“Please Fund My Bad Planning And Lifestyle Choices”

by admin on October 21, 2013

This is partly a rant and partly an etiquette question.

An acquaintance has been on a crowdfunding site, trying to raise money for her family to move to a nicer house. The place where they have been living is, I agree, substandard, and the kids need a safer place to live. Having said that, this is not the first time she and her partner have been emailing friends, on Facebook, etc., asking for help repeatedly to feed, clothe, and house their children.

We all have times in our lives when we need help, and usually I am glad to help a friend, and grateful when friends help me. But here’s the rub: this woman also posts frequently on Facebook about, and shows her friends, the vacations she has taken, the restaurants she has been to, the gadgets she has bought, etc. Oh, and that’s not to mention the fertility treatments they’ve been funding so that they can have a third child. She and her partner seem incapable of planning ahead and putting money away for a rainy day for the kids they already have. And they don’t seem embarrassed to ask others to bail them out when they run into problems — which is often.

The rant is that our family also has large medical bills right now, but instead of taking vacations, buying trinkets, and eating out, for the most part we have buckled down, worked overtime, and generally taken care of business as much as possible. So to see ten or twelve Facebook posts in two weeks (really!) imploring people over and over to PLEASE help their family, when I know they have been blowing money elsewhere, is infuriating to me.

The question is this: This woman has started privately emailing mutual friends to ask them to send money. I know etiquette doesn’t require that we give money. In my case, right now I actually can’t afford to help. However, some mutual friends could afford to, but are offended that she would ask, under the circumstances. Does etiquette require them to lie and say they have no money to spare? Or can they tell her why? She is a pushy person and I can’t imagine she would accept an answer like, “Because it just isn’t possible.” She will ask why not. Can they level with her? (I know some of them, at least, feel the same way I do.) Several of us are so frustrated with this couple right now, I don’t think we can make an objective call on this. If she asks me, I don’t want to be cruel, but I feel partly like if no one is willing to say “This isn’t appropriate,” she’ll never know. 1021-13

You and your friends are under no obligation, whatsoever, to give one dime to this so-called “friend” who has no shame about begging.   You also have no obligation to explain your financial decisions or financial status to her because to do so gives her a foot in the door to demand to know more about your financial health and why you are not sharing it with her.   You are under no obligation to respond to the emails she sends that border on coercion and guilt manipulation to get what she wants.   I would personally delete these emails unanswered.

It is not lying to say, “There is no money in my budget to help you,”  because your money is allocated to specific budget categories and there doesn’t happen to be a budget category called “Alms Fund For Pushy, Begging Friends” and if there were, there is no money earmarked for that category.

As for speaking to her, if the relationship can sustain that kind of truth, have at it.  I suspect that she will not be receptive to your message.    People who have an entitlement attitude that they are owed the fruits of other people’s hard earned money are not often swayed by reasonable discussion about tightening their own belts.   Ehell has seen its share of people who believe that everyone deserves the best things in life at someone else’s expense and without working hard to achieve them.   People prioritize their money and your friend” values vacations, gadgets and dining out as higher priority than saving for a home and what is worse, in my opinion, is that this “friend” is not above using guilt to her advantage.  It’s kind of astonishing if you think about it…this is a person who is far ore comfortable with bullying friends into coughing up money than she is with the prospect of knuckling down and working to save that money.   I hate to be cynical and pessimistic but I don’t think telling her “This isn’t appropriate” will have any effect on her.    Give us an update if it does.

{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

Marian Perera October 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm

If this were my Facebook friend and she emailed me, I’d say no. I’m not under any obligation to give reasons for that decision.

But if she got pushy or demanding, I’d say all right, I’d changed my mind and to expect some money in the mail soon. And I’d be completely serious. I saw an old Monopoly set around somewhere…

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Dee October 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I agree with Anonymous; you need to do and say absolutely nothing about this. Dead silence is the best action to take. What strikes me most, however, are the reasons why you, OP, feel inclined to call these people “friends”; to check on them on Facebook or allow them to post on your page; to answer their emails; to spend any time talking about them with your other friends. Your involvement with these people and their drama, and the adoption of their drama so that it is now your drama, are what stand out to me. These people will do what they will do but you don’t need to have any part or knowledge of it. If you like the drama, however, then you might want to find out why and resolve that.

