Monday, March 2, 2009

WWYD Edition 1: Accepting "gifts"

Okay new edition to my blog, not sure yet how often I'll do this but I figure its a great start to getting interaction between bloggers so WWYD?


You are practicing becoming financially healthy, your friends have more money to play with than you do for whatever reasons (it doesn't matter the reasons in these scenarios they vary anyway). At various times they all want to do things with you, you turn them down. Except each time they beg and offer to pay.

What do you do?

They call it a gift, you feel like its charity. Which is it?

Is there a point you just always say no?


  1. No, you say "yes." Turn the situation around - what if you had more money than a friend and wanted to spend time with them? Would you offer to pay? Would you feel like you were taking pity on them? Or would you feel like you were being understanding and just wanting to hang out with them?

    I went through this at first too. Friends who knew about my situation would offer to buy me a glass of wine when we went out or pick up my ticket, or whatever. At first I said no every time, but then I realized I was hurting their feelings. I remembered all the times I had cash and bought rounds or dinner or whatever, and now I was denying them the chance to do something nice back.

    And don't forget - you can return the favor. There are plenty of things you can invite them to that won't break your budget - invite them over for coffee or homemade dessert, look for free things around town (my girlfriend and I had a GREAT time at a free poetry reading at the college) or just go for a walk.

    My girlfriends and I used to go out to a nice restaurant to hang out, now we get together at my house with a bottle or two of wine and a few munchies - for a fraction of the cost.

    And I'll warn you, you might get offered other free things - I had someone leave a Sam's Club sized package of TP and laundry soap on my back porch not that long ago. The thing to do is just say thank you and promise yourself that when things turn around you'll help someone else out.

  2. Dawn, I never thought of it that way but that is true. I've done similar things for all my friends. I guess being on the receiving end because of these circumstances it felt more like charity then anything else. It really isn't though because I didn't even feel like it was charity when a friend ran out of milk and meat, had 2 young kids and her husband had just left her. I had it and I bought her a weeks worth of both then found her some help until she could sort it all out.

    Thanks for the insight :)

  3. If the offer is from someone who is a true friend then I think you should accept the offer. A real friend understands that you are strapped for cash or minding a budget to save for something important like a house or car. A real friend does not offer a gift with an expectation or condescension attached to it. A real friend offers a gift because they want to treat you and spend time with you.

    If your friend who offers this views it as charity then they are not really your friends. Learning to graciously receive a gift is just as important as graciously giving.

  4. I have to echo Dawn, a true and real friend will "take care" of you and yes there are ways to reciprocate. I never accept an invitation from a friend expecting to be "taken care of". I can tell you truthfully, one eye opening experience I've had this past 18 months is the number of friends who have stepped up to the plate when I've turned down invitations because of a cash flow issue and have either treated me or found something else we could do that did not cost $$ or was inexpensive. I've also been amazed at the number of "friends" who have gone by the way side since I started saying No, can't afford it this time. Again, don't think of it as charity, think of it as a gift.