’s work money?
I’m genuinely torn about whether I did the right thing. On one hand, my intention was to teach Jason the importance of financial responsibility and to provide him with a safety net, especially during the initial, financially uncertain phase of his career.
On the other hand, I can understand how he felt that I was infringing on his independence and not trusting him to manage his own finances.
So, I’m left wondering, AITA?
Did I overstep my boundaries as a parent, or was my intention well-meaning, even if it was misguided? I’m eager to hear what others think about this situation.