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“Please Fund My Bad Planning And Lifestyle Choices”

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… add one }
  • Lo October 21, 2013, 6:40 am

    I normally would not even bring up money with a friend but I’m not sure I could bite my tongue in this situation and avoid suggesting that if they were to redirect money for fertility treatments for a child they don’t have towards the comfort of those they do (a nicer house) maybe this problem would solve itself.

    Seriously, how is it that no one has said this to her? If you’re going to be so uncouth as to beg via Facebook you’d better be ready for all your life choices to be weighed and measured by those reading. I’m not saying you have to be that person, OP. But surely there are less polite people on her Facebook feed who have come to the same conclusion.

  • The Elf October 21, 2013, 6:49 am

    Unless you’re close to this person (i.e. sibling, best friend), I don’t think anyone should call them out on their money-grubbing pestering. If you’re somewhat close (good friend), AND the person brings it up, AND asks for advice (or money), you could say something like “I know it’s hard, but I think you need to look to your own household budget and find out where you can cut so that you can save for a better place. We found that just by not eating out we were able to save a lot of money that we needed for those medical bills. Maybe that would work for you?” You can also forward the name of someplace that offers free financial planning help; I know some churches do this.

    But if you’re not that close, don’t bring up the rudeness. Just say “no”. If your mutual friends are wondering how to turn them down, the way to do it is to say “I’m sorry, but it just isn’t possible.” (or whatever variation they prefer). No explanation is needed. If she pushes, repeat then change the subject. Someone like that can only push you so far as you are willing to be pushed.

  • The Elf October 21, 2013, 6:50 am

    Forgot to add: You can adjust the settings on your facebook so that these status updates don’t show up. It helps make it less annoying, at least.

  • DGS October 21, 2013, 7:11 am

    Why exactly are you friends with this terrible woman again? First and foremost, your financial situation is your business and no one else’s, and secondly, this is no friend of yours if all she does is beg for money to subsidize her lifestyle. She can’t afford a home? Let her work overtime and find an apartment to rent that would be suitable for her family’s needs. She can afford trinkets and not food? Her problem. Until she falls flat on her face and figures out how to budget appropriately, she won’t learn. And you and your acquaintances are not obligated to bail her out.

  • sio8bhan October 21, 2013, 7:23 am

    I am rarely speechless, but this is definitely the case now.

  • Helen October 21, 2013, 7:28 am

    I have a friend who went through a hard time, and people stepped up to help, she did a crowd-funding thing, and a party where people were asked to help with certain “gifts.” Well, she never thanked anyone for their assistance, openly admonished people for not coming to the party and giving her gifts (despite having already donated substantial amounts of money towards her cause), and she used it as an excuse to upgrade and buy top of the line replacements which she posted about on FB.

    It definitely taught me not to give more than you’re comfortable giving, that giving once just makes you a target for more giving, and that some people’s sense of entitlement knows no bounds.

  • Kirsten October 21, 2013, 7:30 am

    I think it is up to your friends how they handle this, but I have to admit that once it reached being messaged privately, I would have to respond along these lines:

    “Please stop begging me for money. I’m sorry but I find it really inappropriate, especially from someone who can still afford holidays when many of us can’t.”

    Or, if caught at a really bad time when facing my own unexpected bills:

    “I am sick of you begging for money. Stop going on holidays you can’t afford, stop eating out, stop buying gadgets and stop bragging about it all on FB, because you are really starting to p*ss people off.”

    Then I would have to block her because I can’t imagine she would ever speak to me again. Although it sounds as if she just wants my cash, so I don’t think I’d be that upset about it. This is so crass!

  • CaffeineKatie October 21, 2013, 7:47 am

    I would tell her, one time and politely, the truth–“I have no intention of funding your life, because I do not agree with the decisions you are making. Please don’t ask me again.” And I would hope this spurs her to give ME the “cut direct”, because I really wouldn’t want someone like this in my life.

  • Emmy October 21, 2013, 7:49 am

    Wow. Even with money to spare, none of it would go to fund this person’s bad decisions. Why should people with money to spare because they planned, worked hard, and saved spend it on somebody who blows what they have and expects others to fund their lifestyle of choice. I agree with the admin to just ignore the begging e-mails, treat it as annoying spam because that is what it is. Nobody should feel like they have to lie. I also think the OP and her other friends should cut this couple out of her life socially. I can’t imagine that their ‘friendship’ would be worth the constant begging and guilt tripping for financial help.

