Thursday, 8 Jun 2023

Stepdad Wants to Charge His 8-Year-Old Rent as a "Money Management" Lesson & Reddit Set Him Straight

A stepdad’s idea for a money management lesson has been resoundingly shut down by Reddit’s “AITA forum. He began his post by explaining that he didn’t feel he was TA in this situation but seemed open to feedback.

His stepson gets an allowance of $25/week for helping out around the house. “I want to charge the boy $20 a month for living expenses. Leaving him $80,” the user explained. “…My intention is to teach him about money management as that’s something that’s very important to me.” The boy’s mom doesn’t like this idea and thinks that the allowance should be all his.

Reddit responded by saying that while there’s no issue with teaching children about money management, the execution of the lesson is all wrong. A lot of users reinforced the idea that kids should not be thinking about rent right now.

“Please get him a savings account and teach him how to save so that when he is an adult it is not a mystery and he is able to make a safety net for himself,” one person suggested. “I understand what you’re trying to do but don’t do this. He’s so young that this seems cruel. There are other ways that would be age-appropriate to teach him money management. Sorry but YTA.”

Another person didn’t necessarily think he was TA in his intentions but thoroughly discouraged him from his plan. “You don’t sound like you’re a bad person or an a-hole, but you really need to redirect your teaching, otherwise you may scar that kid for life. Don’t ‘charge’ them for anything – instead strongly encourage them to put some money aside and show them both why it’s important and why it’s worth [it].”

Many came through with suggestions for teaching his stepson financial literacy without charging him rent. “Some credit unions have special savings accounts for kids,” one person noted. “I opened some for my grandchildren. The credit union chipped in $50 on opening and they pay 5% interest. This would be a much better way to teach an 8 yr. old finance.”

The OP heard the suggestions and admitted that he was in the wrong here. He returned to the post to explain that he’s nixing his current plan. “You all are correct in that I didn’t think of the implications of taking from my son and the emotional damage that could cause, or anxiety within him. That’s the last thing I want,” he wrote. “…I’m the AH. -I’m going to give the child an allowance as I planned anyway. He can save for ‘big’ purchases for himself and we can talk about the fun stuff when he’s older.”

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