Awkward Money Situations – Financial Etiquette Rules


By Michelle Flores / Posted: Jul 19, 2018 / 0 Comments / Posted in Personal Finance

Financial-Etiquette and Money MannersIt can get a bit tricky with financial etiquette rules at times. It’s a more delicate combination than you think. There are dangers involved, such as losing a relationship in some instances.

Nobody wants to come across as being a cheapskate, being ungrateful, or even being rude.

Here are a few financial tips that might help you handle future awkward money situations when it comes to finances and manners.

1. A Friend has Asked You for a Loan

However, that friend never paid you back from the previous time they borrowed. What’s the best thing to do?

Face the fact that the chances of you ever being paid back are slim. So instead of your friend borrowing money or at least a personal loan, they are asking to be given money. You know your chances of getting it back are slim.

If you don’t want to lend your friends or relatives money, and it makes you feel uncomfortable then be honest. Tell them that you are going through a few financial challenges yourself and need to set priorities. “I’m trying to pay my bills.”

Don’t forget, it’s okay to say “no.”

2. How Much Does it Cost Questions

How to treat friends or relatives who keep asking you what certain items cost you, like a house, furniture or a holiday? You should realize that you don’t have to answer any questions like that, even if you come across as being impolite. Honestly, it’s not very polite of the person asking you anyway.

You need to find a way to ignore the questions with answers like: “I paid a lot more than I should have.” After saying that, change the topic. In that way, and without embarrassing them, you have let the person know that the matter is not one that you want to discuss.

3. Tipping – Who And How Much?

Tipping depends on the situation. We like to tip waiters or hotel staff as it’s sometimes expected. Who else can you tip? The best rule to follow is to tip only those that have given a great level of service. Those people might be the doorman at your building or the handyman you employed to do a particular job.

Another thing to remember is that some places automatically apply a service charge. In those cases, that is the tip, and you should not feel it be necessary to tip again.

4. Splitting the Dinner Bill

All you had was a Caesar salad and a glass of water. The others had steak, chicken, vegetables, and dessert. Who will pay for what? The first consideration is the amount of money involved. If it’s a small amount, just divide the cost of the meal evenly. If the difference is substantial, and you will struggle to pay an even share, it’s best to throw a couple of $20’s on the table and say something like “I’ve worked out my costs, and I think this should be enough, okay?”. You can leave the others to haggle over the bill.

5. You are Always Paying for Others

If you have a friend or family member that seems always to expect you to pay the bill, you might want to forecast the cost and be as polite as you can about it. You can say something like “Movies will cost us about $22 each. Do you want to go with me?” That makes the other party understand that it will be shared costs.

6. Offering Money to a Friend in Need?

Well, you can always make an offer to help. Just be sure that you can afford it and it’s not a large lump sum. A good example is if you are out having a coffee and cake together, you can say “No arguments! I’m paying this today. I’m so happy we could spend a bit of time together.” It’s not something you should do too regularly. Otherwise, it’s your friend that might not like the situation.

Another way around, that can help and show your understanding, is to offer activities you can do together, and that is free. As a replacement for an expensive dinner at a restaurant, invite the friend home to help make a pizza meal.

7. Using the Professional Services of a Friend

Should you pay for that? The simple answer is “yes, of course.” Knowing somebody on a personal level doesn’t mean you should assume that their professional services will cost you nothing. It’s far better to put the offer of payment upfront. That maintains the relationship on both a personal and professional level.

Money is a funny thing. You would think that you earn money and you spend it. All these manners about money seem to throw a complication into simple living. But people are funny about money, and many don’t like to discuss daily finances. It’s handy to know a few rules that will not cause embarrassment to friends or relatives.

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