Family of 5 Furious After College Student Refuses to Fund Their Lifestyle

Gillian Sisley

Whose responsibility is it to pay for bills and groceries in a household?

The cost of living continues to rise, particularly since the pandemic, putting additional strain on households all around the US. Many families have had to take up additional jobs to ensure they can put food on their family’s plates.

And along with the climbing cost of living is the climbing cost of education. The current overall national student debt sits at $1.75 trillion, with over 48 million borrowers.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a college student is accused of ‘financially abusing’ his family members, despite being the one paying all of the bills and expenses for the home.

Whose responsibility is it to pay for bills and groceries in a household?

An online post published on September 30th, reported on by Taylor McCloud from Newsweek, has gone viral with 12,700 upvotes and 1,100 comments.

The author begins his post by explaining that he moved in with his mother, stepfather, stepsisters (12 and 14) and half-sister (6 months) a few months ago, because his father is now living outside of the country. His stepfather is currently unemployed because he was ‘suddenly terminated’ at his job. He adds that his mom and stepdad will do ‘odd gigs here and there’, but nothing that brings substantial money into the home.

The author, however, is both enrolled in college and is currently working on the side as well. It started with him paying rent while living in his mother and stepdad’s home, but over the last 4 months, more and more financial responsibilities have fallen on his shoulders to make up for the gap of his stepfather not working.

It began with his mother saying, ‘buy this, buy that, buy this again’, until eventually the college student was also purchasing the household groceries for the 6 people living in the house.

How much responsibility should a college student take on?

He adds more context by stating that his stepfather and stepsisters are ‘big eaters’, and can get very attached to and protective of food. This was exactly what caused the family conflict that the 20-year-old is now facing.

Having just done a haul of groceries the day prior, the author remembered that he had bought a whole watermelon and wanted to eat some. But when we got to the fridge, he found that it was almost entirely gone. One of his stepsisters said she wanted some too, and so the author’s stepfather said that ‘kids go first’, so he should let his stepsister have it instead. But the author replied by saying it was ‘his turn’ to have it.

That was when the stepfather looked him right in the eyes and told him, ‘Put it back, son. You can eat something else’. The author immediately retorted by stating that ‘he’ll eat whatever he wants because he was paying for it’. His stepfather did not appreciate that comment.

The author’s mother came to him a few hours later to apologize for her husband’s behavior, but she also accused the author of ‘financially abusing’ his family with his words and actions.

What do you think? Is the author truly financially abusing his family members by eating whatever groceries he wants, since he paid for them himself? Or is it about time this 20-year-old moves out to live on his own, because in no way should it be his responsibility to cover all of the living expenses for a family of 5?

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