Monday, July 12, 2010

Friend and money are like... two things that are very poorly matched.

I know mixing friends with money is always a bad idea.  I never do it; I made an exception this time because of circumstances and because I felt bad for this friend.

Last year I helped a very close friend out who was really in dire straits; I told my friend that I would not do the work for free, that because of my own financial problems I needed to be paid (we're talking just less than $200, by the way).  I was told I would be paid as soon as my friend received some expected money.  It didn't happen when my friend got that payment, so I asked to be paid before Christmas. I really could have used the money for Christmas stuff.  My friend knew this and agreed to pay me before Christmas.

I didn't get paid before Christmas.  I let it slide.

I let it slide through the new year and the first few months, bringing it up only once and was told yes, I would get some money. I didn't get any money.  It's been a year now and I still haven't seen any money.

I find myself becoming very resentful when I hear complaints of I am so broke! interspersed with stories of shopping trips that involve name brand clothes or $340 worth of shoes.  I am trying to remind myself that I shouldn't let this bother me; that it is none of my business what my friend spends money on, but (clearly) it is bothering me. 

A large part of me feels incredibly disrespected by this. I feel taken advantage of. I am upset that my friend chooses to spend money on expensive material things instead of paying me back; I get mad when I read about it on facebook or hear about it over the phone.

I spent time with my friend last weekend and because I didn't have any cash on me, my friend graciously lent me some.  I am going to be seeing my friend again soon, and I know I will be asked to pay back the money.  I want to remind my friend of the outstanding money owed to me and suggest that I just subtract what I owe from what is owed to me.  This is probably going to not go over well, as my friend is honestly hard up financially these days. I am worried about how this is going to impact our friendship.

I feel petty and small and kind of mean about this.  At the same time, I feel like I should not have to wait a year to get paid.  And yes, this is small potatoes, but I dammit, I worked for that money.