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NostalgicGal October 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

I do like some of the comments, when she asks for help, ask her if she’d like to help you out to get the Gadget, Vacation, Eat Out etc that YOU want to do… and when she looks at you blankly, ‘But, you just raved all over Facebook about it; if you can afford X why can’t you help *me* out?’ If she then goes but but but she needs X… well wouldn’t having skipped getting X have fixed your current need?

I still say just start repeating NO and cut contact.

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JackieJormpJomp October 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Tell her it’s inappropriate. SHe’ll get mad. She’ll ask why. Tell her. Also mention that you think it’s insulting to show off vacations and crowd source. She’ll get even angrier. She’ll complain to other people. These other people might be relieved to have the topic broached and be able to agree. She might never speak to you again.

It will be worth it. Consider it a public service, as well as an excellent way to screen out the kind of person you don’t need in your life.

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Filiagape October 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Admin says, “if the relationship can sustain that kind of truth, have at it.” I say, even if the relationship cannot sustain that kind of truth, have at it. What do you have to lose but a hand that, if she is entitled enough to ask friends to provide her with a better home while trying to create another mouth to feed, will no doubt be extended again and again and again? You identify her as an “acquaintance” and do not give any details about her being warm or generous of spirit, funny or insightful, just pushy and entitled. This is so over the top, I suspect it is exaggerated or made up. If not, give it a try for the sake of her kids, current and potential.

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Filiagape October 21, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Yes! I like The Elf’s idea, everyone else who is offended/incensed by this person’s pushy/entitled posts block her Facebook money grubbing, and maybe she’ll get a clue. Or maybe someone will have to give it to her. Would this gift be better coming from a friend, whose relationship may then be forfeit but whose words may have greater weight, or an acquaintance, for whom the gift is less costly?

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Kate October 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm

How close of an acquaintance is this woman? I would just delete or block her from Facebook so you don’t see any more begging requests. If she emails you, say straight up, “No, I cannot afford that”. What your mutual friends do in terms of responding to emails or Facebook posts is entirely up to them.

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Yasuragi October 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm

These kind of people are like stray cats. Don’t ever feed them. Not even once.

And if the drama is getting to you just remove them from your friends list. I’ve done it a couple times. Sometimes when I inform someone of their offensive behavior they unfriend me first. And nothing of value was lost.

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Kate October 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm

@KJR, I think you are teaching your daughter a wonderful lesson about the value of savings and hard work. I had a similar situation when I was in high school – my school organised an exchange trip to Germany for people studying German, and my parents paid for the main expenses (air fare, etc) but said that I was responsible for my own spending money. I worked a part-time job and managed to save about $1000 to take with me. Other people’s parents just handed them money, which I thought was incredibly unfair at the time, but now I’m proud of myself for paying my own way and learning to be responsible with savings.

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Kimstu October 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm

@Ashley: “I have one of those fundraiser sites, but unlike the folks in OP’s story, my husband and I are cutting back. We went to our savings first. […] it’s still going to take a LONG time to pay, and we’re a young newlywed couple wanting to do all the things newlyweds want to do, and now a mountain of medical bills incurred during a gap in health insurance coverage has thrown all of those things out the window. Can’t save towards a house. Can’t buy a second car we really actually needed. Can’t plan for kids until we know how long my treatment for what I have will last. I was trying to transition off of my old insurance onto my new husband’s insurance […] we just can’t handle it without a little help.”

