Lately have you noticed that it is costing way more than it should to go out on a weekend – and after careful inspection it looks like your bank statement reads your friends names alongside their outstanding balances? Yes, as a good friend you should be willing to take the shirt off your back, but do you really want to constantly be walking around topless? Here are some dos and don’ts to ensure you’re generosity is not being taken advantage of, and you do not become your friends bank of choice.
DON’T say “get me back next time” – Unless you and your close friend have an established and succesful system where you pay – than they pay – and it never feel like you are always in for more than you should be – don’t make it a habit to drop the “get me back next time” line. Yes, it rolls nicely off the tongue from your oh-so-generous-mouth, but save it for those rare occasions that your friend is actually in need of some cash flow.
DO follow up with your customers – For some of us, asking for money is an incredibly sensitive subject that we would like to avoid at all costs. DO IT. If you have put an event (concert tickets) or night (limo to the concert) on your credit card and everyone agreed that they would hit you back, get on it. Ideally collect your money before, but if this fails – drop a cute email as a reminder – “Remember that night? Amazing right? Well it wasn’t free!” Keep a check list.
DO give yourself a personal budget – If you budget your night you will start to notice what is being spent on you and what is being “borrowed” (you may not get it back) from others. Practice just paying for yourself – like in big groups that the “get me back next time” system isn’t established – start your own tab.
DON’T feel obligated – If money is tight or you would like to save it, don’t feel obligated to lend it out. Only help where you want to and can – you don’t want to get yourself into so much trouble financially that you can’t buy a shirt to replace the one your friend took off your back.