Wedding Woes

Stop. Paying Her. Way. (and don't expect repayment without saying something)

Dear Prudence,

A good friend of mine has quietly stopped paying me back for relatively small purchases, things like movie tickets. I’ve been poor most of my life and have only very recently started making the same kind of money she does. I know she has a family to support, and she and her husband both work full time. I don’t want to be a jerk who confronts their friends and demands they account for every last cent. I’m also generally conflict-averse, which is why I haven’t brought it up before.

On the other hand, $20 is still a lot of money for me. I can usually absorb the cost, but it’s not always easy, and it’s frustrating and hurtful when she says she’ll pay me back and then doesn’t. Recently I asked if she would get food for me before an event we were both going to and said I’d happily pay her back or we could call it even on something I’d bought for her at her request. Not only did she not do it at all, but she didn’t acknowledge that she still owed me for the other purchase. She has since made purchases in the same price range, or less, that I am expected to pay her back for, rather than even going, “How about I pay for this and we call it even on you paying for that?”

Is there a way to approach her about this without coming off as a petty asshole? Or should I just let it go and accept that sometimes you just spend money on your friends without any expectation of return?

—Nickel and Dimed

Re: Stop. Paying Her. Way. (and don't expect repayment without saying something)

  • The coworker could genuinely thought it was all paid back but LW needs to say something. Even "hey, not sure if you didn't realize but you still owe me $X and stopped paying. Is everything ok?"
  • Bring it up.   

    "Hey, the next time I see you could you please pay me for the theater tickets?  It's $45."

    Or get a Venmo/Paypal account and say, "Hey if it's easier to pay me back that way you can Venmo or Paypal me." 

    And then if she gives you radio silence when you bring this up STOP DOING IT.  
    short+sassyOliveOilsMom
  • You don’t have to wait for her to say “let’s call it even”, why don’t you suggest that next time she pays??
    climbingwifesparklepants41
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Wait, so did she just buy her own food at the event and leave her friend out?  How do you get around something like that?

    short+sassy
  • My best friend is like this.  It's literally pulling teeth to get her to pay for her share of anything.  She will eventually but it takes a lot of nagging.  I've learned to either just pay separately for everything, or let her pay and pay her back.  It's annoying, but in our case, not a dealbreaker.  If she owes you money, ask for it and remind her.  
    short+sassyMesmrEwe
  • Had this problem with SIL.  Simple solution - I stopped paying for her tickets to events.  Haven't had a problem since.  Of course, now she doesn't go with us because it's too much hassle to buy her own tickets, but it really wasn't that hard.  

    Casadena
  • So simple, stop buying things for this person. Either you talk to them about the money already owed or eat it but, don't buy them anything else.
    mrsconn23
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    So simple, stop buying things for this person. Either you talk to them about the money already owed or eat it but, don't buy them anything else.
    Right? I just stop hanging out with people like this. Or if I truly enjoy their company and don’t want to end contact I make no effort to ever pay for them. I would say most of my friends and I have a generalized pay back via “next thing” method. Or if we go out to lunch and I get the more expensive thing, I’ll pay gratuity, etc. If we don’t Venmo each other then and there, it’s fine because it usually evens out. 


    image
    short+sassymrsconn23
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