Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

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Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Barefootgirl » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:40 pm

I have a wide circle of friends, family and associates. It seems as if these folks fall into either one of two camps:


1) borderline workaholics who've become financially successful through slavish devotion to career with lots and lots of overtime
OR
2) people whose poor decisions, inability to delay gratification, bad luck or general lack of ambition (or some combination thereof) have led to a financially precarious position later in life.

Now that we are all getting older, I find that for group # 2, I am expected to pay more than my share when we are out travelling and socializing.

How did this happen? LOL - I don't know anyone whose financial stability was created like mine - through regular work and/ or research or frugality or a combination thereof...

I truly don't mind helping those who've had back luck (like my sibling who suffered a brain tumor) or my children who are still young and making mistakes....but I am having a problem with certain family members or friends who think I owe them (some even belief life owes them, so that there may be the root cause).

Does this happen to any of you as well?

BFG - felt better getting that off of my chest.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby MathWizard » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:58 pm

I don't find that to be a problem for family. We are not expected, but we
do subsidize when we can.

I am lucky that among my immediate family, all of them are
hard workers. That was the way we grew up.

Some have less money than others because of the career path they
chose.

Over time, those of us with more wealth has changed, and we generally see
it as a privilege to be able to pay more as we have been more fortunate.

Sometimes we have even fought over who gets to pay the bill.

Because of the exponential nature of compounding, just a small amount
of extra money can make the difference between have a comfortable nest egg
vs. being on the edge financially.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby G-Money » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:03 pm

Haven't really encountered anything like that. If it makes you uncomfortable, I'd avoid seeing the people from group #2 as much as possible.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:09 pm

I make it a point to avoid mooches.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby momar » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:28 pm

How about co-workers who expect us to subsidize their kids' activities by asking us to buy fund raising crap a half dozen times per year? I know how much you make, we work at the same place with similar jobs!

The other thing is that half the point of fund raisers is to teach the kids some responsibility. How does that work when mom or dad does all the work?
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby livesoft » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:40 pm

Nope, I'm a moocher.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:43 pm

livesoft wrote:Nope, I'm a moocher.


That's right, you have stated before you send your kids over to the neighbors for lunch and dinner. :D :wink:
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:45 pm

momar wrote:How about co-workers who expect us to subsidize their kids' activities by asking us to buy fund raising crap a half dozen times per year? I know how much you make, we work at the same place with similar jobs!

The other thing is that half the point of fund raisers is to teach the kids some responsibility. How does that work when mom or dad does all the work?


Teach your kids young and the point of fund raisers becomes moot.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Blues » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:01 pm

In general I haven't had this issue come up too often with friends and family but a couple of instances involving the same (first) cousin really irked me.

When we were both in our twenties I loaned her some money to help her get through a personal crisis. She never repaid it and I let it go.

Many years later after she was married and had a child, she sent out a request for financial assistance with a medical procedure the child (allegedly) needed to be performed.

I sent her a check and here's the good part...turns out that after some time the procedure was never done following which she and her husband went to Hawaii. (They live in the SF Bay area.) They never contacted me or other family members (to my knowledge) to arrange repayment. Then, my late father tells me one day that while he's chatting with his sister, (her mother)...she says "why should she pay him back? He's doing well for himself." Now I know where she got it from. :oops:

Needless to say it was the end of what was once a very close relationship. (I try to help those in need where I can but will no longer extend that same gesture to those that feel entitled to it. There is a big difference in my view.)
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Meg77 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:08 pm

I don't think any of my friends or family expect me to chip in more than my fair share, but I feel pressured to offer to do so. My sisters make less than I do (less than half what I do in fact) simply by virtue of career choice. We are all still in our twenties, and I only get to see them a few times a year. I know that a dinner out or a plane ticket home is a big planned expense for them and so I sometimes offer to pick up the bar tab or something on the rare occassions when we are out spending money together. When I was just starting out and budgeting on my own I remember what a thrill it was when mom or some other family member would pick up the check or buy me a needed but expensive item (new shoes, a plane ticket home). So I pass it on gladly.

