July 27, 2009

Modern Manners Monday: What Would You Do?

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Let's jump right into this week's quandary:

It's no secret. We are in the midst of a recession. You have a friend whose husband has been laid off and she has mentioned their financial struggles without going into explicit details. You and your spouse would like to help them out but you know that your friend is very proud and might be taken aback. Nevertheless, you decide that you'll roll the dice and take your chances.

How do you approach your friend? What do you say?


  1. Firstly, I just found your blog and I love it! What a treasure trove of information!

    Now, on to your question. I have been in this situation and it is a tough one. I find it is often easier to give offers of time than cash, since it is often so difficult for someone to swallow their pride and accept it.

    Free baby-sitting if they have young ones or a girl's day out at a salon as a treat is great if they have had to cut their personal maintenance expenses. I've even told a little white lie and said I had a gift certificate that I'd love to share.

    Another option is to bring them gifts you know will help out in lean times. A pretty basket of pantry items to help fill their shelves with goodies they cannot afford can go a long way in lifting spirits.

    If you are super close, then just be up front and say we've all been in this situation at one time or another and we would love the opportunity to pay it forward.


  2. Thanks, Debi! I hope you'll continue to drop by.

  3. I did this for a friend recently. I simply sent her a greeting card with five gift cards in it. One to Walmart, one to Target, one to TJ Maxx, one to Borders and one to Safeway.

    She sent me a thank you note and we have not spoken of it. The thank you note said it all.

  4. Exactly what CreoleInDC did.

    Although I wasn't completely financially broke, years ago while laid off for more than a year, I was counting pennies tightly. One of the kindest things my best friend did was give me a Starbucks card along with a note of encouragement. It's the little things like that people appreciate, without having to go into the deep conversation of "let me help you" etc.

  5. That is tough. It depends on what you are doing to help. It's easier if you have already purchased something which makes it kind of rude to refuse, but if it's straight up money, it's harder to persuade. I would just tell them not to be stubborn and to be pissed off at me for a while.

  6. Just do it and keep it moving. This is a great idea. :)

  7. I like the gift card idea. Being that I too in am in a financial rut, I would appreciate that. Cash would make me feel obligated to pay them back...even if they said I didnt have to. Gift cards are just that...a gift.


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