Author Topic: enough of friends not chipping in!  (Read 16074 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

travelbug7

  • Guest
enough of friends not chipping in!
« on: June 09, 2008, 09:17:32 AM »
We have been great friends with another couple for over 28 years, we travel, dine, cry, laugh, everything together. We all have similar jobs, make the same salaries, have children the same ages. Lately the issue that is bugging my husband and I is they are so cheap with the small things, yet have always been this way! If they bring a dip and chips over to our house, she takes home the 1/4 left over bag, if they bring over burgers to grill on our grill, they only bring enough for their family, using our propane, condiments, plates, electric, dishwasher, etc etc. Yes this sounds soooo petty, but this has been going on for years, and with us all tightening up our belts, we just want to say something but not sure how to without losing friendships.
Almost all gatherings are at our home, as we have a lake house with a boat, and take boat rides every weekend, with them NEVER offering to bring gas. We use our pool all the time, with them NEVER bringing over extra beer, juices, food. One weekend a year they bring their motorhome to our lake, and hook up to our electricity, they run their A/C, use our kitchen for small meals, I asked her to pick up a bottle of champagne on her way down that weekend, and that evening she said, "oh by the way, the champagne cost $18 !!! Id I ask for them to bring some gas for the boat rides, she'll just say, well, we don't HAVE to go for boat rides! If I ask her to bring propane for the grill, she'd say, we'll just eat subs instead. ......Help! Any advise?

lcmamom

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 220
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2008, 09:38:44 AM »
Sounds like she is pretty good at using that line on you!  ;)

It sounds as though you enjoy spending time with these people, so I would probably just change the way you spend time with them.  No more cookouts or boat rides.  When they want to bring their motor home to your vacation spot, kindly say, "With the cost of fuel these days we will need to charge you for the hookups.  I'm sure you understand."

If you want to keep the friendship but stop the mooching--tread lightly.

AprilRenee

  • Guest
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2008, 09:53:57 AM »
Yup. Stop hosting or doing the BYO (whatever) stuff. Go to a park instead and hang out. Don't offer to feed them, don't offer to let them use the pool or hook ups or anything else. You don't have to lose the friendship, but you don't have to keep things the same, either.

ladiedeathe

  • Pushing the bounds of ministry, one gasp at a time.
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1804
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2008, 01:18:43 PM »
I think you need to look at expectations on both sides, and maybe make some changes to the nature of the gatherings- playing Devil's Advocate, I could take your friend's position and write this:

"We have been great friends with another couple... <snip> ...they are so cheap with the small things, yet have always been this way! They always expect us to come to their home, because they feel there is so much more to do there, especially since they enjoy taking their boat out with or without us. Everytime they invite us, though, we are expected to bring food- they never fully host a day. Several times my friend has made it obvious that finances were tight, so we brought our own burgers for the grill- and she got upset because we didn't bring enough to feed them too! When I bring large bags of chips, Friend gets upset when I don't let her keep the leftovers as "payment" for our fun. Friend invites us to do so much, much more than we could afford to do if we had to pay for swimming, or pay to eat out, but seems to be getting upset that we don't "pay" for our invitations by bringing dinner and drinks when we are invited.

Even though money is tight, Friend also calls and asks for things we really can't afford, like $18 champagne, and then is shocked when I ask her to reimburse me. She has also asked me to bring or pay for the gas for their boat. THey have freely invited us to camp at their lake one week a year, but seem to want payment for this, so I'm not sure anymore if we are paying guests or friends. If they can't afford to host us we understand, but they have said nothing and just keep inviting us over! I keep telling friend we don't need to use the boat, or do expensive grilling, but she won't listen, and then seems angry because we don't have the money."

"Here to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Have chalice, will travel."

travelbug7

  • Guest
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2008, 02:20:44 PM »
Thank you for the above replies... I probably should have explained more, yet didn't want to bore the issue even more!  Thank you to ladiedeathe for your "turn around the situation" suggestion.  I always turn around problems, tell my children to do that all the time, so this was also done in this situation with our said friends. As it happens, said friend calls us around Thursday or Fri morning, and asks, "so what is up for this weekend?"   We NEVER expect them to come "our way" and it's us who find ourselves having to say, "how about we'll come your way tonight..."  It's also hard to offer to host a full day with them, because we almost always do anyway.  THAT is the problem!  It would just be so nice to be invited their way, they have a pool, a beautiful sauna and hot tub outside!  We are hoping they would return the invitations, as it's not just with us, it's with all their friends.  We're looking for a polite way to ask for some sort of reimbursement knowing full well they CAN afford it, and to stop mooching off of us and their other friends all the time. 

