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How to Handle These 3 Awkward Money Situations with Friends

How to Handle These 3 Awkward Money Situations with FriendsThere’s probably very few subjects that are off limits between you and your friends. However, no matter the length of your friendship, finances seems to be one subject that is forever taboo.

Between your salary, lending money to one another, and splitting the bill, there’s an array of occasions that arise where money inevitably comes into play. Unfortunately, these instances can lead to some uncomfortable conversations.

To prepare yourself for the next time money comes up with your friend group, take a look at our guide on how to handle these three awkward money situations.

1. You Lent Money that Hasn’t Been Returned

In most cases, you’d have no problem lending your friend a small amount of money or paying for their meal if they’re short. Unfortunately, sometimes even the smallest amount unpaid can drive a wedge between friends.

A good rule to have in the first place is to never lend anything you can’t afford to lost, because if your friend doesn’t pay you back, it’ll only serve to create resentful and irritable feelings on your part.

That being said, you should also take the time to follow up after said event and amicably reminding your friends that the bill was “x amount,” if they wouldn’t mind paying you back via Venmo or PayPal. It’s a pleasant way to send a small reminder.

2. Splitting the Bill

Splitting the bill always seems to be complicated. Some insist on paying for exactly what they ordered, while others want to split the whole thing evenly. However, when all you had was a salad to your friends steak, you might not be happy splitting the bill.

Being the oddball out and insisting on paying only for what you owe is awkward. To alleviate the situation, always bring cash. In turn, you can offer to put down what your meal was worth and have the rest split. Your request won’t seem as obvious and the server won’t have to worry about organizing the bills correctly.

3. Handling the Question “How Much Did that Cost?”

Whenever you or one of your friends has a new purchase, everyone else usually wants to know all about it. This conversation consequently brings about the question, “how much did it cost?”

With the little items, you might not have a problem disclosing that information, but if you splurged or made a large purchase, it could be uncomfortable. Either politely say you’d rather not divulge that information.

Or, if you do, make a point to explain how you saved up or what sacrifices you made to have the ability to splurge.

Money doesn’t have to create awkward and tense situations between friends. There are always ways to ease any financial situation to keep money from coming between you and those closest to you.

So, the next time you go to split the bill or someone asks you to put the tab on your card, remember a few of these easy ways to keep the financial situation from spoiling your friendships.


Do you feel comfortable discussing your finances with friends? What other awkward money situations have you encountered?


Photo courtesy of: vivienviv0

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Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


  1. Good suggestions on how to handle those situations! I’d say the main rule no matter what, is don’t lend what you can’t lose. The most awkward is immediate family asking for a loan (even a small amount) when they don’t always pay you back. If they’re true family though, they’re probably asking because they have no other choice, and not happy about having to ask. If that’s not the case, it’s easier to say no.

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