give friend money

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
give friend money
16
Thu, 10-18-2012 - 4:11am

I have a good friend who lost her business and home and now rents a tiny.place and lives on SS. and food stamps. She is looking for work and wants to take a trip to a 10 year anniversary memorial for her daughter but said she doesn't have money for it or anything else. When she had money she had always been generous to others.

I, too live on SS rent a tiny place and struggle to make ends meet. Nothing for extras and not even dental care. Nonetheless I decided to tightened up so I could help her out with a liitle. I had a card and some $ ready to go in the mail when during a phone conversation she mentioned to me that she has been doing some online dating and signed up for a couple of those sites that have membership fees. She said, its my fun. After that I had 2nd thoughts about sending her money becsuse to me that is not a neccessity. I'd even like to do that but can't afford it. I'd have make a sacrifice to send her some $
Seems if she can pony up an extra $60 or so every month for those fees she can pony up money for that trip..

What do you think, should I send her $ or not.

K

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 4:12am

I just stuck some cash in the card, there would have been no stipulation what she should use it for., it was a gift for her to do with what she needed most. I was under the impression it was going to the memorial and that she  may not because of lack of funds. That she was struggling to pay her rent, etc.  It just took me back after hearing for a long time now how bad things were for her, that she had spent money on dating sites.  Certainly would not one of my priorities when things are as tight as she says they are.

Right, I am doing a little better now, but also have more medical bills and need to go to the dentist and have been putting if off because of the expense.

My question was: (even if i did have  plenty of money, myself)...after hearing that she is so broke and then spends her money on dating sites, I did not feel right about giving her that gift.  I see  that all of you agree.  thanks for your feedback.  

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 2:50am

A problem of contributing to her fund for this future trip is that if she does not save enough $$ by the deadline then she won't be making the trip...but might not return your gift which is technically hers to spend as she wants. Also you should only give gifts that you can actually afford to give. It sounds like you cannot afford to help her when you are deferring your own care. I know from personal experience that it can be upsetting to give money to someone who has very different priorities for how money should be spent or saved. Better to avoid money related issues altogether with this friend.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2009
Thu, 10-18-2012 - 9:02pm

Good for you. Thanks for clarifying that she didn't ask you.  Also, i know you have to be careful about checking and savings accounts when you get food stamps (I hear they they check/have access to everything) but please do yourself a favor and try to put some money away for dental.  It's very expensive, but consider going to a college dental school (cheaper, but not free).

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Thu, 10-18-2012 - 5:44pm
Thank everyone. this was entirely my idea. she knows nothing about it. I have just been hearing how tough things are for her. Yes, partially it has been because of poor choices on her part. No matter, I had just decided to help her out with a little gift for her travel fund.....until she started talking about getting on dating sites..that cost money and also driving out of town to meet these guys. Then I did not feel so good about doing that and the card has not gone in the mail. Card will now go in trash and money back in my purse.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2009
Thu, 10-18-2012 - 1:10pm

(sorry about the large font - don't know what happened)

 

I agree with paradigmshifter, but I have a few more comments and observations.

I don’t think you should give her any money.  It’s incredible that you can’t even afford dental care for yourself yet you consider giving her money for a trip.  Even if you were in a much better financial position I would say “No”.  She has very poor judgment and you’re not responsible for her.  If she wants to fritter away money for a dating site membership or whatever, that’s her problem and she’ll have to take responsibility later when she needs that money for essentials.

While it’s nice that she was generous back when she could afford to be, that doesn’t justify being foolish now.  If I were you I would also not engage in discussions about money/finances (yours or hers).  If you ever received a large amount of money (lottery, inheritance, settlement, etc.) keep your mouth shu and don’t tell anyone.

I learned the hard way that it’s a mistake to get into money exchanging arrangements (gift or loan) with friends and relatives.  It almost never ends well.  Watch Judge Judy and you’ll know what I mean.

Just say “No” – you don’t own any apologies or explanations.               

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Thu, 10-18-2012 - 8:55am

You're right.  If she can afford membership fees to dating sites then she can afford to put money away for a trip.  Also, you are in a similar predicament as she and are not in a position to give her money.  It can and has ruined friendships (including one of mine) so I would not recommend lending money.  If anything, consider it a gift.  As a friend used to say, "Do not loan any money that you are not prepared to give away".

It's great that your friend was generous when she had the funds and I'm sure that if you did have the funds, you would be generous as well.  But you are not in the same position she once was where money was a little more abundant, so don't try to compare.  If she tries to compare, remind her that you are in the same position that she is in. 

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