I have a friend, same age as I am, and we have been friends for ten years now. We actually met abroad where we were going to school and returned here and out of sure coincidence, we live in the same state and about an hour apart.
Now, my main and only issue with her is the fact that she always complains about money and how she doesn't have any to spend after paying her bills. What I mean is this, I happen to just start driving now, and all this time she would need to pick me up and then go out. She would complain to me about how much money it costs to get to me and take me home (being that I do not drive.) When we go out, she complains about the prices of everything, and it is not like we go out or get together often - maybe once every 3 or 4 months, if that. For things like coffee, or something, I'm always stuck with the bill! Every time she gets up to use the bathroom when the bill comes!
Now, I don't mind it really, but this happens every time. I understand her financial state, but at least be polite and offer to pay one time, no? Her claim is that the amount of gas that she spends to come to me, pick me up and take me home costs more.
I feel like she is my sister, and there when I need her. Like I said, we have been very good friends for 10 years, but me picking up the tab when we go out - it is starting to bother me a little. Is it me? Am I wrong to feel this way? And do I or should I even say anything?
I guess it depends on how much the tab is. For about 14 months I did not have a vehicle, and my friend would help me get to doctors appts, or let me use her car to go to an appt, or we would go shopping together. I would always make sure I reimbursed her for something for letting me use her car, or coming to pick me up. When I used her car, I would put in some gas, like $10, or if she would pick us up (my kids and I) I would buy her breakfast, or her coffee at Starbucks. I appreciated her getting me out of the house, or watching my kids so I could go to dr appt., and I always wanted to make sure I did a little something for her. She is the type of person who never fills up her car, and is always close to E, so I think giving her car back to her full, or half full was appreciated. I never wanted her to feel like I took advantage of her, more like she helped me out, and maybe have her feel she got the better deal. Who knows, but I guess it depends on how much the bills are. Like I said, for us, it was usually $4 for a cup of coffee, or $10 on lunch or gas. I think there was one time I did fill her gas tank up, but she had helped me out a couple of times that week, and I knew she did not have the money to fill it up. We both stay home with our children, and I sold my car because it was small, I needed something bigger with 2 children, and I went the winter, and the next thing you knew it was a year with out a car. My husband has different hours, so I could use the truck in the morning, or in the late afternoon for errands while he was asleep.
I think you need to go with your gut instinct, if it does not feel right, or that you are doing too much, then say something. If paying for everything is catching up to you then say something. You mentioned you are starting to drive, do you have your own car yet? If so, or you are close then it will even itself out, and you won't feel like you are having to make up for her driving, and gas money.
Hi, thanks for your advice. No, I have offered to pay for gas, etc, multiple times over the years. But I kind of feel bad always asking to put gas in her card - shes a friend, not a taxi driver, so to speak. It's just that even then, when the bill always comes, she disappears on me! Yes, its mostly for coffee, as in 10 - 15 dollars with tip, however, it just bothers me that she doesn't offer to pay! Even one time. As if it's automatically my responsibility!
We have eaten out very few times, and when we did, she just had a fit about the bill, as in dinner and drinks would come to (for the two of us), between 50 - 80 dollars, where we would pay rounghly 45 dollars each.
I guess I'll see what happens next time around. It's really here lack of offering to pay, even offering one time for example, which she hasn't, and that's what is bothering me. But I guess her driving to me, and back, is a bit much? But that's what good friends do, right? Or in my mind, at least.
Maybe she's broke, stingy, thinks you have the money for this (since you've paid every time so far) and feels entitled to have you pay for everything since you've apparently "got it." On top of rationalizing that you're even because she drives. Not to say that she isn't a beautiful person in other ways.
I say that knowing how it feels to think that way. I won't defend it, or say it's healthy, only that I understand it. Apparently every other poor person in the world is proud and hardworking, but I at least know the creep of resentment, envy and entitlement. I personally would never go so far as to leave the room when the bill comes, but I wouldn't go out if I were expected to pay for anything. I simply couldn't afford it. If I had ten extra dollars, I'd spend it on a haircut or a pair of shoes without holes in them. I tend to assume that anyone that can afford going out for coffee isn't hurting for it. Again, I'm not defending that way of thinking. I know it isn't right. But maybe it's some insight into the way your friend feels.
If spending money is an issue and your friend is stiffing you on the bill, why don't you guys do something that doesn't cost anything, like going to the park? Or the next time you plan to go out, tell her that you'd like to eat out, but you can't afford it. That should give her some idea that you aren't a free ride.
Well, in my opinion I guess it comes down to how much you would like to keep seeing and spending time with her. She is right in this day of high gas prices that she is spending more than you by picking you up and taking you home, but I also agree that it is RUDE of her to just assume that if you go out you are buying.
How bad does it bother you? Enough to end the friendship? If so, then just don't take her up on anymore trips, if not try and overlook it....or now that you have your own car and driving yourself meet her halfway between your home and hers and then tell her since you saved her driving time and gas you expect lunch/coffee to be dutch this time. If she leaves when the bill comes lay down your money, wait until she comes back and tell her what her half of the bill comes too...I think if she wouldn't agree to that or if she raised a fuss about it....I wouldn't be eating with her anymore.
Well, one poster said it correctly, and the fact is she is a bit stingy. But she was never frivolous with money. My thoughts on that was because she never really had any extra to begin with. I, on the other hand, might be able to afford a pair of designer jeans every now and then, and to her, that constitutes as being 'rich.'
I feel for her, and these past few years were very tough on her, financially, as she would call me every other day to tell me her troubles, but she is not dumb or stupid. She has two degrees!! And is intelligent.
Like I said, she has been a very good friend to me,, and I understand her issues. But I think she might be taking advantage of me in terms of this, but $10 or 20 dollars is not the issue. For example, after coffee one evening, we went to a club and she asked if she wanted to "split a drink." I said NO!, just to prove a point, since I think it meant for me to buy it and split it...so she just goes and buys herself one, without asking to treat me!! Now, I told her I didn't want a drink, but at least she could have offered...
Listen, I don't think there is much manipulation on me by her as you might think. I just feel for her, and in a way, m aybe I'm starting to get annoyed with it. I guess as long as she picks me up, I will need to pick up the coffee tab, so to speak...but I just want her to offer, or just pay for hers. At this point, seeing her every couple of months and going through this, I guess, is not bad.