This I don't mind at all, but I do get uncomfortable when friends who make less want to go out or travel together. I feel obligated to offer to pick up tabs just like with my sisters, but for some reason it feels uncomfortable and even sometimes wrong in those circumstances. Like with family it doesn't matter but with friends I feel self-conscious that they might think I'm pitying them or offering charity - or that I'm stingy or selfish if I don't offer.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby frugaltype » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:20 pm

Meg77 wrote: I do get uncomfortable when friends who make less want to go out or travel together. I feel obligated to offer to pick up tabs just like with my sisters, but for some reason it feels uncomfortable and even sometimes wrong in those circumstances. Like with family it doesn't matter but with friends I feel self-conscious that they might think I'm pitying them or offering charity - or that I'm stingy or selfish if I don't offer.


I have a group of friends of varying financial, what, strata? We plan activities that all of us can afford.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby pennstater2005 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:23 pm

Absolutely not. But I would if compelled to do so.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby jane1 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:44 pm

Happens to us all the time. Cousins expect us to pay majority share for any outings, bring them and their kids gifts, etc. Since we live in high cost of living area with higher incomes and travel, they assume we have money to blow. They might actually be "better off' given the low cost of living and in lot of cases their net worth is tied in multiple houses. We have no kids and there are rare occassions, if any, when we are on the receiving end. Luckily my siblings don't have similar expectations.
I know of friends who have extended family abroad who expects them to buy iphones, ipads, etc and not pay back since these electronics are cheaper in US and the friends are earning in $
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Ice-9 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:50 pm

I can think of one family friend who seems to assume we'll subsidize her in any situation we can. But I think that's just this one person, not an overall problem. I have a number of friends who, unfortunately, don't necessarily have their financial house in tip-top shape, but, fortunately, seem pretty equitable in splitting dinner/entertainment expenses, etc.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Bogle101 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:54 pm

Like they used to say on the old poker boards I frequented, this sounds like a thinly veiled brag to me.

Of course you are not expected subsidize friends or family. I mean family I can sort of understand since they are blood and will always be there for you through thick and thin. Although that may be easy for me to say, since all of the family memebers close to me are highly functional, generous and would typically fight to pay the check. Some of the stories I hear on here sound terrible and very stressful.

But friends? Come on, of course not. Just get new friends and be thankful you finally found out they were sponging off you.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby ginyah » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:33 am

Let me just share my experiences on the other side of this coin. As a single parent I often had less disposable cash than my friends and family. Family affairs were usually planned with little out of pocket expenses except for hotel stays. When that happened my family always offered to let me stay at their homes so I wouldn't have that expense. On occassion- like when my daughter wanted to join a sorority in college- a family member would step up and offer to pay that one time cost. I have always been very grateful for their assistance and when I finally was in a better financial position I have done the same for them. (No thoughts of repayment, just paying it forward). With friends I like to pay my own way but again on occasion I have had friends who insisted on picking up the check. Once in a while this was ok but frankly I didn't like the feeling of being 'charity'. I have distanced myself from a few people because they just didn't seem to understand that what they thought was being generous actually made me feel very uncomfortable and even when I spoke to them about it they didn't change their behavior. So I guess I am saying that unless there is a specific reason (like a birthday or anniversary) you offer to pick up the check, don't. Treat your friends with respect and know that if they felt they couldn't afford to join you for the event they would have 'had other plans' that night.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Colorado13 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:54 am

Bogle101 wrote: Of course you are not expected subsidize friends or family.


I agree with this.

Bogle101 wrote:I mean family I can sort of understand since they are blood and will always be there for you through thick and thin.


It may be that in BFG's situation, family or friends will be there as long as the subsidies keep flowing. I would not necessarily count on the "through thick and thin" if you end the subsidies that you have given in the past.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby NightOwl » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:14 pm

I subsidize sometimes. But I also have friends who have far more money than I do, and I'm scrupulously careful to split costs down the middle with them -- just because they have more money doesn't mean they should have to pay for me. My wealthier friends are always pleasantly surprised when someone offers to pick up a tab for them, so I do it from time to time.

True story: one of my friends recently threw an outdoorsy bachelor party event organized by his best man, a C-level executive with a net worth in the tens of millions of dollars. The best man made the arrangements and paid up front and we all dutifully pay-palled him our $310 or whatever it was -- not a single person had any interest in having him foot the bill. It was a great time.

