September 24, 2021
When parents favor one of their adult children with more financial assistance than the others, it can lead to emotional havoc in the entire family. How would you feel when your sibling refuses to help you despite knowing about your financial crisis? One Redditor's sister lashed out at her brother for not spending money on her baby.
At a certain point, siblings might start envying you for being the golden child of your parents. "Jealous" doesn't even begin to describe how some of them feel when their parents favor their older children. Sometimes the kids feel neglected and start taking it out on each other.
Some parents prefer to spoil their children while others are more frugal and tend to invest in their child's future.According to Forbes
, around 65 percent of parents are frustrated over having enough money to afford their kids' education. But that doesn't stop them from saving money for their children's future.
REDDITOR REFUSES TO HELP STRUGGLING SISTER
According to Mariel Beasley, co-founder of the Common Cents Lab, it's advisable not to borrow money from family or friends who may need financial help soon. Before lending to a loved one, you should reflect on whether you need to be paid back. For instance, a 19-year-old university student refused to spend his college fund on his sister's baby when she asked for help. In his post on Reddit, he said:
"Because they're struggling, and right now I'm on a scholarship at my uni, so haven't needed to use the money. She's mad because I told her no."
The Redditor's sister knew that his father had saved up over $75,000 for him to go to college, and since he was on a scholarship, he could afford to lend a hand. The Redditor added that the money was a contingency if he lost his scholarship.
SHOULD SIBLINGS HELP EACH OTHER NO MATTER WHAT?
One Redditor was looking forward to finally going off to college when her mother gave her an unexpected piece of news. She asked the Redditor to share part of her college fund with her brother. In her post, she added:
"I said to my mom I didn't want to share my college fund; A) because college is [expletive] expensive, and B) I'm planning to get my doctorates after my undergrad year and will be swimming in about $200k to $300k in debt and need some cushion of money saved up so that I'm not drowning in debt."
EVERYONE HAS THEIR LIMIT
Sometimes, not everyone in the same household enjoys equal financial stability. For instance, one woman never shied away from helping her brother, who struggled with financial setbacks. But after a certain point, it became too much for her. Speaking to Salon, she said:
"Both my brother and his wife are financially irresponsible and blame anyone but themselves when things go wrong."
The sister also mentioned that it breaks her heart to see her sibling struggle like this. Being well off wasn't her fault, and the woman had her family to tend to. Still, she helped her brother, something most of us would do.
SOME ADULTS TREAT CHILDREN DIFFERENTLY
Adults feel it's a moral obligation to fund their children's education, but sometimes they tend to favor one child over the other. For instance, one Redditor explained why her aunt set up a college fund for her but not for her sister. She wrote:
" ... my mom sat me down and asked me if I would be willing to go to a less expensive school so I could have extra money to share with Kim. Aunt Amy set up a fund for me and my two cousins, but didn't have a dime for Kim."
In several relatable scenarios, the kids who get a more significant share in finances are often blamed for being treated differently.
COLLEGE FUND BECOMES A BUSINESS INVESTMENT
In some cases, financial problems begin when parents decide that it's okay to dip into their children's college fund to pay for their expenses. One person experienced this setback when her parents spent her college fund on a failed business, speaking of which she said:
"My great-grandparents left their four great-grandchildren $10,000 for college in investment accounts. Five years after their passing, the accounts were worth $30,000 each, thanks to some smart investing by my uncle. At this point, my parents closed mine and my brother's accounts and invested the $60,000 in their business."
The writer's parents divorced soon after their business failed, and they only found out about the college fund years later. They also added that they graduated college with a mountain of debt thanks to their parent's actions. According to CNBC, parents struggle to repay the loans. More than 16 percent of the parent borrowers defaulted on the loan within five years of borrowing.
FINANCIAL WORRIES CAN MAKE OR BREAK A RELATIONSHIP
Being a brother with a growing list of responsibilities, one person was unsure if he was wrong for not helping out their bankrupt sibling. The user sought advice from Quora on how to handle his brother's frequent requests for financial assistance, and one person replied:
“Tell him NO. Tell him you have loans and responsibilities, and he is old enough to get a job. He should not be living on your income. If he does it again, say “No” and hang up the phone.”
Family dynamics can get very complicated, especially when your parents do something for you while simultaneously neglecting your siblings. At such times, you might be forced to choose between your siblings and your dreams.
IS IT FAIR TO ASK KIDS TO SHARE THEIR COLLEGE FUNDS?
In some ways, the relationship between the "golden child" and their siblings embodies those with different amounts of money saved in their college funds. In some rare cases, the wealth gap doesn't harm their relationship.
Several experts claim that how families handle this situation depends on multiple factors, including how strong sibling relationships are, what caused the disparity, whether the parents have enough money to save, and more.
Though the norm is to split the financial assistance equally, it's getting more complicated because of half-siblings, second marriages, and blended families. Moreover, the problem is that we've evolved to expect equality in the family. But the constant battle between siblings prevails when the financial balance between the two differs, with things kickstarting from the differences in their college fund.
Do you think parents should reconsider their decisions and contribute equally to their children's education funds? Though there's no harm in investing more money in one kid's college fund, is it a fair decision to ask them to share it with their siblings later? Your comments are appreciated! Thanks for reading!