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.