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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby EmergDoc » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:57 am

It could be worse. For most docs this occurs BEFORE we acquire any sort of decent income or net worth.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Methedras » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:11 am

I'd like to preface this statement saying I know it is a bit 'tongue in cheek', but when you create a group as,

people whose poor decisions, inability to delay gratification, bad luck or general lack of ambition (or some combination thereof) have led to a financially precarious position later in life.


you are basically indicating anyone who isn't financially well off, no matter the reason. One could easily say that the decision to become a school teacher, though very rewarding and necessary for society, is a poor financial decision. Bad luck could easily end you up with medical bills you can't handle. Of course, the inability to delay gratification and lack of ambition are valid criticisms, as they are things someone can improve upon.

I guess I am just saying that perhaps you should have a more lenient perception of these others, because based on your criteria, you could easily find a way to pigeonhole almost every person into the second group.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Wagnerjb » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:05 am

Methedras wrote:I'd like to preface this statement saying I know it is a bit 'tongue in cheek', but when you create a group as,

people whose poor decisions, inability to delay gratification, bad luck or general lack of ambition (or some combination thereof) have led to a financially precarious position later in life.


you are basically indicating anyone who isn't financially well off, no matter the reason. One could easily say that the decision to become a school teacher, though very rewarding and necessary for society, is a poor financial decision. Bad luck could easily end you up with medical bills you can't handle. Of course, the inability to delay gratification and lack of ambition are valid criticisms, as they are things someone can improve upon.

I guess I am just saying that perhaps you should have a more lenient perception of these others, because based on your criteria, you could easily find a way to pigeonhole almost every person into the second group.


I disagree. The poster indicated that these people are in "a financially precarious position" later in life. This does not refer to those who chose a profession that isn't highly compensated, but manage to happily live within their means. The schoolteacher can save 15% of his salary and become financially independent at the same time as anybody else....but of course his standard of living will be commensurate with his income. He can have an emergency fund and he can avoid running up credit card debt (these are examples where poor decisions can hurt you).

Best wishes.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Methedras » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:30 am

I guess I am just trying to give perspective, since I have been both the "moocher" and the "patron", so to speak.

I agree that if the hypothetical teacher appropriately lives within their means, saves 15% of their income, etc. that they can and will become financially independent. But, by your own assertion: "of course his standard of living will be commensurate with his income." However, in the original post, Barefootgirl state that sometimes she is "expected to pay more than my share when we are out travelling and socializing."

What we don't know is whether or not Barefootgirl has developed a taste for finer things (read as 'more expensive') than her counterparts who have less money. I don't excuse someone for being slack or undisciplined, but sometimes aperson is doing the right thing by being frugal and saving, but they happen to have a lower income relative to their friends.

I know this is only a personal anecdote, but I'll relay a short story about a person I know very well who has dealt with this situation. :wink: This man was working in a high-paying engineering job, but in his heart wanted to reutrn to university to obtain his Ph.D. So, he made this choice, knowing full well that his income would drop significantly, but of course maintained the friendships from his previous job. When he would go socialize with these friends from the previous industry position, they tended to favor nicer and more expensive venues due to their high incomes. Even at the request of the 'poor student', often the group desire to go to the nicer places would win out. Often for simplicity (and much to the dismay of the student), the bill would be split evenly, even though this student would order the more frugal meal and drink options.

In this case, my friends (I mean, this person's friends...) from my old industry job sometimes thought just like Barefootgirl. There was never any animosity or anger involved, and some of my friends even understood and offered to help out. I was never quite sure if I should accept, but I was thankful.

In the end I only mean to point out that sometimes there is more to the situation than originally meets the eye.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby dm200 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:41 am

Over the years, in various situations, I have seen many sides of this issue. Some people (who have achieved means) handle this very well. They seem to be able to balance genuinely helping others without getting dragged in to every situation where someone wants a handout. And, they maintain a good spirit about the whole thing as well, not ending up in feuds and hard feelings. That ability seems to be more prevalent in some cultures than others. Some of such folks even are able to make loans to family and friends without the whole thing blowing up on them. Such folks also seem to come from a very broad spectrum of societal, religious and political viewpoints, from the most liberal to the most conservative. I certainly don't know their "secret", but our society would be much better off, IMO, if more of us could figure that out.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:47 am

It seems if I were going to brag, I might better display obvious signs of wealth. Instead, some people assume I have savings because I don't spend in obvious ways, so the irony here is that the one who lives modestly may be expected to subsidize those who live less modestly.

