Friends and money

My husband recently travelled south for a birthday party for a friend he’s had since high school. A large number of his buddies also went down, and my husband organised the flights for one of them, since he saw some good deals online, knew the guy was intending to go and wanted to let him know about the deals. Well, he must have booked the flights five weeks ago, and the actual weekend for the trip came and went two weeks ago. They went and had a great time. But guess what? Not a cent has yet been forthcoming!

I asked hubby about it when they got back. He said his friend had told him that he hadn’t been paid correctly and so didn’t have the money yet, but that he would get him the cash `in a couple of days’. It’s not a small amount, at least not to us – it’s $360 for his flights that we are waiting on.

The positive side of this equation is that  we are finally in a position where we don’t owe this money to our credit card, as I used some of our week-to-week cash to pay it back pretty quickly. But part of me feels like he’s not that concerned because we have a double income and I think he figures that we don’t need it. Not that he’s checked that with us. Every dollar we have is going in to improving our financial situation at the moment. That means I haven’t bought lots of things that I’d love to get.

I guess I’m just mostly annoyed because it’s something I would never do. That is, I would never allow friends to book a flight for me if I knew I couldn’t pay the cash back to them quickly. And believe, me, for most of my life that’s exactly the position I’ve been in, where I’ve had to say no to group activities because I didn’t have the cash. I studied at university for eight years while my friends travelled the world, meeting up with each other in exotic locations and pressing me to come too. I know it’s not easy to say no when friends get together.

I guess we should probably just let it go, on the understanding that you don’t lend friends money if you expect to get it back. It just seems that `lending’ wasn’t what I believed we were doing when we ordered those flights.

What does everyone else think? Am I being unreasonable? Should I be more understanding that he just doesn’t have a lot of cash and miscalculated what he could afford?

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4 Comments »

  1. No one has a right to be a cheap opportunist and a PARASITE.

    Not that his friend is.. but I sure as hell would not have booked that flight or agreed to it if I couldn’t have given him the money up front in cash before we went.

    Even when BF and I went to the States, he paid for the flights, I paid for the hotels. The difference was $30.75 and I paid him that in cash right away. Now we’re squared and I feel better.

    I wouldn’t mind booking all of that stuff.. but I would ask for the cash up front with the statement: “I don’t have the room in my bank account to cover everyone. I need some money to clear it up front so I can pay for it.”

    A little reminder/shaming goes a long way.

  2. And if he didn’t have the cash, that’s his mistake, not yours. Don’t pay or apologize for other people’s mistakes. :)

  3. Maureen said

    Your friend is definitely taking you both for mugs. So what do you do lose a friend or lose the money. I think I know which way I’d go. Good luck

  4. alicia said

    His behavior in this is really inappropriate, and you’re not being unreasonable. Just because you’re a dual-income household does not mean that you’re in a position to give out a $360 gift to a friend. I can imagine circumstances in which I’d give a good friend that kind of money and let it go without being repaid…but it certainly wouldn’t be for something recreational!

    If you’re confident that he’ll pay you back relatively quickly, I’d chalk it up to experience and just never put yourself in that position again. If he seems inclined to let it go for too long without paying you back, I’d push for him to at least give you guys $20 a week until he can pay it off in full. If he’s really your friend– and really worth having as a friend– he’ll be honorable and make it a priority to pay you back.

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