  • LizaJane October 21, 2013, 8:03 am

    Just say, “No.”
    If she badgers you, I would be sorely tempted to tell her the absolute truth about their irresponsibity, but it would be far more satisfying in the long run to watch her frustration (and possible cranial explosion) if you just keep saying no.
    I would NOT say anything about my own situation; it makes it sound like I would help if I could.

  • barb October 21, 2013, 8:15 am

    I would post on her FB page, each time she asks for money, a link to her previous post about a gadget or vacation, with a comment “Bet you wish you hadn’t spent $XX. on this Ipad” or whatever. People like this are shameless.

  • Phoebe161 October 21, 2013, 8:24 am

    This person is no “friend.” I would block her emails and her Facebook posts. You are under no obligation to even listen to her blatant entitlement attempts. Yes, you’ll probably lose her as a “friend,” but honestly, that would be no lose.

  • Mae October 21, 2013, 8:37 am

    Agree with Admin. Say no and don’t give a reason. No is a complete sentence and not rude. If you feel you must give a reason, use Admin’s line. However, if this “friend” has resorted to privately emailing (begging), then she obviously has not gotten the subtle hint that friends are tired of bailing her out financially so it may be “clue by four” time .

    Here is my personal opinion on having another child: If they are having trouble supporting the ones they have, they should be ashamed to have another.

  • Goldie October 21, 2013, 8:48 am

    Wow, this woman has some nerve. I’d just keep telling her, “Sorry, I cannot accommodate your request”, “I’m afraid this won’t be possible” etc. Then after two or three replies, like Admin said, delete the emails unanswered. I would answer at least one email, because otherwise she might take your silence for a yes and continue to expect money. It’s not like she can withdraw money from OP’s or OP’s friends’ accounts. If she chooses not to take no for an answer and keep emailing back, let her keep emailing back. If their relationship cannot, in Admin’s words, “sustain that kind of truth”, then maybe there was no relationship to begin with, and OP and OP’s friends are better off without this friend.

    I have never in my life heard of anyone doing this, and I (and most of my social circle as well) have been through some tough times. Unreal.

  • Rap October 21, 2013, 8:49 am

    If you genuinely are friends with this person, I’d at least consider having the serious talk about why she’s where she’s at financially. I’m inclined to agree with Admin that she probably won’t be receptive but it’s worth a shot… if you’re wanting to remain friends.

    I’d actually couch it in offering advice in lieu of money you genuinely don’t have. Does she know how to budget? Does she know how much money she spends going out to eat? Maybe point her to her facebook entries about the vacations, the eating out, the fertility treatments.

    That’s if you want to be subtle. There’s nothing wrong or impolite in just saying no. I have at least one moochy friend who knows better than to ask me for money, because I don’t gift money on friends unless its dire financial need.

  • Lerah99 October 21, 2013, 9:00 am

    The worst part is this woman is willing to use her KIDS as leverage to guilt her friends into giving her money. It is horrible that she and her husband have put her family in such a precarious situation.

    Do NOT give this person any money OP. You could hand her the winning lottery ticket and this time next year she and her family would be begging for money again.

    There seems to be a rampant plague of entitlement these days. People who believe that no matter what job they work, they DESERVE the latest smart phone, a new car, nice vacations, dinners out at nice restaurants, premium cable packages, the very fastest internet, etc…

    The idea that you should SAVE for what you want is seen as old fashioned and quaint.

    I actually had a friend ask me for help with her budget. When I told her she should have $1000 saved in an “emergency” fund should her car break down or a member of her family have a health crisis, she told me, “Oh, I have $2000 left to spend on my credit cards. So that’s already done.” To her, $1000 saved in cash and $1000 you could CHARGE on a credit card were the same thing. And she didn’t understand how going into MORE debt was no way to solve her financial issues.

    This is the same woman who, while she was sleeping on an air mattress in her brother’s living room because she got evicted from her apartment, went out and bought the brand new iPhone because she simply couldn’t bear to be seen with the old model.

  • Anonymous October 21, 2013, 9:16 am

    Sometimes the best thing, and the hardest thing to do, is nothing at all. That’s what I’d do in this case–ignore the e-mails, ignore the Facebook requests, ignore all of this woman’s attempts at “crowdfunding” to compensate for her bad decisions. Eventually, other people will get “donor fatigue” as well, and do the same. Then, when she realizes that the well has run dry, she still surely wouldn’t let her children starve. At that point, I’d offer practical assistance, like, say, offering to babysit her kids while she and her husband are working overtime

  • Jewel October 21, 2013, 9:22 am

    Many years ago a similar question was posed by a caller to the Dr. Laura show. The caller stated that an aquaintance was pestering people for money to help cover overseas adoption expenses. The problem was that the mother-to-be had no problem coming up with money to resurface their pool in gunite, to go on nice vacations, etc. Naturally, the caller and others in her circle were reluctant to give up part of their budget to fund the adoption when the mother-to-be wasn’t willing to do the same.

