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7 Ways To Keep Your Nosy, Freeloading Friends Out Of Your Wallet

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7 Ways To Keep Your Nosy, Freeloading Friends Out Of Your Wallet

As a society, we are ruder. Texting at the dinner table and canceling at the last minute. In-your-face questions about how much you paid for your new home and blabbing about the price of a boob job.

It seems like no subject is off limits, particularly money. Without this filter, our friends and co-workers are pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable in social situations.

We checked in with some money and etiquette experts and what we found was shocking.

You won’t believe the money faux pas — and most offers don’t give their rude behavior a second thought.

Here are the top seven offenders — and tips on how to handle them politely:

1. Never buying a round — You’re at your favorite brew pub and a friend freely imbibes but never offers to pay.

What to do: “If  I remember correctly, I got the round at Hooters last Wednesday. Is it your turn to take a round?” That’s what career lifestyle and etiquette expert Sandra Lamb suggests. Opening up the question seems less offensive than saying, “I’ve bought the last five rounds, now it’s your turn.”

2. “Forgetting” how many drinks they really ordered — We all know the mooch who shows up at a bar and orders four or five drinks. At the end of the night, she suggests splitting it with the group. You don’t drink, and your house salad ends up costing $60.

What to do: Insist on separate checks up front. No exceptions.

3. Lending money to a friend — Money and relationships never mix. When people borrow from you, and if you allow it, you’ve just turned yourself into a creditor. And what do people do with their creditors? Avoid them, said Aimee Elizabeth, author of “Poverty Sucks! How to Become a Self-Made Millionaire.”

What to do: If you lend money, chances are you won’t get it back. If you’re OK with that, lend away. If someone owes you money you can politely ask: “Have you forgotten to pay me or did I forget that you did?” If you no longer want to lend money to this person, tell them: “I value our relationship too much to ruin it by putting money between us.”

4. Asking you the dreaded salary question — Comparing work salaries is rarely a good idea in social settings.

What to do: In the spirit of Ann Landers, try: “If you’ll forgive me for not answering, I’ll forgive you for asking,” or the more subtle, “I don’t ever discuss finances.” The key is to have a statement at the ready for these types of situations so you don’t feel pressured to answer, Lamb said.

5. Do-gooders asking for money at the office — The nonstop cash drain for birthday parties, gifts for co-workers and their children’s fundraisers has become too much.

What to do: Avoid getting angry, rude or confrontational and be careful discussing your opinion with co-workers; it may get back to the person who collected the donations, said Harine Freeman, author of “How to Get Out of Debt: Get an ‘A’ Credit Rating for Free.” Instead, politely say you have specific charities you support or that you don’t wish to participate. No explanation needed.

6. Bouncing a personal check — It’s bad enough your friend writes you a check for an $8 debt, but now the check has bounced.

What to do: Politely inform the person and request payment for the bounced check fee. If the person is a repeat offender, consider asking for payment by cash, cashiers’ check or money order, Freeman said.

7. Skimping on buying a joint gift — We’ve all been there. You buy the joint gift, but when it’s time to collect you have trouble tracking down the money.

What to do: In this case, collect what you can and cut your losses. Next time, agree on a specific amount that each person should contribute. Don’t be resentful for those who don’t contribute or pitch in a smaller amount.

The Investing Answer: Money problems can make or break relationships. Don’t put your wallet on the line. On the other hand, don’t be a mooch. Pay your own way and treat others how you’d like to be treated. If friends are short on cash, offer to pick up the tab once in a while or choose less expensive activities.

This article originally appeared on InvestingAnswers
Author: Karen Nielsen
7 Ways To Keep Your Nosy, Freeloading Friends Out Of Your Wallet

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