I have first-hand experience with a moocher, and believe me, these people can bleed you dry. You know who they are—the friend with the big plans, but ironically never has money. I used to be friends with a moocher. And I have to say, these people are pretty clever. They’re so good at what they do that we often don’t realize when we’re being taken advantage of.
Maybe you’re a generous person who doesn’t mind going into your pocket to help a friend. The problem with being generous is that certain people begin to expect this type of treatment. You work hard for your money and it’s not your responsibility to save everyone. So if you got a moocher, here are few tips to shake the monkey from your back.
1. Make your expectations known
Moochers are sly and sneaky, and they know how to perfectly space out handout requests to avoid being exposed. To stop a freeloader, you have to speak up and lay down the law. Whether you’re doing the inviting or the moocher invites you somewhere, don’t be shy about adding a disclaimer when extending or accepting invitations.
I took this approach with my user and it worked like a charm. Since we ate out a lot, as soon as the waiter arrived to take our order, I always began my order with “these are separate checks.” I made it abundantly clear from the beginning that I wasn’t picking up the tab to avoid any confusion or false expectations.
2. Take the subtle approach
If you’re constantly going in your pocket to pay a moocher’s way, he or she might get used to the treatment and develop a sense of entitlement. And to make matters worse, your freeloader might never return the favor. Rather than a give and take relationship, you have a give-give relationship, with you doing all the giving.
Talking about the issue can be uncomfortable, but you can get your point across with a little subtly. The next time your moocher invites you out, half jokingly ask: Are you treating? Or come right out and say, “I think it’s your turn to treat since I got us the last couple of times.” Your moocher will know that you got his number. He may return the favor. And if not, at least you won’t have to worry about this person taking advantage of you again.
3. Only bring what you need
You can’t pay for a friend when you don’t have enough money. If you don’t think you’re strong enough to say no when a user asks you to pick up the tab, make it easier for yourself and leave extra cash at home and only bring what you need for the night.
You can’t give what you don’t have. If for whatever reason users don’t have enough to cover their share, that’s not your problem. They shouldn’t have come out expecting others to flip the bill.
4. Don’t talk about money
You might be excited about a new raise or a promotion at work. But if you go around blabbing about your finances to anyone who will listen, some people might get the wrong idea
In college I had a friend who complained about people constantly asking to borrow money from him. I was empathetic, but at the same time I knew exactly why people were hitting him up for cash—he couldn’t keep his mouth shut.
He was a braggart who loved talking about his house, vacations, purchases, etc. My advice to him: stop telling people about your money and they’ll stop viewing you as automatic teller machine.
5. Get out of the personal lending business
Truthfully speaking, a moocher can only mooch if you allow them. So if you’re tired of being everyone’s personal bank, stop the cycle.
You don’t have to give a reason or explanation. If you choose to, be honest and let them know you’re no longer in a position to give money. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re broke. Maybe you’ve been burned too many times and you’re sick of giving away your hard-earned cash. You don’t have to call names or put the person on blast. If they’ve used you in the past, they’ll get the hint.
Your money goals might include paying off debt, going on a vacation or saving up to buy a house. Understand, however, that if you keep giving away your cash, you might never hit these goals. You can’t improve your finances when you’re constantly trying to save others.
What are your tips to get a moocher off your back?