    In an uncharacteristic response (she was usually so strident and harsh), Dr Laura suggested that the caller gently tell mother-to-be that she’d reach her adoption goal much faster if she would put aside her renovation plans and skip vacations for a while. The caller was also advised to tell mother-to-be that “those of us who haven’t vacationed in the Carribean or have a pool, much less one to gunite, shouldn’t be asked to fund something that you could fund yourself”.

    In the OP’s case, it may be like talking to a brick wall to say the same thing, but she could simply tell her acqaintance that that prioritizing her spending choices will help her reach her goal quicker. OP could also offer to buy her acqaintance a money management book or send her to a personal finance seminar as “my gift to help you meet your long term goals”.

  • NostalgicGal October 21, 2013, 9:27 am

    I’d unfriend and be done with it.

    There is a saying, “Lack of planning on YOUR part does NOT constitute an emergency on MY part.” As long as someone gives her what she wants she will continue to sail right along.

    If she asks why you can’t give her any money just say. “No.” No quibble, no thing to fish about with, and no leverage. Get everyone else to unify on this front. “No.” and there’s another one made into a song “What part of NO don’t you understand?” It’s time this one gets NO and learns to grow up.

  • Wild Irish Rose October 21, 2013, 9:44 am

    No. Final answer. And I do mean final. I would eliminate this family from my life entirely. Sorry about your kids, but I have my own children to suck up my money.

  • Mojo October 21, 2013, 9:48 am

    If she asks you directly, give her the same answer you’d give a pushy salesperson “No, and I’m not going to participate in this discussion.”
    You never have to apologise or explain yourself to anyone.

  • Anon this time October 21, 2013, 9:52 am

    These crowdfunding sites can be an awesome tool in the right hands, and an utter disaster in the wrong ones. I’m a regular poster going anon because I also have a Facebook friend whose begging has gotten under my skin lately. He’s not nearly as nervy as the OP. But he wishes to go to a conference out-of-state that’s relevant to his field. His employer can’t fund his trip, so he thought his friends and family might. He’s set up a gimme site on gofundme.com or a similar site and has been linking to it every couple of days. The rub is that, like the OP’s friend, he is well able to afford this himself judging by his other posts. He’s constantly posting about other trips he’s taken (several states away to see a concert), regional wine tours he’s taken, and things he’s doing to his home. Incredibly, he has nearly reached his funding goal.

    OP, you have not mentioned any good aspects of your friend, but even if she is a loving, giving person otherwise, the fact that she has no shame about begging for money would be enough to make me end the friendship. Evil me would be very tempted to quote her previous Facebook posts about her vacations, meals out and gadgets in response to all of her fundraising solicitations…although I probably wouldn’t do it, she would have it coming.

    The beauty of social media and email is that it makes these sorts of things easier to ignore. If she resorts to phone calls, that’s harder. I agree with admin that telling her the truth isn’t likely to make her change her behavior, but I also think that it can’t hurt to try. Otherwise, she is going to end up utterly alone, with no one to beg money from, no one to celebrate milestones with, and no one who cares about her…and she is going to wonder why.

  • Karen October 21, 2013, 9:55 am

    My sister in law has manipulated my mother into paying for her rent, groceries, car payment etc for years. It got to the point where she would just email “I need you to deposit $500 into my account” with no salutation, thank you, or anything. She hasn’t held a job in 10 years, and as far as I can tell, spends her days playing facebook games.

    After discovering that she has stolen the identity of another family member, my mother has FINALLY cut her off. I live in fear of the day she comes to me. I am made of slightly sterner stuff than my mother, and will not “lend” her a penny, but it will still be very uncomfortable.

  • Misty October 21, 2013, 9:58 am

    I know someone exactly like that. She dropped out of college because she couldn’t be bothered, moved in with her parents and her kid (boyfriend was in jail), didn’t want to work so they eventually kicked her out (she left the kid), she promptly bailed boyfriend out and got pregnant again (no idea where she got the money), then they’d post about going to the beach or out to eat or shopping or whatnot, and in the next breath she’d start in on how she didn’t have rent money, or groceries, and boyfriend was in jail again and it was about the BABY, she just needed money for the BABY.