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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:56 am

In the end I only mean to point out that sometimes there is more to the situation than originally meets the eye.

No, not in this case.


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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby steadyeddy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:34 am

I do subsidize, especially for my sisters that are just coming out of college. But it's fair to say that I pay for things I want to pay for and don't pay for things I don't--I don't think there is expectation. When I subsidize, I hope the recipient can feel that it gives me pleasure and not pain so they can enjoy it too without guilt.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Default User BR » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:53 am

Methedras wrote:Even at the request of the 'poor student', often the group desire to go to the nicer places would win out. Often for simplicity (and much to the dismay of the student), the bill would be split evenly, even though this student would order the more frugal meal and drink options.

Then the correct thing to do is say, "I'm sorry, I won't be able to join you."


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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby sesq » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:56 am

steadyeddy wrote:I do subsidize, (snip) it's fair to say that I pay for things I want to pay for and don't pay for things I don't--I don't think there is expectation.


Me too.

I am a bit concerned about when (not if) my inlaws run out of money. They had a lot of kids and I am concerned the impulse will be to look to us more than the others.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby tyrion » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:26 am

I have friends of varying net worth, including those with high salaries and one or two in the 'many many many millions' club. It tends to work like this when we go out drinking and/or eating - if someone wants to pick up the tab they will usually talk to the waiter on their way to/from the restroom and settle the bill or make arrangements in advance (this happens about 20% of the time, and is not always paid by the person with the most money). If the bill hits the table we're splitting it equitably. We all overpay our expected share, so we will have money left over. This is one of my favorite things about my friend group - everyone intentionally overpays because it makes it so much less stressful for everyone.

Conversely, I have a neighbor who went to a really nice restaurant with one of his well to do buddies. My neighbor didn't have a lot of money, so he ordered the soup of the day and drank water or iced tea. The buddy and another guy each brought a girlfriend and ordered the works- appetizers, drinks, steaks, wine, dessert. At the end of the meal the bill comes and the two guys with girlfriends look at each and say: 'there's 3 guys here, let's just split it 3 ways'. My neighbor slapped a $20 on the table and walked out.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Epsilon Delta » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:44 am

One of the traditional rules of etiquette is that the person issuing the invitation pays. If a rich friend invites you to the Ritz he pays, if you reciprocate with a home cooked meal you pay. If you enjoy each others company honor is satisfied. If you don't enjoy each others company you should not offer / decline the invitation.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:48 am

tyrion wrote:Conversely, I have a neighbor who went to a really nice restaurant with one of his well to do buddies. My neighbor didn't have a lot of money, so he ordered the soup of the day and drank water or iced tea. The buddy and another guy each brought a girlfriend and ordered the works- appetizers, drinks, steaks, wine, dessert. At the end of the meal the bill comes and the two guys with girlfriends look at each and say: 'there's 3 guys here, let's just split it 3 ways'. My neighbor slapped a $20 on the table and walked out.


+1. Your neighbor has class, the other two schlubs - behavior attributable to gutter trash.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby mac808 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:58 am

This is where the "millionaire next door" lifestyle has helped me. Friends know I am financially very successful but see me living in a very modest apartment and driving an old, beat up used car. They observe me making very conscious spending choices whenever we are out and about, using coupons, airline miles to travel, and so forth. I think all of this behavior has kept them from expecting me to subsidize more of our peer group expenses.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby deanbrew » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:16 pm

One could easily say that the decision to become a school teacher, though very rewarding and necessary for society, is a poor financial decision.


:?: And one could easily say the opposite. Ten weeks off every summer to pursue hobbies and/or generate additional income. Tremendous job security. Ability to retire at 55-60 with a generous pension. Perhaps it's because most areas of PA feature high teacher incomes and low cost of living (relative to most of the country), but households I know with one or two teachers are way ahead of the norm, financially. I realize this is a tad off-topic, but teacher and state employee pensions and benefits are a hot topic right now. I won't comment further, but the generalization quoted above is simply untrue.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Mudpuppy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:39 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:I have a wide circle of friends, family and associates. It seems as if these folks fall into either one of two camps:


1) borderline workaholics who've become financially successful through slavish devotion to career with lots and lots of overtime
OR
2) people whose poor decisions, inability to delay gratification, bad luck or general lack of ambition (or some combination thereof) have led to a financially precarious position later in life.

