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This Woman Reduced The Money Sent To Her Parents Every Month When She Found Out What They Spend It On — Now, She Wants To Know If She's In The Wrong

In many cultures — including my own — there's a strong expectation to support your parents as they age. While it's a beautiful thing to take care of them as they once did for you, it's easy to see how this can become complicated.

Two women, one older and one younger, smiling and embracing in a home kitchen
Rudi_suardi / Getty Images

Well, I recently stumbled on this post in the "Am I The Asshole" subreddit where an Asian woman reduced the amount of money she gives her family. Here's the full story:

Woman looking stressed at a laptop, holding her forehead, possibly dealing with work issues

When OP (the original poster) landed a high-paying job, she made a budget and realized she could send about $1,300/month to her mom and dad. She set up a joint bank account and continually sent the money, allowing her parents to retire in her home country.

Two people smiling and embracing while sitting on a porch step, one holding a smartphone
Momo Productions / Getty Images

After a year and a half, OP noticed that $200 was being transferred out every month. When she asked her parents about it, they said her brother was "having difficulties with his budget," so they were helping him out. But her brother is actually a scholarship student who receives a stipend in London. She said there is no problem with his budget; he simply wants more money to party with his friends.

Group of people toasting with drinks
Azmanl / Getty Images

"So I reduced the amount I give them by $200," she explained. "Obviously, they do not need it if they can afford to give it away every month. My mom called me when she noticed and was yelling at me for being a crappy daughter and sister. I asked her to tell me exactly how much money they contributed to my party fund when I was away for school. Just so you know, the answer is $0. They also tried to talk me out of attending university in Canada. I'm not sure how common the idea of filial piety is in other cultures, but it's a big deal in mine. She went off about it."

Mature woman with glasses and a necklace, speaking on a mobile phone, seated indoors
Imtmphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

OP explained that if her parents didn't need that $200, she would just keep it for herself as she has better ways to spend her money than paying for her brother to get drunk with his friends.

Person at a desk looks concerned while talking on the phone, with a laptop in front
Fizkes / Getty Images/iStockphoto

"She said that I am treating them like children by restricting how they spend their money. I replied that I was not going to subsidize my brother through them. And that from now on, the amount they got from me would be $1,100. And that if they sent him money again, I would know and reduce their money by that amount going forward."

Person at a desk reviews papers while using a laptop, with a coffee cup nearby
D3sign / Getty Images

OP's brother called to complain about "cutting off his money." She told him that "he was welcome to tell our parents to go back to backbreaking jobs at their age to pay for his partying in London. Then they would have my money to live off of and their wages to pay for his drinking."

Person sitting with hands covering face, a bottle and a glass of whiskey in the foreground, signifying distress or sadness
Domepitipat / Getty Images/iStockphoto

OP shared that her boyfriend and friends are on her side, but many people from her culture think she is being an A-hole.

Person sitting at a table looking pensive with a hand on head, wearing a floral shirt
Michael Edwards / Getty Images/iStockphoto

As you might imagine, there were tons of responses for this one!

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In case you're not familiar, people usually respond with one of four options: YTA (you're the A-hole), NTA (not the A-hole), ESH (everyone sucks here), or NAH (no A-hole here).

Most people said that OP is not the A-hole:

"NTA. And since your parents probably don’t tell you often enough, I’ll say it for them: you are an amazingly thoughtful, loving, and caring child to your parents. You send them upwards of $1,000 every month just so they can retire and not have to work. That’s amazing."

u/WhilstWhile

"NTA. Good on you for doing that. Your parents should be grateful that you are helping them out. Their son is their problem, not yours. This actually come across as taking advantage of your generosity."

u/IamMaggieMoo

"NTA. Your parents are lucky and should be grateful to have your financial support. I know it's hard to hear when your culture is big on family, but creating boundaries is okay, and you're doing the right thing."

u/jaywild

And many called out her brother:

"Has your brother no shame at all? Complete leech."

u/Tal_Tos_72

"The part where he called her up to complain was astonishing."

u/UCgirl

"The spoiled brother had the audacity to say 'HIS MONEY.' NTA."

u/Yuno808

But some people thought everyone sucked here:

"I think it's wonderful that you support your parents so they could retire. So why ESH? Well, your parents now rely on you, and they have a child who's dictating how they spend their money. I know a lot of people are probably thinking, 'But it's not their money! It's her money!' If that's the case, then what we have here is a conditional gift, which is not a gift at all.

You are using your generosity to control your parents' actions. That's not fair to them. It doesn't sound like they have a history of poor financial choices that might warrant an intervention. If this is the case, then you shouldn't even be looking at what they're spending their money on."

u/RemarkablePuzzle257

"I'm Asian, and I'd say ESH. When OP offered the $1,300 and encouraged her parents to retire, did she tell them she would be dictating how they spend the money? She has every right to do so, it's her money, but her parents kind of needed to know that up-front before deciding to retire. If they knew she would be auditing their finances, they might have declined and kept working.

And it's not clear that the brother is definitely using all $200 to get drunk. She doesn't explain what he said in response to that accusation. I find that unrealistic. More likely, the guy has living expenses he needs to meet, but some of the money goes to blowing off steam. The idea that because you receive support from your parents (or siblings) you have to live like a monk seems overly judgy. How's he doing in school? If he's studying in London and doesn't have rich parents, he's probably not a dummy. OP should consider being more encouraging and supportive. Sounds like the brother could be a real help later to support the parents, but only if the family relationship stays strong. This episode isn't helping."

u/village-idiot-888

Now, I'm curious — what do you think of this situation? Is it unfair of OP to decrease the money she sends her parents? Or would you do the same? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.