One of the casualties of the social-mooching culture is the way it pressures people who DO have legitimate financial hardships, such as yourself, to have to explain their private circumstances so other people won’t mistake them for shiftless moochers. Etiquette says that you don’t confide your money troubles to your friends and acquaintances, not just because you don’t want to seem to be begging, but because you’re entitled to your personal privacy! The moochers who couldn’t care less about their or anybody else’s privacy as long as they get shiny new toys in exchange for it are helping ruin the dignity of private life for everybody.

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NostalgicGal October 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm

http://www.zieak.com/2008/08/19/print-your-own-monopoly-money/ I tried, the links in this do come up with PDF files that load copies of the Monopoly money, that you can print off. If you have a printer and get the right colored paper, you can print your own to send to the person… I just love Marian’s solution (#51) If you go to a place that sells copier/printer paper, the normal blue, green, yellow (these are all soft colors) and goldenrod… you can print your own.

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badkitty October 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm

While I agree with admin (and others) about the plan of action, I feel like there’s a lot of judging going on here. Your friends finances and her “lifestyle choices” = Not Your Business. Your approval is not required, nor is your assistance, because it’s not your life. Now, you don’t want to see these pleas for help in your newsfeed or wherever, and you can block them, delete them, whatever. If she comes to you directly asking for YOUR money, you can tell her “honestly, I blocked all that stuff because I think it’s tacky to beg and couldn’t stand to see you debase yourself like that. Good luck with your projects, but I’m not in a position to contribute.”

What bothers me is the “I’d be more likely to help if you weren’t doing _____” (insert vacation, dining out, whatever) that I’m seeing here. Also not okay. I’m 100% certain that the OP is spending on something that her friends think is a waste of her money and that she’d have fewer problems if she’d quit doing X and do Y instead. Because everyone’s different.

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Kimstu October 21, 2013 at 8:17 pm

@KJR: “This post has me thinking…my daughter’s school is sponsoring a trip to a South American country. […] Problem is, we don’t have the whole amount to give her, so we’ve told her we will pitch in, but every spare dime she makes at her own job has to be put towards the trip. In other words she has to contribute if she wants to go […] Up until today, I felt bad about this. Now I see that we may in fact be teaching her a valuable lesson about saving up for what you want, and not expecting others to foot the bill.”

Yes indeed @KJR, and good for you for teaching your daughter that there’s no shame in not being able to afford everything; rather, there’s immense pride in using hard work and good sense to save up for what you want to afford!

Absolutely do NOT apologize for not being able to give her everything she wants, but praise her for having the discipline and determination to work for what she wants. (And if she lapses into grumbling and sulking and doing the self-pity act because teenagers, right? then you should feel no hesitation about threatening to cut back your contribution! Self-reliance should be CHEERFUL, not grudging and whining because you don’t get everything handed to you on a plate.)

Stick to your guns and I promise someday your daughter will be BRAGGING about how she earned x% of the money for her own school trip herself when she was only n-teen, while none of her spoiled lazy classmates contributed a penny for theirs! :)

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OP October 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

OP here. I appreciate all your comments and ideas. Dee and a few others who mentioned this are right, I hadn’t thought about it but to a certain extent I guess I have been enjoying my sense of righteous indignation when it comes to this person. What can I say, sometimes getting into a snit feels very satisfying when you’re under stress! Reading your comments made me decide to unfriend her on Facebook to try to remove myself from the drama somewhat.

Sometimes I hate being mature and adult, don’t you guys? :-)

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The Elf October 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm

KJR – you are indeed teaching your daughter a very valuable lesson. I distinctly remember when I learned that one. I wanted a denim skirt and Mom said I had enough clothes. If I wanted it, I had to buy it myself. I had a few parents that would call me sometimes to babysit, so I stepped it up and asked if any of their friends needed a sitter. After a few weeks, I bought the skirt – and when I realized how many hours of changing diapers that equated to, it didn’t seem so awesome.