caranfin

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15629
  • I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2008, 02:23:33 PM »
Is your lake house a weekend house, or your permanent home? If it's a weekend house, and your permanent house is fairly close to their house, I would respond to their next "self invites" with "Actually, we're not going to the lake this weekend." If they're your friends because they want to spend time with you, they might invite you to their house. And if not, they might just suggest you call them when you head up there.
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

asta

  • Guest
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 09:50:01 AM »
They're just plain CHEAP.  imho there's no "polite way" to ask them to start chipping in.  You never did before, and they'd probably be resentful.

They have what my DH calls "short arms."  Never treating, offering to defray some costs for your stuff, etc.  Of course they're "friends,"  for years, they've been using your stuff "for FREE."

I'd start to do fewer things with them.  Then if they ask, I'd pretty much tell them what you've said here.  Would consider them more freeloaders than friends.

Double Helix

  • Guest
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 09:08:40 PM »
The next time the guest asks to be reimbursed (like for the champagne) consider telling her that "oh, are we reimbursing each other for everything?   Hold on, I need to get my electric/gas/water bill from that week you guys hooked up with us - be right back".   

I wonder if they just like to save their money more than spend it?   I've had a similar issue with our family - we probably had 8 times more in the bank than my bil's family  at one time yet they always wanted us to do 'stuff' with them.   I didn't particularly want to, but my husband did, so we often went along and they'd treat us to everything.   I didn't like that at all - I get uncomfortable being paid for all the time, even getting my meal paid for I do not care for.   That is different in itself, but still makes me wonder that perhaps they are both misers and freeloaders.

tacrat

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 144
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2008, 02:45:11 PM »
Have you decided how you're going to handle things travelbug?

Chattyaholic

  • Guest
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2008, 04:53:35 PM »
I wouldn't call them "friends" - I would call them leaches.

petal

  • Dancing Queen
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2662
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2008, 04:54:19 AM »
sounds like theyre getting a nice cheap family holiday

next time let them know that its possibley the last one since its all getting too expensive.


or,  if theyre really good friends  tell them whats bothering you.

travelbug7

  • Guest
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2008, 05:57:39 AM »
Thanks for all the advice... what we will try to do this summer is go for our boat rides before they arrive, sometimes.... use our grill before they arrive, sometimes, and just come right out and ask if they mind splitting a tank of fuel for the boat this summer.  I will conveniently be all out of dishwasher soap, so all dishes will need to be hand washed, which I don't mind doing myself anyway.  We will conveniently be all out of coffee, along with other items that won't look obvious.  This is our weekend place, so we are able to do this.  Not sure what to do when the motorhome arrives, but we'll cross that bridge when it happens.  Hope this works, without loosing friendships.  So far this summer, we've had other friends stop over, along with our cheap friends, and those other friends right away asked if they could help with gas, and even brought beer and wine.  Cheap friends heard it all but carried on as usual.  We'll keep you updated.  Thanks

caranfin

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15629
  • I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2008, 08:56:54 AM »
And if they do ask to go on the boat, tell them you're using it less this summer due to the high cost of fuel, and it's empty right now. Only a clod would ignore that.
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

rashea

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9684
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2008, 10:30:07 AM »
I suppose you could say "we don't mind hosting the location and providing some entertainment, if you don't mind hosting the food"

For the motor home. "I'm sorry, but with the prices these days, we can't have you hooking up." If they offer to pay, yours set, otherwise they'll have to stay somewhere else.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6130
Re: enough of friends not chipping in!
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 05:41:49 PM »
"I'm so sorry but with expenses being what they are right now we really can't afford to host you at the house. Even though it's just little things like propane, sodas, extra chemicals for the pool, gas for the boat, etc. it really adds up fast! We'd love to see you guys though, maybe we could meet at *local inexpensive place where everyone pays their own way*."

And the motorhome thing, nu-uh. I can only imagine what that does to your electricity bill and I can't believe they've never offered to reimburse you.

It sounds to me like you gently let her know that you couldn't afford to keep paying their way and you asked her to help out. She refused. So, your choice is to either continue paying and resent it (I'd resent it!) or stop paying. Since this is happening in your home the only way to put a stop to it is to stop having them over. Maybe an occasional bbq or something, but I wouldn't let them hang out at my house every weekend and use it like a free vacation spot.