When A Friend Asks for a Loan
If you can afford to give a friend the money she needs, by all means, do it. But, note the key word: give. “I have a cardinal rule for this,” says Helaine Olen, a blogger for the Guardian and author of the recent book Pound Foolish. “I never ‘loan’ money to friends. It’s so awkward to ask friends to pay money back that it’s just not worth the friendship.”
When Your Friends Are Making Bank — But You Aren’t
Fight the urge to compare yourself to that former classmate who makes tens of thousands more — or less — than you. “In general, comparison leads to feeling bad, just in life,” says Northrup, citing a statistic from the film Happy: Above about $50,000, an increase in annual income doesn’t significantly boost a person’s happiness.
When Your Friends Want to Split the Dinner Bill — But You Don’t
Ah, the girls’ night out conundrum. The tapas and craft cocktails just keep coming, then the check arrives. Everyone whips out her iPhone. A few minutes of earnest tapping at the iCalc pass, then, finally, someone suggests splitting it evenly. The table breathes a collective sigh of relief for taking the less complicated way out.
When Personal Finance Questions Rear Up
For New York City dwellers, cocktail party conversation about rent is standard fare. But, when it comes to other purchases and to salaries, even Manhattanites clam up. Of course, it’s always socially acceptable and perfectly okay to say you’d rather not discuss what you make, what you paid for something, or what you charge for a service — even if it creates an awkward moment.
When a Friend Wants to “Hire” You
If you’re a writer or a therapist or a hairdresser (or any professional who renders a service), you’ve probably had friends and family ask you for “advice” or “help.” Such requests put you in a pickle — how much is fair to charge?