February 27 2013

Avoiding Financial Feuds.

When is it appropriate to ask people to repay a loan, pitch in at the pump or fork out hundreds for your wedding day? Money is a delicate matter, and it has the potential to push friendships to the brink. Knowing your limits and setting clear guidelines for others should help you steer clear of awkward financial situations, and keep those relationships in-tact.

Q. Is it acceptable to ask my bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses at my wedding?
A. While your friends are happy to be part of the special day, they shouldn’t be stuck with the bill. When considering costs of the bridesmaid dresses, shoes, hair and make-up, transportation, parties and gifts, your bridesmaids need to be cut some slack. If you can’t afford to pay for your bridesmaids’ total expenses, consider paying for a portion or limiting your bridal party to a single maid of honour.

Q. My friend owes me money but seems to have forgotten about it. It wasn’t much, but I don’t want this to become an ongoing issue. What should I do?
A. If it was a considerable amount of money (dependent on your income) but you know your friend is financially strapped, consider asking them to pay you back in instalments. If they still don’t pay when you desperately need the money returned, do not loan them money again and explain you simply can’t afford to. If it was only a small amount, is it really worth confronting them and causing unwanted tension? Only confront them if this oversight occurs frequently.

Q. I drove my friends 300km and they didn’t chip in any money for petrol. I was already going to the same place, but should they have contributed?
A. As a general rule, if you drive someone 200km or more they should contribute some money for petrol. Regardless of whether you are heading in the same direction, think about how much money you are saving your friend if they didn’t have you to drive them. Let it go if it’s in the past, but next time they want a lift simply ask them if they can provide you with some money in return. It’s rude of them to refuse, not for you to ask. If it’s only a short distance, consider this as simply a favour.