    I never gave her any money but some others I know did – they paid her rent and bought her groceries. Eventually they wised up and stopped when she kept asking and asking and asking. When that happened she actually sent out a group e-mail to everyone DEMANDING money. She included an itemized list saying:
    I NEED X amount for this (the caps were hers – she capitalized NEED).
    I NEED X amount for that
    I NEED X amount for this other thing, and so on and so forth.
    She went on to literally command people begin sending her money at once. Shockingly, no one did and, last I heard, she had moved back in with her parents again while waiting for boyfriend to get out of jail again.

  • Stacey Frith-Smith October 21, 2013, 10:34 am

    I don’t think you need to worry about setting your friend straight. She likely knows that what she is doing is wrong but has rationalized it to herself somehow. But if she comes to you for money you could try telling her “I was just coming to you, I really wanted to buy nice cellphone-take that vacation you posted about-eat at that nice restaurant- and it’s just not in the budget. How about giving me enough money for the vacation deposit?”. Do this every time you see her or every time she private messages you soliciting for money. It might give her pause before doing that to you again. If your friends all do the same- she will run out of people to borrow from….eventually.

  • Chicalola October 21, 2013, 10:49 am

    I would just go with saying no and leave it at that. Only if she were to write and ask why I’m not helping….then I would ask about the vacations, expensive toys, and dinners out.

  • MichelleP October 21, 2013, 10:50 am

    Jaw on the keyboard from this one. I’ve needed help from family before, but not from making decisions like this woman.

    Agree with admin and other posters. Ignore. Delete. Repeat if necessary.

  • Ashley October 21, 2013, 10:51 am

    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. Then we evaluated our bills, and looked at how much money we had left each month after them. All extra money is going towards the bills rather than concerts or whatever else we might have spent them on. And the tax returns I thought we’d be able to save will instead be going towards these bills. But I still have the gofundme page going because as quickly as we were able to sort all this out, 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 and due to conflicting info we got in letters vs what we were told by someone on the phone, plus his place of employment being notoriously slow when it comes to filing paperwork, there was a gap. And of course I managed to get sick in that gap. We are cutting back as much as humanly possible, but it’s still a LOT of money we owe now, and we just can’t handle it without a little help.

  • Margaret October 21, 2013, 10:58 am

    LIKE #7 and #11 — I was going to suggest something similar, but you both expressed it better.

  • Ellie October 21, 2013, 11:03 am

    @The Elf- I really like your wording for this situation. Your suggestion sets up the perfect timing and makes the conversation about the OP sharing her own experience successfully overcoming financial hardship, instead of putting the friend on the defensive. I don’t really care about the friend’s feelings, but this story does make me worry about her children. So I hope someone helps this woman see the light!

  • Allie October 21, 2013, 11:20 am

    Why is this person your friend? I would unfriend her and filter her e-mails directly to my junk bin. That will solve your “dilemma” of what to say to her. Nothing. Her raging sense of entitlement does not deserve a response.

  • Rug Pilot October 21, 2013, 11:24 am

    There is a website for all this begging and the donations are posted on it so everyone can see who gave what. One of my riends who recently lost her contract of many years is on it begging for money to feed her numerous cats. Since it was her own fault that she was “fired” I have no sympathy for her situation and hope she finds some kind of a job soon. This is not crowdfunding a project that will produce rewards – it is the result of the entitlement mentality and pure begging.

  • Justine October 21, 2013, 11:25 am

    A cousin and her Dh take a very nice 10 day or 2 week vacation every year. She stays home with their 4 kids and the DH’s job is known to pay well. Their son went off to a private college and was playing a sport. This was their last kid. A letter was sent to all of us relatives asking us to support him in all the equipment he has to buy to play in this sport. I was tempted to, but did not, tell cousin to get a job like me. I just ignored the request. I would suggest it was the best way to go.

  • Calli Arcale October 21, 2013, 11:55 am

    It seems a lot of us know somebody like this, a professional mooch. There is no point whatsoever in explaining yourself to her; explaining presupposes that you are both approaching this honestly, and at this point I think it’s pretty clear that she is not. She already knows she could scrimp and save or simply do without the fancy new house she wants; she has rejected that option and so is feigning poverty and hardship to elicit sympathy and hopefully funds. If you explain, you are signalling to her that you don’t want to hurt her feelings, and that’s what she’s counting on; she knows then that if she just steps up the pressure, she’ll find your breaking point. I’m sure she doesn’t see it quite that maliciously, but that’s what it ends up being.