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Janel October 21, 2013 at 9:49 pm

@KJR – I grew up in a fairly large family (there were five us kids), and while money never was really a problem, my parents definitely taught us thrift. If we wanted to do something, like participate in a sport or school activity, or buy something special, we were expected to earn the money and pay for at least part it ourselves. Now that we are all adults, I am so glad they did. We all learned how to work hard, budget our money, and cut back if we need to. So don’t feel bad about making your daughter pay her share. I think I valued the activities and the trips more then some of my friends did because I knew I paid for them, and a lot of work went into them.

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Jamie October 21, 2013 at 9:59 pm

OMG!! This could be my ex SIL! she used to call all the time crying that they needed money for food for thier kids since they couldn’t afford to pay thier bills and get food. My husband and i went to the store and bought food, milk, fruits and veggies and took it over to thier place. Instead of thanking us she whined that we should of gave her the money. you know why we didn’t? Because she and her hubby were more interested in booze and smokes and we made sure the kids had food.

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Rebecca October 21, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I’d probably consider defriending this person, and I agree with admin that her emails can be safely ignored. However, I also don’t see anything wrong with posting in the comments section, under one of her begging posts, “Have you considered taking fewer vacations and eating at home instead of going to restaurants? That is how most of us save for our homes.”

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Bee October 21, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Why do you really want to continue being friends with this woman?

I do a lot of work as a performer, which is a community that’s rife with people who do things on the cheap or even free in the name of “exposure”. (Which is a topic I don’t even want to get started on …) This crowd-funding for their own gain mentality runs rampant in the community.

A couple of times, I’ve spoken up and mentioned that it was, my opinion, fairly rude and presumptuous to expect people to chip in for things like a flight to LA for them to perform at a not-profit festival there, and things like that, and that if they can’t afford it, maybe they shouldn’t have agreed to take the job — but ultimately I’ve just started deleting these people off of social networks and quietly fading away. In my experience, these people don’t listen to reason, and expect that the universe “owes” them success.

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NostalgicGal October 22, 2013 at 12:22 am

OP, I hate putting on the adult britches but my DH is disabled. So I get to even when I don’t want to.

Bravo on blocking off this clueless moocher from the planet Boron!

At KJR, in highschool if I wanted to go to camp (Music Camp) I had to earn it. Then I was allowed off, during haying season (one week of it) to go. I left the hayfield to spend a week there, then came back and went back to work. I know I enjoyed it more, having earned it all myself spending money included as well as the tuition. You’re doing your daughter a world of good.

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Lo October 22, 2013 at 6:49 am

@Badkitty

The difference is, OP hasn’t asked for money.

Nobody’s life choices are my business. The only time that changes in when they ask me for money. Because then they become an investment. Am I going to invest in a friend who is going through a rough time and needs grocery money this month? Sure. Am I going to invest in that friend if the reason they don’t have grocery money is because they just had to have a new big ticket item and didn’t plan ahead? Probably not. That’s a judgement call. I am judging the situation based on what caused it because it is a bad investment for me personally. I may not expect to get a return on the investment in either case, but one is helping a friend in need and the other is abetting a bad spending habit. I should not be investing in the latter.

It may not be polite to dictate how others live their life but it is certainly not impolite to speculate on what they could be doing differently when they are asking me for a handout. Because then it’s my money and it becomes my business. It was asked of me and therefore it is not a gift.

This is also the reason I would never ask anyone for money unless it was absolutely dire. Becoming a chronic charity case for friends invites all kinds of unwanted speculation on where that money is actually going.

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The Elf October 22, 2013 at 7:01 am

Gotta disagree with that one, Badkitty. When you openly ask for money, you put your spending choices out there for criticism. While I do think it’s rude to call it out so boldly, the fact is that luxury vacations (not flying across country to see your mom or something, but Disney, a cruise, a week on the beach, etc) and most meals out are unnecessary. Nice, sure. I like them too. But they’re clearly something any reasonable, financially-saavy person would purchase AFTER they’ve paid the bills or saved for a goal. I’m not saying you need to live a life of total frugality if you need to pay big bills or save up for something; everyone needs a break every once and a while. But to *ask* for financial help while still paying for luxury items is wrong. You need to cut at home before you ask people to pony up (and even then…..)