Now that we are all getting older, I find that for group # 2, I am expected to pay more than my share when we are out travelling and socializing.

How did this happen? LOL - I don't know anyone whose financial stability was created like mine - through regular work and/ or research or frugality or a combination thereof...

I truly don't mind helping those who've had back luck (like my sibling who suffered a brain tumor) or my children who are still young and making mistakes....but I am having a problem with certain family members or friends who think I owe them (some even belief life owes them, so that there may be the root cause).

Does this happen to any of you as well?

BFG - felt better getting that off of my chest.

Might I suggest two things to mull over? These have been circled about by some of the other responses, so it's not entirely new thoughts here.

1) Consider what sort of social activities you invite group 2 to participate in. Do these activities have a high per-person cost that could be difficult for these people to afford? Could you choose more frugal activities such as a pot-luck dinner? It should be the socialization that matters most in the friendship experience, not where one goes to socialize. More economical forms of socialization will provide them the opportunity to participate without "mooching".

2) Have you considered that your attitude towards the circumstances that led group 2 to be financially insecure might be a part of why you feel unduly put upon? You might be ascribing more intentionality towards their circumstances than is warranted. Most people in the USA have extremely poor financial habits and no clue how to have good financial habits. This is rarely intentional, and often more due to lack of knowledge, lack of awareness, and apathy. We often forget that when socializing with people with good financial habits like the Bogleheads forum. Taking a more empathic approach, instead of a critical approach, to their circumstances won't change their behaviors, but might give you a little more mental peace during your interactions with them.

I'll summarize with this. It is hard to change others, but we can change our attitudes and behaviors. If you value their friendships, then it is worth it to figure out how to change the financial dynamic in a way that brings you mental peace and does not cut them off from you entirely.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Gnirk » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:16 pm

To make it brief:
DH daughter(47) feels like its everyone's job to take care of, and rescue her financially. Her employer doesn't provide medical insurance, so DH pays for a major medical policy. She has no savings, maxed out her credit cards, can't pay them, and is upset because daddy won't. And has had a gambling problem. Tough love can be tough on the parent, too.

My Youngest daughter, recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder (which reared its ugly head after she turned 40....no previous symptoms until psychotic breakdown) thus recently unemployed, is living off her savings, no unemployment because she only worked two months and was getting her masters degree in the UK the previous year. I pay her COBRA. Unlike stepdaughter, she doesn't expect financial help.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:24 pm

deanbrew wrote:
One could easily say that the decision to become a school teacher, though very rewarding and necessary for society, is a poor financial decision.


:?: And one could easily say the opposite. Ten weeks off every summer to pursue hobbies and/or generate additional income. Tremendous job security. Ability to retire at 55-60 with a generous pension. Perhaps it's because most areas of PA feature high teacher incomes and low cost of living (relative to most of the country), but households I know with one or two teachers are way ahead of the norm, financially. I realize this is a tad off-topic, but teacher and state employee pensions and benefits are a hot topic right now. I won't comment further, but the generalization quoted above is simply untrue.


+1 - My next door neighbor just retired at 51 - annual pension for the next how many decades? 81K + free healthcare for him and spouse for life. How is that for a vacation? My property taxes have been increasing at a steady 5% clip annually, to pay for that and others who continue to moan they aren't compensated enough - NY is just as messed up as is Illinois and California, and apparently Pennsylvania.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Peter Foley » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:40 pm

In direct response to the question, no I am not. In my particular circle of family and friends I have the opposite problem. We have done very well and often try to pick up more than our fair share. Others won't let us, insisting on an equal division of expenses. I feel guilty when someone who has much less than I do pays my way.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby momar » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:37 pm

Default User BR wrote:
Methedras wrote:Even at the request of the 'poor student', often the group desire to go to the nicer places would win out. Often for simplicity (and much to the dismay of the student), the bill would be split evenly, even though this student would order the more frugal meal and drink options.

