Bridging the Income GAP with friends

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by thadjock, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. thadjock

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    so lately, several friends , and one in particluar that i'd really like to get alot closer to, have found themselves victims of the economic slow down. (One friend just found out that his pay for 09 would be cut by $10k, i don't know how much he makes exactly, but $10k is still alot of money. it's expnsive to live here)

    In the last few wks a problem has come up because of their recently restricted finances whenever we try to plan things to do:

    I'm totally ok doing really simple things that don't cost much, (I'm happiest being a VERY simple guy with a simple life, and i'm extremely non materialistic) even just staying in and watching movies, grilling at home, or take a drive to the beach with the dog, but I'm also totally ok paying for a date's or a friend's dinner/movie/drinks/concert or ballgame ticks/transportation/gas etc. if we do those.

    so how do you get them to understand that you're doing it because YOU want to and you want to go out with them and spend time with them doing something you both enjoy, and not because you're taking pity on their situation. I've tried talking it out but my friends are pretty strong willed and independent and they end up just staying at home and feelling bad about it all. the last thing i want to do is make it worse.

    I"m certainly not wealthy, and i would never tolerate freeloaders, but I've got work and i'm doing ok, so i'm really frustrated by how this economy is messing up my relationships with friends, and a potential dating situation with a really great guy.

    has anybody else encountered this and have you figured out a solution to it ?
     
    #1 thadjock, Mar 30, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  2. Phil Ayesho

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    its hard.
    No one wants to feel they are beholding, and yet everyone wants to be the generous one...
    that's because being the generous one is the part that makes you feel good...


    I would suggest you try putting together events in which everyone can AFFORD to contribute.

    Say Bob has a projection screen TV... and is hurting financially,
    Have him "host" a movie night for several friends where his sole contribution is the Place and the equipment...
    And I mean not two couples... but setting up a big screen and a dozen or two chairs...


    Another friend who is hurting might bring their popcorn popper and some butter.

    Another a couple of movies or some shorts...

    Others with a little more to kick in might bring some food, you can make a lot of really great dishes that will feed a crew for remarkably little money...

    4 couples each cooking a dish will ALL feel like they contributed, and everyone gets to eat their fill.

    And those doing a little better will get tapped for the more expensive items...like the drinks.

    If you do this well, you get each person to feel like they are all contributing something they can afford to an event that is fun out of proportion to its individual cost.

    The guy getting his house overrun is not gonna feel like he didn't kick in because it wasn't monetary... the folks who cooked will feel like their contribution was important because of their time and attention...


    But the greatest gift you can give them in these circumstance is the opportunity to feel like they are each able to be giving to their friends in some meaningful way.


    Understand their pride. Have compassion for their sense of obligation.
    Don't sell it to them with the idea that YOU can afford it... or that you want to do this for them...

    Sell it on the idea that their TIME and their COMPANY is something you want THEM to give to YOU.


    After all, that IS the real reason... isn't it?
     
  3. D_Brecock Evileye

    D_Brecock Evileye New Member

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    I like this plan.
     
  4. Steve26

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    Chances are, your unemployed friends' pride will dictate that there be some sort of equality in who pays for what. However, I don't think it needs to be a dollar-for-dollar match. If you pay for a nice dinner out that costs, say, $100, and then they pay to go to the movies ($30), there's a sense of equality since you each paid for one activity ... even though your activity cost more.

    Steve
     
  5. sexplease

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    do what you can to the best of you abilities and be comfortable holding your head up high. give when you can and take offered help when you need (not want)

    Life is so good when we help each other. They say when giving to others, be reserved and quite in your response, so the receiver doesn't feel ashamed.
     
  6. funguy44

    funguy44 New Member

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    I have a friend who I love to spend time with in a similar situation. I usually do things like for holidays and birthdays I buy him gift cards to places we might go to. I will buy football tickets and just call him and say I have 2 tickets come with me. I like to go to the gym with him but he could not afford the membership. I bought him one for christmas. He tried to refuse it but I told him I already paid and that would just waste the money. Then I told him I needed him to help motivate me to go more often.
     
  7. NCbear

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    If it's the relationship thing you are asking about, not just the friendship thing, then here's what my man and I do: We pay according to our ability to pay (i.e., proportional to what we make).

    He makes about one fourth of what I do, so if you put our earnings together, his proportion is about one fifth of the total. Therefore, his part of the rent (and the food for the fridge and so forth) is about one fifth of the total expenditures of the household.

    He's rather stubborn and independent as well, but this suited both of us after a long period of discussion about five years ago (early in our relationship). We agreed that if he becomes a famous photographer and I lose my job or am laid off, that the agreement will be modified according to what we then make.

    NCbear (who also likes the plan above that allows everyone to contribute, even when not all the contributions are the same or even financial)
     
  8. D_Cock_Hudson

    D_Cock_Hudson New Member

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    Times like this will always show who your real friends are. Modest events and get togethers are no bad thing, and indeed may be one of the few good things to come out of the present economic mess. When the last one happened my uncle fell on hard times, and used to come to us for Christmas. We decided to be modest on Christmas present spending and festivities, and even though he died a few years later, have stuck to that.
     
  9. meegsatori

    meegsatori New Member

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    With me and my friends we have started to pool our money as such, Here in the uk there is a trend of nightclubs charging and admission then free bar. We work out who is coming and then the ones of us that cant make it because of money we pay for and the others pay for the taxi home. We all crash at one person's place then the following day our friend drops us home.
    Granted the free bar stops at 2am usually but we continue the fun wherever we land. I only do 1 overtime shift and that seems to cover the majority of the night.
    I doubt this would work with larger groups there is only 5 of us.
    But when I lost my job in 2005 They were so good to me and made sure I got by and took me out so I wasnt trapped within four walls.
    Times like this really show people what they mean to each other.
     
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