We’ve all experienced uncomfortable money moments. Sometimes, you just can’t avoid it: group gifts, friends asking to borrow money, and, of course, splitting a giant restaurant bill with 20 of your closest friends. These situations often seem impossible to escape gracefully. However, there are simple ways to handle delicate money situations so you’ll never have to feel the hot red flush of money embarrassment again.
A Declined Credit Card
There’s nothing worse than having a waiter or sales assistant tell you that your card has been declined.
Solution: The way to handle this one is to keep calm. If you can, talk with the waiter or sales person privately and arrange some other form of payment. If you can’t pay immediately, settle the bill by making arrangements to come back later in the day. You can also run to the nearest ATM to pull out cash.
An Unreliable Friend Asks to Borrow Money
This situation may seem tricky, but it isn’t as hard to get out of as it seems.
Solution: Just say you wish you could help but right now you don’t feel comfortable lending that amount of money. There’s no shame in this, because it’s your money.
Splitting the Bill
Dining out with a large party can be lots of fun, but there’s always a bit of confusion when the bill comes out. Whoever organises the gathering should be upfront about splitting the bill evenly or requesting separate bills.
Solution: It’s OK to go against the grain and speak up for yourself before you order. It’s also a good idea to come to these events with a little food in your stomach.
Your Rich Friend
Everyone has a rich friend. Whenever you get together, you end up spending way more than you’d like or feel pressured to keep up with their lifestyle.
Solution: The method we suggest here is to just come clean. You can say, “I’m going to be honest, I’m on a tight budget, and it doesn’t allow me to go out very often.” Explain that you really do want to hang out, but rather than going to a bar or pricey restaurant suggest getting together at someone’s house.
Dining with Co-Workers
When it comes to eating with co-workers, it is sometimes uncertain as to who will pick up the bill.
Solution: Always assume you’ll be paying for yourself, and if someone insists on getting the bill, be courteous and get it the next time. If you’re dining with your boss, he or she will most likely pick up the bill. Just to be certain though, ask if it’s on the company or if you should stop at an ATM to get cash.
Pressure to Chip In For a Group Gift
We’ve all received that mass email from friends or family, asking for everyone to pitch in for a birthday gift. Or we’ve all been asked to chip in for a co-worker’s birthday present, even if you don’t know this person very well.
Solution: A simple solution is to say you’ll get your own gift (and spend less) or a free e-card with a nice birthday message can suffice if you’re really strapped for cash.
How to Overcome 6 Awkward Money Moments [My Bank Tracker]
Katherine Muniz is a writer for MyBankTracker.com. She covers a variety of topics, including articles about university graduates and the job market.