Do you dine out with people who order more expensive items than you do yet expect you to split the check 50/50? According to authors Jeanne Fleming and Leonard Schwarz, it's a pretty common problem among friends and family. Jeanne and Leonard talk with Jean about their book Isn't It Their Turn to Pick Up the Check?
and share some advice on how to tackle tricky money problems between friends and family:
Once the check arrives at a restaurant, propose splitting it fairly. You could ask for separate checks, split the bill 60/40 or 70/30 or have one person pay the tip and everyone else split the cost of the meal, Jeanne says. "There are lots of different ways to do it, but the only question is whether the folks who are involved in the process think it is a fair one," she says.
Use your heart and your brain when lending money to friends and family. "There are families [that], when they lend money, never expect to get it back," Leonard says. "And there are families, when they lend money to one another, they expect to get it back with interest." Because different people have different expectations, Jeanne says you should only give out a loan if you can afford to make the loan a gift.
It is often more difficult to loan money to a family member than it is to a friend. "If you have friends who are moochers or deadbeats or cheapskates and it becomes too difficult, in essence you can let the friendship fade away," Jeanne says. "With your family, that is a different story. If you have an uncle who is a mooch when you begin life, you have an uncle who is a mooch until that uncle is gone."