    So just tell her what admin said — “No, we do not have any budget to spare.” And end the conversation. If possible, I might end the friendship. The mooches I know are relatives, so we don’t have that option, but we do guard our words around them to avoid creating an opening.

  • June First October 21, 2013, 12:16 pm

    If she’s an American and you wanted to gently reprimand her, then you could jokingly post, “Oh, honey, didn’t you hear the federal stimulus program and bailouts ended years ago?!”

    Ok, maybe that wasn’t that gentle. And it could start a political rift. But it might be worth it!

    Otherwise: “No, thank you.”

  • Ted October 21, 2013, 12:19 pm

    I called myself helping a so-called ex “friend” who was about to lose her house. She appealed to a woldwide audience with her story. Nonetheless, I helped and so did many others. Needless to say, we were then greeted one day on her site with photos of her and her family at an unamed theme park. It was like a slap in the face to many who stepped in. Now i’m sorry i ever helped. Because of this, I will NEVER help anyone again.

  • Angel October 21, 2013, 1:05 pm

    You friend is a leech. Pure and simple. And she’s teaching her kids that being a leech is not only acceptable it’s expected. Disgusting and not the type of friend I’d want in my life. Do yourself and your wallet a favor–do not respond to her emails (in fact, treat her email like spam because that’s basically what it is!) and block her on FB too. This way you don’t have to read her posts.

    I feel most sorry for her kids but a lot of us have kids to worry about too–I have two children and I’m not actively trying to have a THIRD, when I can’t really even afford the ones I have. That’s just nuts!

  • Gena October 21, 2013, 1:17 pm

    I’ve seen it mentioned a few times on this site that “it isn’t rude to ask!”

    Well, I disagree. I think that if the question, or manner, in which you are asking would cause any reasonable person discomfort, it’s rude.

    For example, if I notice that you never seem to use your espresso maker, it’s not rude to ask if you want to sell it. It is rude to ask “hey, give that to me since you never use it”.

    It’s rude to solicit this way to fund your own lifestyle choices, since it certainly causes people discomfort.

    I would simply say no. and if she pressed for an answer, I’d tell the truth. I’m not helping you when you don’t appear to be trying to help yourself.

  • lakey October 21, 2013, 1:18 pm

    I’ve known a few people like this. They don’t stop until others stop bailing them out with handouts. As long as others give them money, they won’t grow up. I’m kind of surprised they have so many friends.
    The only thing I would give them is a book on budgeting, perhaps by Dave Ramsey.

  • waitress wonderwoman October 21, 2013, 1:40 pm

    I am a self-proclaimed “softie”when the situation calls for it. I know some people do fall on hard times and if they are humble, thankful and I know it is absolutely a case of them swallowing their pride to have to ask for help (and I have it to give), I am more than willing to help however I can. But if you are posting a request for a gimmie, gimmie on your brand new iPhone where you just uploaded pics of your expensive dinner or vacation, uh, NO, I DON’T THINK SO!!!!

  • Cat October 21, 2013, 1:42 pm

    These folks name is Legion because they are everywhere. I have a relative who is on her aged father’s bank account in case of his sudden death. Whenever she wants a new car, a vacation, whatever, she simply takes the money out of his account without telling him and, if he mentions it, says, “Oh, I’ll pay you back.” but never does.
    Her son will take his car to his grandfather and say, “This needs a new engine.” Grand-daddy will have it done, pay for it and never seen a penny. Grandson will go to Hawaii to surf.
    Then there is a former co-worker of mine who would spend a hour on the phone with her daughter-in-law, another hour with her son, make an appointment to have her hair done, set up a lunch date, take an hour and half lunch when she was allowed one hour and complain she was too busy to finish her work.
    I recall a friend who wrote $800.00 in bad checks to “help her son” and called to ask me for the money. When I refused, she cried, “But no-one is helping me!”
    I would not hang onto this friendship and would say, “You could afford x, y, and z according to your Facebook page. I am certain you can manage these bills too.”

  • Karen L October 21, 2013, 1:52 pm

    When she asks for money can you say something like: “I’m saving up to buy a ” or “We’re saving up for our dream vacation at ” or “I thought I’d have dinner at .” That might clue her in that you think that these things are more important than her money woes, and by extension, SHE thinks those things are more important than her money woes.

