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Parents withholding gift of money. Am I ungrateful?

(226 Posts)
ContactLenses Thu 30-Mar-17 10:34:08

My DSis (18, I'm 27) recently passed her driving test and was given £500 towards a car by my parents. They gave this to her in front of me and said "we're not leaving you out, the same is waiting for you when you come to either buy a house or pass your driving test"
However, they know I have no plans to buy a house in the near future (I rent with DP and we're very content with that for now) and where we live, having a car would be more of a hinderance than a help- very central, very good public transport, nowhere to actually put a car. So I don't really plan on learning to drive anytime soon either as we love where we live.
AIBU to think that if they want to give me a gift of money, it's not really fair for them to withhold it until I want to spend it on what they want me to?
I know it's their money, they don't HAVE to give me anything, and it would never have even crossed my mind that they would give me anything. I don't want to come across entitled, but they're the ones that mentioned it!
I also wouldn't fritter away the money on nothing. They know we love to travel and if I was given a gift of money I'd probably put it towards a trip, because that is what I like to do.
I feel like they really shouldn't have mentioned it at all. I don't actually know what I want to do about this, as I can't really bring it up with them so I think I just wanted to know if it's only me that thinks this is unfair of them? Am I ungrateful?

Pibplob Thu 30-Mar-17 10:36:21

I think it would be nice to have it and spend it on travel and I would be happy if my kids spent money is given them on travel but when you do come to buy a house £500 will be most welcome I'm sure! It's up to them.

ICJump Thu 30-Mar-17 10:36:51

Yes you are.

Fairness isn't the same as equal amounts.

CaseyAtTheBat Thu 30-Mar-17 10:37:29

I think you're being very silly. They gave your sister money for a specific thing, and kindly told you that the same is there for you when you also do that specific thing, or another one. They aren't witholding anything from you, its not a general gift of money. They didn't offer you money for a holiday so why do you think they should give you money for that?

Of course you can't bring it up with them, because you know it would sound ungrateful and childish. Which you also know it is.

Chippednailvarnishing Thu 30-Mar-17 10:37:35

It's £500.
Forget about it.

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Thu 30-Mar-17 10:39:04

The money will make your sis be able to travel - by road. .
They should have given you the same cash to travel by whichever means you wanted also!!
Sounds a bit mean to 'tease' you like that.

HecateAntaia Thu 30-Mar-17 10:39:39

Yes. sorry grin I do understand that you are seeing £500 whereas they are seeing a reward for a specific achievement.

They are being fair imo

They gave a gift to your sister for a specific reason and have the same gift for you for the same reason. The fact that you aren't doing either of the things that will result in the gift does not make your parents unfair. It would be unfair if they said that then you passed your test and they gave you a bunch of daffodils. (but it would still be their money and their choice)

Imagine that your sister had graduated from uni and your parents gave her £500 as a present and said to you, if/when you graduate, you will also get a graduation gift.

Would they be unreasonable to not give you a graduation gift if you dropped out of uni and went to work at mcdonalds?

Goldfishjane Thu 30-Mar-17 10:40:58

I find it weird too

it's like saying "we'll give you x for a wedding" but if you don't want to get married you don't get it. I think either they want to gift the money for something useful to you, or not.

Moanyoldcow Thu 30-Mar-17 10:42:40

I think you are I'm afraid. They have chosen they'd like to help you and your sister with the cost of a car or house purchase. It's their money to spend as they see fit and you'll be grateful when you decide to buy a car or house.

greenworm Thu 30-Mar-17 10:42:50

I think it'll be tricky to raise now, but it's worth explaining to them as you have here that you are unlikely to be buying a house or a car in the near future, for well thought-out reasons. Then leave the ball in their court as to what they do with that info.

OTOH - are you sure you don't want to learn to drive? I took lessons and passed when I was 18, then didn't drive again for 10 years due to city living, then found myself in a situation where I needed to get a car and start driving once more. I was very grateful I had my license, and was able to avoid the expense and stress of learning at that point in my life. I just took a few refresher lessons and got going. I've no idea how much lessons cost these days, but £500 could make a nice dent in an intensive course.

Bonez Thu 30-Mar-17 10:42:50

Use your own money to travel. When/if you come to buy a house eventually that £500 will be much needed.

redexpat Thu 30-Mar-17 10:43:49

I have savings accounts for kids' future boarding school (am abroad, lots of teens go for one year only) and confirmation. The money is earmarked. My dad had 3 accounts for each child's wedding. We also got a lump sum when we started uni.

