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: 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. 

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: 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 - 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).

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: 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.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 4:17am
Even when things are tight for me....I have no problem sharing with friends.....it is a give and take. I took a friend out for dinner for her birthday, other times she takes me out. This friend I wrote about has given to me also in the past. It is just this particular situation where I suddenly did not feel so good about giving her money right now... But like i said above...even if i was rolling in money, in this situation it didn't feel right.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 2:31pm
I disagree, Elc..the problem is not whether she gives it back or not or spends it on her trip or not. It would have been a gift!! I was going to send her that gift to help her out a bit because she kept talking about how strapped she was and may not even be able to go to the memorial. When I heard that she had been spending fees for dating sites then chipping in a little no longer felt right. I wondered if i was being too judgmental or my feelings right on.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 8:52pm

Karen, in the end it's completely up to you.  If you don't feel good about giving her the money now that you've learned that she has spent money on membership fees for dating sites, that is entirely your perogative.  She isn't aware that you were going to give her money, so there won't be an issue if you've decided against the gift.  The gift giving is a self-directed act based entirely on the desire to give the gift.  It's the same reason why people donate to some charities and not others.  It's completely up to them and their reasons are entirely their own that don't require justification.  If you don't feel the same now, then that is reason enough.  Personally, I'd likely feel similarly.  I don't find your reasoning illogical. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2002
Sat, 10-20-2012 - 3:51am
Thanks....I just had some self-doubts about my shift in feelings from "giving to her now would be really nice".....to "don't think so". Wondered if I was being judgmental, illogical, blah,blah. Probably being more judgmental toward myself than anything. LOL It felt really good when I initially decided to send her that gift and it was disappointing to learn that she was complaining about how broke she is, while spending money on non-essentials. Appreciate your feedback.

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