  • babs October 21, 2013, 3:07 pm

    I helped out a friend who cried a river on Facebook about the dire situation she was in, about to leave her sorry lazy unemployed husband, didn’t know how she was going to feed her kids…. etc., etc., I sent her a generous gift card to a grocery store telling her I know this won’t solve all of her problems, but maybe it will make her holidays a bit nicer. She did express appreciation, but a week or so passed, and apparently so did the crises. Everything was rosy, and guess what – they even bought an Akita! Just thinking of vet bills and dog food for a large dog when a week or two before she couldn’t feed her kids, just made me livid. I was done!

    OP, I would definitely ignore! And, if she contacts you personally, don’t feel like you need to give any excuse whatsoever. Whether you have the money or not, it’s irrelevant. Her selfish choices are enough reason to deny them any help. Sounds like she’s not asking because of any type of unforeseen crisis, like a loss of job or catastrophic illness. They are just plain greedy and apparently have a sense of entitlement. Your financial situation is your business and I wouldn’t even bring that into the reason. No is just no.

  • Anon this time October 21, 2013, 3:10 pm

    Jewel #18, I also experienced the adoption gimme from someone who was also quite well off. She wanted to adopt two children from a Russian orphanage who had a genetic condition that is manageable with treatment but debilitating without it. It’s very admirable, for sure, but a little hard to swallow given that the requests for money were mixed in with vacation photos, home renovation photos, etc. The kicker was, the Russian government cracked down on foreign adoptions and she couldn’t move forward with her plans. I’ve often wondered what happened to the money she collected, and I also wonder what became of those poor children.

  • Marozia October 21, 2013, 3:31 pm

    Block her or unfriend her on Facebook. Junk her e-mails as well.
    Tell her your money is tied up in the bank and can’t be taken out and any spare cash is for your own bills, holidays, entertainments, etc.
    If this person is your friend, I’d hate to see your enemies!!

  • FeatherBlade October 21, 2013, 3:36 pm

    I suppose one could reply to every solicitation for help with a link to debt counseling services or budgeting and money management programs.

    If nothing else it would get the solicitor to stop asking for help. ^_^

  • KJR October 21, 2013, 3:39 pm

    This post has me thinking…my daughter’s school is sponsoring a trip to a South American country. The price is great for 9 days — airfare, accommodations, etc. are all included. 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, which has meant her having to cut back in other areas. She has agreed to this, and we are slowly chipping away at the amount due. The best of our knowledge, the other parents are paying the full amount. 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. Maybe someday she will see it this way too.

  • Kristin October 21, 2013, 3:46 pm

    Wow! What a story! Is there any indication at all that this person plans to pay anyone back? Does anyone respond to her on Facebook about what they think of her scheme? I have to think fertility treatments are extremely expensive, not to mention having the baby at the end. What will she do if she has triplets?

    I cannot believe this one friend of mine has not come up with this idea, yet. She hasn’t had a full-time job in the entire 25 years I’ve known her and always complains she doesn’t have money.

  • saucygirl October 21, 2013, 4:11 pm

    I LOVE Barbs suggestion of linking your response to one of her facebook posts about some new trinket or trip she took, with the line about wishing she hadn’t spent money on it.

    In my group of friends we have one who has considerably less money than the rest of us, and it was common for us to tone plans or cover her share to ensure she and her daughter could still participate. Then she began planning her wedding. And spending ALOT of money on it, including over $1000 on her dress. While this was going on we were all starting to research preschools to send our children too. This friend told us that she didn’t think she would be sending her daughter to school, cause she couldn’t pay for it. Her wedding dress would have been three months of tuition for her daughter – 1/3 of what was needed! At that point we stopped helping her, as we realized she always managed to find money for what she wanted. It was when the money benefited someone else (even her own daughter!), that she couldn’t find it.

  • Spike October 21, 2013, 4:32 pm

    I actually don’t even really understand why the submitter is making this such an issue. She refers to the woman in question as an “acquaintance” and talks about how she would do things for “friends,” if possible, in general terms – but the rest of what she says doesn’t give the impression that the woman is in fact her friend, but rather just someone she knows (I could be wrong). It doesn’t even seem as if she has actually been personally emailed with begging. Yes, it is annoying when people are needy (in the pejorative sense) and don’t know how to behave on social media, but if she is just an acquaintance, why not just delete her, or if that’s too extreme, “hide” her status updates. And if she gets around to emailing the OP and asking for money (REALLY wierd thing to do if they are just acquaintances), I wouldn’t even respond, personally – but if a response was necessary it could be something along the lines of what Kirsten suggested.

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