When it comes to friendships, the topic of money can be difficult to say the least. Planning trips or days out can be awkward if they don’t always cater to everyone’s budgets, particularly if one friend earns a lot more than the other.
Of course, the essence of friendship is all about helping one another up when they’re down, whether that’s emotionally, or in this case, financially.
But, how much can one friend be expected to give, particularly if it isn’t reciprocated or even acknowledged?
That’s exactly what one woman has been left pondering after she felt compelled to stop inviting her broke friend on nights out, because she grew tired of picking up the tab.
The woman, who hasn’t been named, was initially more than happy to help out her friend, who was forced to take time off work for surgery, leaving her out of pocket.
“This was supposed to be a relatively simple surgery with a return to work date scheduled for two weeks following the surgery,” the woman explained on Reddit’s Am I The A**hole forum. “She ended up out of work for seven months on leave, collecting disability.”
She went on to say that all of this happened over winter, when there was very little the group could do to socialise, other than the weekly dinner and drinks meeting they have, depending on where live music is playing that week.
“At the beginning, I was happy to pick up my friend that had fallen on hard times share of the cheque and had gladly offered to. I think at some point it had become assumed that I would pick it up every single time. The friend would do odd things when the check came like fake a phone call, go spend an awful long time in the bathroom,” she continued.
“I would pick up the cheque every time and she even at some point stopped saying thank you or acknowledging the bill at all.”
Unsurprisingly, it eventually got to a point where the woman didn’t want to be spending so much every time she went on a night out with her friends, so she started looking for other things they could do as a group, once the weather improved, so her broke pal could join in for free.
“This friend’s been invited over my house for cooking in, for playing music together as were both musicians, various outdoor activities, and has not taken me up on any of those invitations,” she said.
“My meet ups for nights out with the remainder of the friend group has continued, however, I’ve stopped making the one broke friend aware of when we’re meeting, as nobody wants to continue picking up an extra weekly bill after eight months.”
The woman says her broke friend is now upset about being left out of activities and people have been left divided over whether she’s done the right thing.
“You and your friends have enabled her sponging behaviour by paying for all of her meals, and now you’re surprised that it has become expected,” one Reddit user commented. “If it was me she would come back from that phone call with the bill waiting for her.”
However, others were quick to point out that the woman had only been acting as a good friend, but stressed she ought to be honest with the broke pal over why they’ve stopped asking her out.
“It’s time for a talk with the friend. It sucks to be the friend with no money but it sounds like you’ve tried to accommodate that,” another wrote. “If you want to keep her as a friend try to be empathetic, there may be some depression in there as well and she may be acting p*ssy because she feels she can’t change her current situation.”