It might be nice if they asked if you needed it for other things but ultimately it is their choice.

BathshebaDarkstone Thu 30-Mar-17 10:44:27

Someone posted a link to an article on another thread: gifts with strings attached. Tell them you don't want the money if you have to spend it on what they say.

2014newme Thu 30-Mar-17 10:44:40

Presumably one day you may want your uwm home or a car. You'll get it then.
Don't be a spoilt brat

xStefx Thu 30-Mar-17 10:47:36

Sorry op I think your being unreasonable too.
It's going on her car. Why don't you learn to drive and when they give you the £500 tell them that you don't want a car but would like to spend it on something else that's important to you. They might be ok with that x

Majorgoodwinschickenbeatstrump Thu 30-Mar-17 10:47:55

House, car, education (that's going to lead to a career) or business start up would be the only time my child would get money 'gifts' from me too. The rest they could borrow as long as eventually they paid me back- they would only have to ask. Maybe your parents are the same?

Goldfishjane Thu 30-Mar-17 10:48:31

Bathsheba "Someone posted a link to an article on another thread: gifts with strings attached. Tell them you don't want the money if you have to spend it on what they say."

exactly this. I don't think you should demand a gift but if they ask when you are planning to learn to drive or buy a home then you need to say you're not seeing those things happening in future.

lottachocca Thu 30-Mar-17 10:50:00

YABU.
We have a fund saved to help our dcs. We will not be handing it out as a gift without strings. We are fairly selective about what items we consider worthy of spending our cash on. Current thoughts are their education, a car but only if needed for work, health and a deposit for a property. If they want to travel they'll be funding that themselves.

ContactLenses Thu 30-Mar-17 10:53:29

Thanks everyone for your responses - it's interesting to read other people's points of view.
I would never bring this up with them, as has been said above- it is their money and of course it's upto them what they do with it.
Goldfish- yes that's what I meant! I might never choose to do these things!
Major- that's exactly them. Those are the things that mean a lot to them and they see as achievements and my sister is very similar.
I think I've thought too much about this one! I'm enjoying reading other people's points of view though. Lots of things I maybe hadn't taken into consideration.

Goldfishjane Thu 30-Mar-17 10:54:39

OP "I feel like they really shouldn't have mentioned it at all."

yes. I also think that with the age gap between you and your sister, and the fact that they did this in front of you, they're making a point of some kind.

MangoSplit Thu 30-Mar-17 10:54:46

Hmm I think you are being a bit unreasonable. My parents helped my brother and SIL out with fees when she went back to uni. They helped me and DH out with the deposit when we bought a house. I guess my parents, like yours, would prefer to respond to a specific need rather than just give us money for no reason. I wouldn't call this a gift with strings attached, as the only 'string' was that we would spend it on the thing we were clearly going to spend it on anyway! Owning a car is expensive.

As long as they are not consistently favouring your sister then I wouldn't have a problem with this.

IHeartDodo Thu 30-Mar-17 10:57:41

I think you're being a bit of a brat sorry - it's their money and you should be grateful if they want to help you with a house/car. They probably consider a holiday as "frittering it away" even though you don't.
Maybe as someone else suggested, you should learn to drive even if you don't need to now, and you could ask them for money for lessons?

northernshepherdess Thu 30-Mar-17 10:58:09

MIL used to do this with DSC... who I cared for. His mother used to take him abroad at twice a year and on other trips and hols while DH still payed her maintenance !!
MIL would hand him holiday money in front of my DC and say it was holiday money knowing my DC couldn't go on holiday due to money issues.
Made DC very resentful as she got neither holiday nor spending money.
Smacks of favoritism sad and created a crap ton of jealousy

EineKleine Thu 30-Mar-17 10:58:12

YABU. I think they'd see a holiday as frittering and they want to encourage you to save up to afford a flat or house one day. Hardly a parenting crime.

I think they were right to mention it to you too, otherwise you might well find out your sis had been given the money and feel it's unfair. Think of it as an offer of a bit of financial support, which you happen not to need at the moment, rather than a gift. Holidays don't need financial support.

ContactLenses Thu 30-Mar-17 10:59:02

Goldfish oh yes I think they're definitely trying to make a point! They find it incredulous that I can't drive and don't want to own a house just yet. They just can't get their heads around it. As I'm sure many other people are too! But they're not the types to live and let live!

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