Then the correct thing to do is say, "I'm sorry, I won't be able to join you."


Brian

The correct choice is for him to not split the bill evenly. People who order up the most expensive stuff on the menu and expect to split evenly are jerks.

This gets to the heart of it: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/a_fi ... stard.html
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Toons » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:39 pm

No :happy
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby deanbrew » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:22 pm

Conversely, I have a neighbor who went to a really nice restaurant with one of his well to do buddies. My neighbor didn't have a lot of money, so he ordered the soup of the day and drank water or iced tea. The buddy and another guy each brought a girlfriend and ordered the works- appetizers, drinks, steaks, wine, dessert. At the end of the meal the bill comes and the two guys with girlfriends look at each and say: 'there's 3 guys here, let's just split it 3 ways'. My neighbor slapped a $20 on the table and walked out.


I'm hoping there is some exaggeration in that tale. I can't imagine someone (or two or four someones) doing such a thing. Outrageous.

But while we're discussing dinners, I much prefer separate bills for each diner or couple. My wife and I regularly go out to dinner with a couple, and he always asks for separate checks, which is entirely fine with me. Two couples = two checks; three couples = three checks, etc. Some servers don't seem to like doing it this way, while others don't seem to mind. Frankly, I don't care all that much whether they mind or not; it makes it easier on the customers. I don't like to have to mentally consider who had appetizers, salads, expensive entrees, cheaper entrees, how many drinks, etc., and figure out who owes what. Or underpay or overpay if split evenly. Why don't servers assume and ask if separate bills are desired, rather then presume that the table wants to split the bill?
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby leonard » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:23 pm

Easy. Separate checks at bars and restaurants. Pay your own admission or ticket price for events. If that is still "uncomfortable", simply don't go.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Quickfoot » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:49 pm

I consult with friends / family regarding investing and retirement planning but I have no plans to share my own balances with them. We currently have 3 kids (5, 6, and 9) and despite being in the top 5 percent for family income in our state and having very little debt our kids think we are poor. We live in far less house than we could afford (1400 sqft 3 bedroom) and in general are very money conscious, we are teaching them enjoy their money (no point in dying with millions in the bank and not having had ANY fun in life) but also to use their money wisely.

Ultimately by the time retirement rolls around we should be pretty to very well off, especially compared to peers, but that fact wont be shared either with children or friends.

My wife's brother is 38 and has lived with his mom his entire life, never held down a job and has no intentions of being self reliant. We've already had discussions we are not taking care of people who were capable of providing for themselves but chose not to. My grandmother had very poor retirement planning and is a window, nearly 80. I'm helping her maximize her monthly income while reducing expenses but don't anticipate directly contributing income.

If my siblings (who I do love) don't take my advice to save for their future then they'll be working until social security kicks in and living on a limited budget. In the modern era of the Internet and books there is a wealth of information on saving for retirement available, people who choose to disregard it do so at their own peril.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby tyrion » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:06 pm

deanbrew wrote:
Conversely, I have a neighbor who went to a really nice restaurant with one of his well to do buddies. My neighbor didn't have a lot of money, so he ordered the soup of the day and drank water or iced tea. The buddy and another guy each brought a girlfriend and ordered the works- appetizers, drinks, steaks, wine, dessert. At the end of the meal the bill comes and the two guys with girlfriends look at each and say: 'there's 3 guys here, let's just split it 3 ways'. My neighbor slapped a $20 on the table and walked out.


I'm hoping there is some exaggeration in that tale. I can't imagine someone (or two or four someones) doing such a thing. Outrageous.



Oh, I imagine there is a little exaggeration, but don't the best stories always include a little? The guys acting outrageously in our eyes were probably acting normally for their peer group. I've met one of them a few times and he has always lived a very privileged lifestyle. House on the beach, multiple family businesses, weekend trips to Hawaii on a whim. For them splitting a $500 - $1000 dinner tab is probably a weekly occurrence.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby GracieLou » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:09 pm

No, I have never been expected to subsidize my friends and family. I have been blessed and, at one time or another, had folks help me along the way. I figure that, if I can, I will pay it forward with a smile. If it ever becomes an expectation I have no qualms about cutting them all off :D :P
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby fareastwarriors » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:34 pm

momar wrote:
Default User BR wrote:
Methedras wrote:Even at the request of the 'poor student', often the group desire to go to the nicer places would win out. Often for simplicity (and much to the dismay of the student), the bill would be split evenly, even though this student would order the more frugal meal and drink options.

