What do you do when a mate hits you up for a loan?

We’ve all experienced tricky money situations. Now discover how to handle some uncomfortable money moments with your friendships – and finances – intact.

Research commissioned by ME shows sex and money are up there as the two topics we’re least comfortable discussing. It just takes someone to break the ice.

Here are 4 ways to get out of a tricky situation:

Soo …I just had tap water and the leftover chips

1. Splitting the bill
You’ve dined out with a big group and it’s been a brilliant evening. The crunch comes when the bill arrives. Do you split the tab evenly or request to pay separately – something that sees most restauranteurs roll their eyes skyward. And how much should each of you chip in for a tip?

“There are a few solutions here,” says ME Head of Deposits and Transactional Banking, Nic Emery.

“First up, broach the subject of paying early before everyone orders. Few things are more frustrating than subsidising another person’s no-hold-bar meal by paying far more than the value of your own. So decide if the tab will be split evenly or you pay for your own. There’s a whole range of apps that make bill splitting a breeze.

But I only have $1.35 to last me until pay day

2. A mate asks for a loan
“Mates and money can be an oil and water combination and it pays to tread carefully. If a friend hits you for a loan, explain you wish you could help but you’re short of cash yourself, and offer other suggestions to raise cash like holding a garage sale. If you’re happy to help out – and confident you’ll get your money back, establish a clear date for repayment.

 

How about $10 thai instead?!

3. Pressure to match a well-heeled friend
“We’ve all got that one well-heeled friend for whom money seems to be no object. Whether it’s an invite to the latest swanky restaurant or an over the top overseas trip, you know that saying ‘yes’ will break the bank.

“Honesty is the best policy. Come clean and explain you’re on a tight budget or saving for another goal. Be creative and drum up other ways to have fun together that won’t blow the budget. A weekend away at a Costa-Notta-Lotta beach shack can be just as much fun as a lavish trip to the Costa del Sol.

I’ve met Edwina once … why do I need to chip in for a xy gift?!

4. Pressure to give towards a group gift
“We’ve all been asked to chip in for a group gift that leaves us icy cold with enthusiasm – like a farewell gift for a co-worker you barely know. Simple solution. Explain you’ve already budgeted to buy a gift yourself – then head out and buy something more in line with your tastes and budget.

“Talking opening about money means not having to be pressured into spending more than you can afford or dealing with guilt from breaking your budget. Who knows, it could inspire others to take a closer look at their own money behaviour.”

Note about the survey: Survey was conducted via iView, using an online survey method. The survey was completed by >1,000 Australian adults.