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Jazzgirl205 October 22, 2013 at 8:07 am

In my life, I have known many people. I have come to the conclusion that some people are incapable of understanding cause and effect. I.E., If I spend money on X, I will not have money for Y. If I beat up my landlord, I will go the jail and/or will never be able to rent another apartment again. Maybe a certain brain chemical is missing. I have known people who have spent their whole lives not understanding cause and effect. They think people who have money saved up are “lucky.” They think people who are in the process of saving money are crazy, self-denying, and don’t know how to have a good time. They think the whole world is inexplainably against them and cannot see the consequences of their actions.

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another Laura October 22, 2013 at 8:27 am

@badkitty-the difference is that OP isn’t soliciting funds from every person she can, therefore her spending, even if it’s for things that aren’t seen as necessary by others, is her business. When you boast about purchasing expensive luxury items, traveling to exotic destinations, and eating at fancy restaurants, then turn around and try to guilt trip others into supporting your children, because you “can’t afford to” and even have the nerve to ask for financial help in conceiving another child, when you have already made it clear that you aren’t willing to make you children’s welfare your top financial priority, then you leave yourself open to scrutiny.

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Ted October 22, 2013 at 9:25 am

Bad Kiity wrote:
” I feel like there’s a lot of judging going on here. Your friends finances and her “lifestyle choices” = Not Your Business. Your approval is not required, nor is your assistance, because it’s not your life”
_______________________________________________________________

If one claims to be under such financial duress, asks for help then flaunts a vacation on social media, it IS our business. If that’s the case, don’t cry broke nor expect assistance

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Redblues October 22, 2013 at 10:26 am

Jazzgirl205 you are exactly right.
Turn the question around. A friend has a house, 2 kids, fertility treatments, one more kid. Then that friend starts asking for donations to fund fancy vacations, expensive home renovations, a house in a better neighborhood, and restaurant meals. Would you contribute? Because that is >>exactly<< what you are doing when you give money to 'help the kids' or 'pay for fertility treatments because 'we just want more kids' or 'buy a house we can't afford in a neighborhood we feel is up to our standards'. Such people, oddly, always have money for their expensive taste, but never enough for their expensive responsibilities.
From painful experience I have learned that even 'needy' family members don't usually need money. There are a few exceptions, such as a serious illness or disaster, such as a fire or flood. Usually, those individuals need financial lessons and (in an ideal world) an accountant to dole out the money they do have. I would gladly pay for classes in finance, budgeting, and home economics, even if that was more expensive, than just hand over a random donation or even a loan. I would do that as a favor for a family member or close friend. Anybody else would get a bunch of links to websites about finance, budgeting and home economics. An individual who has taken it upon him or her self to look into my finances and determine that I can afford to give them my money is not in a position to complain that it isn't anyone else's business if s/he eats in restaurants or takes a vacation. Cause and effect.

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Ashley October 22, 2013 at 11:00 am

Lots of good suggestions and advice going on here. Glad to see there are plenty of people who do seem to understand the difference between people who actually need help and moochers.

Also, to Kimstu, you said: “One of the casualties of the social-mooching culture is the way it pressures people who DO have legitimate financial hardships, such as yourself, to have to explain their private circumstances so other people won’t mistake them for shiftless moochers.” That is SO spot on to my situation. My husband and I are intensely private about our finances. Having to admit that we actually need help and to spell it ALLLL out was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

The most sucky part of all of this mooching stuff is you hear news stories about how someone faked cancer to get donations for a wedding or whatever. Think of how many people see those stories then get turned off of helping people who actually need it, for fear that person may be another mooch. My husband and I are on the low end of the needing help spectrum. I know there are people out there who need money WAY more than we do. While some people might be helpful and donate, I can’t help but wonder how many people saw a story about someone mooching then getting caught, and thought to themselves right then and there “well I’m not donating anything to anyone anymore”.

