The booming world of influencing has radically altered how a lot of people make money, especially teens with massive online followings.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a parent asked if he was wrong for telling his daughter she can't access her full earnings from influencing until she's 18. He wrote:
My (48M) daughter (15F) has gathered some following on social media and started to get approached by some brands to promote their products. I don’t know the first thing about this digital influencer culture, but I like that she’s happy creating her content.
We went through a family tragedy when my first wife passed away 3 years ago, and I believe the dedication to her channels had a major positive impact on my daughter in a difficult time in her life. Anyway, whenever a company approaches her, I help the best way I can, going over the terms and conditions of contracts and so on.
One thing that surprised me, though, is that some of those offers involve SERIOUS money, so I told my daughter from day 1 that I will put it all away for her so she can access her money when she turns 18. My view is that, for as long as she’s a minor and unable to make more informed financial decisions, she should get by on her allowance, just as my other 2 children do.
She was fine with this at first, but lately, she started asking me for more of her money. She pointed out that I allow my other daughter to keep and spend the earnings from her babysitting gigs. It’s a ridiculous comparison because a teen having pocket money from babysitting as a complement to their allowance doesn’t even begin to compare to the kind of money my other daughter is making now.
But it’s a fair point, and I gave her that. So I told her that we can use this as a reference: we could take an average of what her sister was earning with babysitting, or what her brother was earning flipping burgers in the fast food industry, or what most teenagers would realistically be expected to earn in this phase of life.
I said I’d agree to take a similar amount from her earnings every month so she could complement her allowance, but the bulk of it would still be put away until she turns 18. She thought I wasn’t taking her seriously to propose something like that. So, was this an AH-ish move on my part?
I'm leaning YTA but not cause of money management. Your daughter makes a fair point, she earns more and it stands to reason she should have access to more. However, I completely see your point that giving a 15yo access to that kind of money isn't wise for her future. On the other hand, it seems like you're treating her with a double standard.
You are letting her make adult decisions by being on social media and gaining a following/doing brand deals. Just like she is too young to be expected to manage a large sum of money, many would argue that she's too young to understand the implications of being an influencer on her future. A brand deal with the wrong company, saying the wrong thing once, could have a major impact on her future.
So it seems weird to say "I think my daughter's mature enough to make adult decisions about her social media presence that could impact her future but I don't think she's mature enough to manage money." If she's mature enough for one she's mature enough for both. If she's not mature enough for one is she really mature enough for the other?
NAH. I don't think anyone is really the A here; that said, by tying the amount of money your daughter gets to her siblings' earnings you will be causing some tension between them that doesn't need to exist. You don't want her to be looking at brother Bob thinking if he only flipped more burgers I would have more spending money.
I understand you not wanting her to have full access to her earnings as she'd likely learn bad spending habits, blow too much of the money, and so on. As she is earning the money though, I think she should get some of the reward from her success.
I wouldn't tie it to her siblings at all, but perhaps try to work out what would be a bit more generous, but healthy amount for her to have access to each month and help her budget it out. You can still emphasize with her that the whole purpose here is to protect her money for her to have when she is an adult, to have her learn the value of money, and to teach her to make good financial decisions.
NAH. Handing over control of a massive wad of cash to your daughter on her eighteenth birthday is a disaster waiting to happen. Especially if she has 3+ years of resentment built up. You have to fix the relationship to ensure she doesn't self-destruct.
Maybe you can all take financial literacy courses together. All kids need to understand long-term investing and money management. Your daughter is on her way to being a successful businessperson. Help launch her. Your other kids need the same info too.
YTA - It’s her money. It’d be one thing to teach her to budget, but there’s a lot of you controlling her money, and telling her what she’s doing. You should’ve talked with your daughter from the beginning to make a financial plan; a set amount of savings and spending money.
“She started asking me for more of her money” is such a ridiculous statement to me. In no other scenario would it be right to withhold the money that someone has earned…so it doesn’t make it okay just because you’re a dad and she’s your daughter.
That is ultimately her money, and while teaching her how to use it responsibly would be the best course of action, what she does with her money is ultimately her decision. Give her all the tools to make sound financial decisions for herself now, so she won’t immediately blow her savings the day she turns 18.
It shouldn’t be based on what her siblings make. It should be percentages based on what she has. Maybe it’s save 60% and keep 40% for spending. Whatever the breakdown, it’s something she definitely deserves a chance to set for herself.
YTA. You have been helping her manage her business like an adult. Now it is time to help her manage her money like an adult. That doesn't mean she needs access to it right away, it means you come up with a plan together for how the money will be used and at what pace.
Clearly, the internet is divided on this one, but leaning toward a YTA ruling.