“Are my friends using me for my money?” Is not a thought you want to be having. Friendship is about trust and companionship and shouldn’t revolve around how much money you have. You are not a bank and your friends should not be treating you like one.
1.) They never pay you back.
This one is obvious. If you buy something for your friend and they keep saying they will pay you back and never do, this needs to be addressed. Some people are genuinely forgetful about money, so start off by giving them reminders every so often. “Hey, can you pay me back for the dinner I bought last night?”
Another great tool to use is a money sharing app like Venmo. Venmo lets you send money requests to friends, and you even get to use a reminder on them in case they forget to pay it immediately.
2.) They expect you to pay first.
This is a classic move. Maybe they always wait for you to reach for the check first, or hop next to you in line while you are already ordering at a coffee shop. This is a manipulative way to make you feel obliged to pay for them. Be upfront if this happens. Try suggesting that you paid last time, and would appreciate it if they paid this time.
3.) You buy them gifts, and they never reciprocate.
This one is complicated. If you buy someone a gift, they do not need to give you something in return. Gifts are about giving, not receiving. But, perhaps they hint a little too strongly about what they would like for Christmas. Or try to guilt trip you with something like, “Well, you didn’t get me a gift for my birthday.” You don’t owe your friends gifts for every major event. If you feel as if you constantly are giving them gifts and they never get you anything, then just stop giving them gifts.
4.) Everything you do costs money.
Movies, concerts, restaurants, and expensive shopping trips. All of this adds up. Making friends and having fun can be expensive, but you can find ways to enjoy yourselves that aren’t all about spending. Hiking, free classes, walking around town, a movie night at home: all these are great ways to have fun without spending any money!
Have you ever had a friend use you for your money? How did you handle it?