Then the correct thing to do is say, "I'm sorry, I won't be able to join you."


Brian

The correct choice is for him to not split the bill evenly. People who order up the most expensive stuff on the menu and expect to split evenly are jerks.

This gets to the heart of it: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/a_fi ... stard.html



happens all the time. so true!
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:37 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
tyrion wrote:Conversely, I have a neighbor who went to a really nice restaurant with one of his well to do buddies. My neighbor didn't have a lot of money, so he ordered the soup of the day and drank water or iced tea. The buddy and another guy each brought a girlfriend and ordered the works- appetizers, drinks, steaks, wine, dessert. At the end of the meal the bill comes and the two guys with girlfriends look at each and say: 'there's 3 guys here, let's just split it 3 ways'. My neighbor slapped a $20 on the table and walked out.


+1. Your neighbor has class, the other two schlubs - behavior attributable to gutter trash.


If the other guys said "Let's split it between us, because he [the neighbor] does not have money," it would be a put down, especially, in front of the women.

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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby William4u » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:59 pm

tyrion wrote:
deanbrew wrote:
Conversely, I have a neighbor who went to a really nice restaurant with one of his well to do buddies. My neighbor didn't have a lot of money, so he ordered the soup of the day and drank water or iced tea. The buddy and another guy each brought a girlfriend and ordered the works- appetizers, drinks, steaks, wine, dessert. At the end of the meal the bill comes and the two guys with girlfriends look at each and say: 'there's 3 guys here, let's just split it 3 ways'. My neighbor slapped a $20 on the table and walked out.


I'm hoping there is some exaggeration in that tale. I can't imagine someone (or two or four someones) doing such a thing. Outrageous.



Oh, I imagine there is a little exaggeration, but don't the best stories always include a little? The guys acting outrageously in our eyes were probably acting normally for their peer group. I've met one of them a few times and he has always lived a very privileged lifestyle. House on the beach, multiple family businesses, weekend trips to Hawaii on a whim. For them splitting a $500 - $1000 dinner tab is probably a weekly occurrence.


I see something like this happen a few times a year (minus the $20 bill slapping part)! It often happens when there is a social/business dinner with people from both ends of the economic spectrum. The richer people will exclaim that they want to go to this "great restaurant" (that is expensive), and so everyone else agrees to it. The richer people order far more than the poorer employees (who might order just soup and water), and then the richer people suggest at the end that everyone split the bill evenly. It is so thoughtless.

The poorer people never complain (for fear of making enemies of the higher ups). I don't directly point out the injustice at the table. I just casually ask the waiter if it is easy to split the bill, and the waiter usually says yes, and then I say "great." This way, no one is embarrassed and everyone pays their fair share.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:06 pm

If the other guys said "Let's split it between us, because he [the neighbor] does not have money," it would be a put down, especially, in front of the women.

If there was a concern about saving face, I would imagine the right thing to do would have been for one of the other two men to pick up the bill in it's entirety, then settle up with his other two buddies privately, later on - splitting it in appropriate fashion, in private.

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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby Gnirk » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:47 pm

We've had this happen. Because of our medications, we don't drink. Our friends are aware of this. Yet there is one couple where the husband is a wine aficionado, and would order a $150-$200 bottle of wine. At the end of the meal, he told the waiter to just split the bill. BTW, he could easily afford the wine....he plunked down $2 million cash for a second home last year!

We now always ask for separate checks. It eliminates stress for everyone.
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Re: Are you expected to subsidize friends and family?

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:51 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:If the other guys said "Let's split it between us, because he [the neighbor] does not have money," it would be a put down, especially, in front of the women.


If there was a concern about saving face, I would imagine the right thing to do would have been for one of the other two men to pick up the bill in it's entirety, then settle up with his other two buddies privately, later on - splitting it in appropriate fashion, in private.

BFG


I agree. That would have been the best solution.

Victoria
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