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badkitty October 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

My point was that the OP has no clue how her friend is affording those “luxuries”. I have a friend who often posts vacation pictures from exotic locations, yet she and her husband are poor as church mice. Her father works for a high-end hotel and lives on a fabulous tropical island: he flies her out and puts her up and that’s not mentioned on facebook because she doesn’t have to explain her finances or her vacations to anyone. Her stepfather is a pilot who won’t give her a penny or send presents to his grandbaby but WILL give her a family pass so she can fly for free – also never mentioned publicly because it’s Nobody’s Business. Now, my friend also doesn’t beg in this public fashion, but let’s be clear that it’s the BEGGING that’s rude, not “begging for money when you have nice things I can’t afford”.

I also have the feeling that OP would have these same thoughts and objections if the “friend” wasn’t begging for money but merely complaining over coffee/drinks about being so poor and wishing she could buy a better house, etc. I could be wrong, but that’s the impression I get when “and yet she can afford ____” gets brought up.

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penguin tummy October 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

I find it kind of strange that in the last few years it has become ok to ask friends and family for money in the name of ‘crowd sourcing’. I would rather die than ask my friends for money! The internet has suddenly made it so much easier because people don’t have to ask someone to their face. I wouldn’t be giving this friend any money, perhaps when she might learn to follow the OP’s good example?

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Angela October 22, 2013 at 5:46 pm

If the OP is asked directly for help, an option is to say “I can’t provide money. I’ll be happy to share some budgeting tips that worked for me when our financial situation was tight”.

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kingsrings October 22, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I’ve seen this too many times on my Facebook feed, and it really makes me lose respect for people. They post wants instead of needs, and have no shame at in doing that! For instance, one gal posted a status asking for money to attend a film festival where a film she’d acted in was playing. She couldn’t afford it on her own. That’s a need?? There have also been a few social networking-planned fundraisers for local actors to move to NY or attend a certain acting school. Again, that’s another want that the actor should be providing on their own for. Don’t have the money? Then set that goal aside and work on a new goal of getting said money for whatever you want. Don’t go to your friends, etc., unless you’re dying of some disease and need a medical procedure or whatever.

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Dee October 22, 2013 at 6:34 pm

@OP – good to know you are feeling resolved about this. It’s okay to delve into other’s people’s drama for distraction from the daily grind but one has to know when to draw the line, before someone else’s drama becomes your own. Sounds like you found that line – maturity isn’t always fun but you will be respected for your decision. Yea!

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Kate October 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

@penguin tummy, I completely agree! I feel embarrassed asking my friends to spot me $10 for lunch when I don’t have cash on me, and I always pay them back immediately. I can’t imagine putting out Internet requests to all my Facebook friends saying “contribute to my lifestyle”.

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Yarnspinner October 23, 2013 at 11:51 am

As someone who is currently suffering for her own bad financial choices I am embarrassed to even let my friends KNOW about my situation. Instead, I am taking on extra hours at work, selling things that can be sold and paring back where I can. Indeed, on the few occasions where money comes up and I have told my closest friends about what has happened, I worry that they will think I am asking for cash when I am just letting off steam.

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Maggie October 24, 2013 at 12:42 am

I think the respond to requests like this should be the sound of crickets. *chirp* *chirp* *chirp*

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startruck October 24, 2013 at 9:54 am

it certainly sounds like these people are tossing their cares to the wind and being irrresponsible with their money and if thats the case i wouldnt keep helping them either. but its hard to judge a book by its cover. are you sure these trips and dinners are on their dime? my husband and i have had severe money problems in the past, and last year for christmas my brother in law took us to disney world and paid for everything. iam just saying, you just never know. also, we’ve won free tickets to various places, movies and dinners etc. iam not saying you should give them anything but, before you think bad of them you might want to find out if they are really as bad a you think. now that my husband and i are doing much better financially , we have also treated our family and friends who didnt have a lot of money to nice things. but if that isnt the case and these people are truly irrresponsible i wouldnt give them a penny.

