There are many ways to deal with a moocher. Maybe a friend or relative always asks for cash. It doesn't matter if they have a job, they're always broke. And for some reason, you're there go-to person for money. Well, you're nobody's personal bank. If you're tired of going into your pocket and ringing up your credit cards, here are seven ways to deal with a moocher.
1. Decide if the Person is Really a Freeloader
There are many ways to deal with a moocher, but first you need to decide if the person is really a freeloader, or if they need genuine help. It's one thing to offer financial assistance to somebody who's truly down and out. Of course, that's providing you have extra money to give. However, if your friend has money, but would rather spend your cash and keep hers, that's a problem. Being observant can help you decide if the person's really a moocher. This person might cry broke when around you, but her lifestyle says otherwise. For example, is the person constantly buying stuff for her house? Does she wear new clothes? If so, chances are this person has disposable income.
2. Drop Subtle Hints
A little subtlety might get a moocher off your back. For example, you could make little sly comments about an unexpected bill, or the fact that you're dealing with an expensive car or home repair. You can also casually make comments about needing extra cash. You don't have to provide details about your personal finances, but dropping hints lets the moocher know you're closing down your ATM.
3. Cut Them off Financially
Or, you can be very frank and tell the person you're no longer her personal ATM. It's one thing to occasionally pay for a friend's meal. But if you never get anything in return, or if the person doesn't know when to stop asking, you have to get firm and cut them off.
4. Set Some New Rules
If you don't mind lending money to friends who need help, that's okay. Just make sure you establish rules and boundaries. For example, let your moocher friend know that you'll pay for his meal or lend money, but you expect your money back. This way, there's no misunderstanding. Written agreements can protect the friendship, and the moocher understands that it's a loan, not a gift.
5. Help Her Become Financially Independent
Maybe your friend's a moocher because she doesn't know how to budget or manage money. If you're financially savvy, offer to help. Give your friend a crash course on budgeting, saving and money management. Help her develop money smarts, which can help her have more disposable income. And the more extra income she has, the less she'll need from you.
6. Separate Checks
If you're dining out with your friend and you don't want to get stuck with the check, at the very start of the meal, let the server know that it'll be separate checks. This way, your friend knows from the very beginning that you're not paying for the table.
7. Be up Front before Accepting an Invitation
If your moocher friend invites you out, be upfront. Let the person know that you don't have extra cash, so you'll need to do something cheap. And depending on how bad the freeloading has become, be direct and ask the person, "Do you have money?" Let her know that you can only pay for yourself, and no one else.
A freeloading friend can deplete your disposable income, and her money ways can drive a wedge in the relationship. But this doesn't have to happen. Have a discussion with your friend, get to the root of the problem and offer any assistance you can. What are other ways to deal with a moocher?