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What can I do about my best friend getting me to pay for everything?

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Franklin1985 | 11:50 Mon 24th May 2010 | Family
15 Answers
I've been friends with my best friend for 14 years. For the past year she has been living on benefits and has a one year old little girl so she doesn't have a lot of money. I have a two year old son and live with my partner. We don't claim benefits and are doing ok but money can still be tight. Right now we are trying to save for a car because ours is good only for scrap!

I see my friend usually once a week and we tend to take the children out somewhere. We almost always end up going in my car & I pay petrol and sometimes for the car park too depending on where we are. Because we live in the middle of nowhere it means we have to drive a fair bit to get anywhere. Also I live a good 1/2 hour drive from my friend and 9 times out of 10 I'm also the one who has to go to see her.

Then we tend to get dinner on the way home, which is to be fair usually only something cheap like mac Donald's but again I'm somehow always the one paying. Usually we go through the drive thru and as I'm driving I tend to pay and she'll always tell me to get a receipt and he'll give me the money because she usually only has a £10 note. Then she'll just keep putting off giving me the money by telling me she'll do it once she's fed her daughter or her purse is tucked away and she'll give it to me when we get home. Very often she'll manage to put it off until it slips my mind and it's too late because I'm half way home.

I don't want to fall out with her over it. I know she is hard up and I'd happily help her sometimes but as it is it feels like she is just using me. How can I get around this problem without big arguments?

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I had a friend like this when I was young. She always managed to go out without any money or had forgotten her purse, etc. etc. Met up with her 20 years on and she was exactly t he same, and she was better off than me.

There are people around like this and it has nothing to do with being hard up. Unfortunately, they often lose their friends.

I don't worry a bit...
13:58 Mon 24th May 2010
Would you take your child out without her? If so, you'd pay the same for petrol and for parking.

£3 for a maccy D's....oh dear.
I think honesty is the best policy here, don't be afraid to tell it how it is - and if she phones you, tell her you just can't afford to go out this week/month, bills, you need a new car etc - she of all people should understand - you could always invite her over by saying, if you can get here I can run to a sandwich and a cuppa - but as regards going out for the forseeable future - a new/newer car has to be the priority. If she's a true friend she'll understand
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BTW she has a lot more than £3 of food. She usually orders more than me and it can be close to £10 a time!
Then its about time you forgot to take your purse with you
if you really think it is a problem then as ummm says you would pay the same for petrol but you could accidentley (sp) on purpose leave your purse at home ,or why not suggest none of you can afford to go to mcds , and make up a picnic (doesn't have to be extravagant ) a few sandwiches and a bottle of diluted juice crisps and a few other bits, much better for a 1 year old and 2 year old anyway
why do you stop at Mcdonalds??? Why dont you all have a picnic and all take your own packed lunches???
havent eaten a McDonalds for years!!
As the saying goes....

A friend in need...Is a pain in the @rse
I had a friend like this when I was young. She always managed to go out without any money or had forgotten her purse, etc. etc. Met up with her 20 years on and she was exactly t he same, and she was better off than me.

There are people around like this and it has nothing to do with being hard up. Unfortunately, they often lose their friends.

I don't worry a bit about who pays for what, but I don't like being taken for a mug, and this is what your friend seems to be doing.

Next time you arrange to go out, phone and ask her if you can use her car (just before you go) because you have a problem. Tell her you are taking a picnic and when you get to the car parks don't have any change on you. Carry on like this a few times and I'm willing to bet her friendship won't be so strong.

If you are genuinely hard up then you can't expect to rely on your friends generosity - she's a sponger.
I don't think it's very fair of your so-called friend to expect you to pay all the time. And I would simply tell her that you just can't afford to subsidise her any longer. As loftylottie said, she's simp;ly sponging on you, and I would tell her straight. you can do without "friends" like her. Your money is just as precious as hers.
I agree with the posts above - stand firm... say you would prefer to go in her car this time as you dont have any petrol in yours...

Say you would LOVE to stop for lunch out - but that since you paid last time its her treat! Or take a picnic... (much healthier for the kids than a Maccy D's anyway!!!)
Are you going to risk a friendship of more than 14 years for the price of a few burgers? Living on benefits is very difficult. You friend may be ashamed to say how hard things are for her.
I realise your point SandyRoe - but if things were that bad - she could always make excuses about going to McDonalds.. or suggest going to a park - where its free for the kids to play on swings etc...
Plenty of people in her situation - and plenty of people tightening their belts lately too - nothing to be ashamed of... Its life unfortunately... we all have to live within our means
"she usually only has a £10 note"
"She usually orders more than me and it can be close to £10 a time!"

Seems fair enough then, ten quid it is.

I sympathise for your dilemma but when an issue isn't tackled it continues to fester. Best be honest while it is all very amicable and before it gets to the shouting match stage. Say money is tight for you too, and whilst you are happy to contribute you think she ought to offer more. And decide, based on her reaction, whether things will change, or whether you are prepared to carry on forever as you are, or whether the friendship isn't as good as you'd hoped it was and needs cooling. If the latter find excuses to reduce the number of trips you are on together at the same time.
personally if it was me i would just tell her in conversation one day that you are finding things difficult with money etc and that you have to tighten your belt for a while.
Whos suggesting going for food all the time, you or her? could it be that if your the one suggesting it then she feels embarrased to say that she cant afford it so puts on the pretense that she will 'pay you ina sec, whilst hopeing that you forget' ? Or could it be a case of that she is purely a scrounger!
Why dont you just do one weekly visit to your friend, and take the kids to a park or the beach with a picnic or something, it doesnt have to cost much and the kids would love it.

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