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JackieJormpJomp October 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

@yarnspinner
If I did know a friend was broke, and I had cash, I would offer it, and not because I thought they were fishing, but because it makes me feel better to know my loved ones are more comfortable. If someone does offer help (and isn’t the type to lord it over you), do take it. For your own sake as well as theirs. I couldn’t feel good knowing a friend was struggling when I had spare.

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Clair Seulement October 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm

@Badkitty, if you asked for a loan or a deferment from a bank or creditor, they’d want to know what your situation was.

Also OP while I appreciate that you ranted, rest *assured* you didn’t need to–this is OUT OF LINE. Period. I want to know where this person comes from. What region does she live in? What’s her circumstance? Because I think we owe society the documentation of the lineage of this sort of ludicrously out-of-hand entitlement so that we can take steps to CUT IT OFF before a whole generation of people is born thinking this is ok. I am fairly young with friends and family over various socioeconomic strata who worship celebrity culture and the luxury items purported to be the moral and qualitative hallmarks thereof, but still, I can say with confidence that no one I can name would ever even consider this to be something one should do.

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littlebosammy October 25, 2013 at 7:38 pm

It’s very easy to unfriend someone on facebook – and this woman is clearly no friend

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Angel October 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm

In reading the rest of these posts–I wanted to add another comment–usually if the person is a close friend I try to reserve my judgments as much as I can–because if it’s a close friend I know that the financial situation is temporary and the requests don’t come unless absolutely necessary.

That being said I don’t think the OP is being judgmental at all. It sounds like this person is an acquaintance who does this sort of thing regularly (begs for money for necessities when they are busy trying to keep up with the Joneses.) I think this post is probably just out of frustration. If I had an acquaintance who regularly did this I would be frustrated too–I probably wouldn’t post it here though because it’s not really an etiquette question–this is more of a relationship question. I am not close friends with everyone on my facebook feed. If someone I am not close to posts annoying and offensive things I will either block them completely or hide them from my newsfeed. And that’s what I would definitely recommend to the OP. I personally do not want to be in the position of having to look at anyone’s financial situation and frankly unless you are a close friend or family member–I am not going to want to help you regardless.

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Shannan October 28, 2013 at 9:33 am

To Badkitty (comment # 62)-

If OP’s friend was only whining about money while at the same time taking pricey vacations, you would be correct in saying this “not our business”. However, she then starts asking her friends for money so she can feed her children. This is when the “friend” opened herself up to criticism.

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Dust Bunny October 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm

I have to confess that I would start with saying I didn’t have anything to spare but, if she pushed, I would totally throw the friendship out the window and tell her why. It’s none of my business if she goes on vacation or buys tech or whatever . . . until she asks me to help feed and house her children because she’s frittered everything away and can’t afford it. Sorry. If you don’t want people telling you how to run your life, don’t ask them for help doing it.

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Scary Elizabeth November 1, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Every time I start considering crowd sourcing, I hear about a person like this and feel ashamed that such a selfish-seeming thought ever occurred to me. I don’t want to be lumped in with these types of people!

I got my BA three years ago, and I have been dying to get into grad school so I can make something of my life. At this point my goal is a Masters, any Masters, since I cannot afford to move to a university with a good anthropology graduate program. I’m not worried about funding; I can wait until a teaching assistant position opens that will pay for my tuition. The problem is paying for the GRE to even qualify for grad school. I lost a good contract job last year, and only recently found work. The pay is the same, but I only get about fifteen hours a week, and I am quite literally living paycheck-to-paycheck. I considered setting up a GoFundMe account to raise the funds for the test, since paying for it myself would nearly empty my paltry savings account (gotta have SOMETHING for emergencies), but I feel so ashamed at having to ask for money, even a relatively small amount. Heck, I haven’t even applied for food stamps, and the fear of going hungry weighs on my mind every time I go to the grocery store. I have my pride, and the thought of being seen in the same light as someone who is wasteful and irresponsible is very upsetting.

I suppose I can wait. Late twenties isn’t THAT old, I guess.

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