(Closed) Should a "well-off" friend help a broke friend?

posted 6 years ago in Money
  • poll: Should the well off friend have offered to help her broke friend?
    No. That is entitlement to the nth degree. : (176 votes)
    46 %
    It depends how rich Well Off is. Parting with $500 or so would not break the bank if she is rich. : (14 votes)
    4 %
    It depends how good of friends they are. : (41 votes)
    11 %
    Well Off is stingy. Who wouldn't help their friend and her children if they could? : (4 votes)
    1 %
    Well Off should have helped this one time and only once. : (9 votes)
    2 %
    Well Off should have at least paid one bill. : (1 votes)
    0 %
    Well Off should have offered to get Broke Mom food. : (17 votes)
    4 %
    Well Off should have offered help in some other way. : (25 votes)
    6 %
    It depends why Broke Mom is broke. : (99 votes)
    26 %
  • Post # 62
    251 posts
    Helper bee

    Saying that one should do something if XYZ happen, leads to people expecting it if XYZ happen. No one SHOULD have to support another adult unless that person is their spouse, but it would be NICE to offer support (though I’d be more willing to offer non-monatary support, like bringing over some canned foods, non-parishables, maybe a gas power heater with a tank of gas (depending on living situations), blankets, and maybe even offer to help the mom find a shelter if they REALLY need to get help. I’d rather give her the things she NEEDS rather than give her to money for them.


    However, this comment was posted on the internet, meaning that this woman has internet. Did she go to a public library or free wifi place (with a laptop?) to post this? It is possible, but for some reason I doubt it. If she has internet access on her own, this akin to people complaining about their hardships and asking for or expecting money, but they post from their internet enabled smart phone. Food, clothes, and shelter should NEVER be sacraficed for a luxury such as a smartphone or internet. And you shouldn’t expect money if you’ve not taken every step to eliminate ALL unneeded expenses (a NORMAL phone will work just fine, so that you can receive call backs from possible employeers).

    Post # 63
    1334 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2013 - Kempinski San Lawrenz, Gozo

    I don’t agree with broke mom thinking well-off friend had some sort of obligation. Having said that, and I am only saying this from a personal and completely subjective point of view: 

    I have two friends. They are closer than family to me and we fiercely protect each other. We’ve been there for each other through a whole lot, including financial problems. I would not feel I am fulfilling my duty as a friend if I just watched one of them crash and burn financially while I’m living comfortably.

    Most of us go through some sort of financial turmoil as some point in our lives, and sure enough, I was there too. One of my friends helped us out a couple of months ago, to pay off our bills. We had just finished paying off the wedding and had no savings, and our utility bill came up to TRIPLE its usual amount because we had a leaky pipe for 3 months and we hadn’t noticed until the bill arrived. To top it off, our car broke down a couple of weeks later. I was ready to take out a loan to pay everything off, and didn’t expect my friend to help me financially, but being a loyal friend, she would have much rather loaned me the money than have me go to the bank. She knows I’m responsible enough to pay her back soon, and she knows I’d do the same if she was stuck in a similar situation.


    which is why i chose “it depends how good of friends they are” in the poll. 

    Post # 64
    2831 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    Honestly; if my very best friend came to me saying that her water would be shut off unless she paid the bill she could not afford; I would pay it if I could.

    But, there has to be a point where you do say no though.

    It depends on the person, their track record and the circumstance.

    If broke mom has new clothes/purses/goes out all the time yet can’t pay the bill, I’d say no.

    If broke mom’s husband lost his job and the baby got sick I would be more inclined to help if I had the means.

    Post # 65
    2473 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @bunny_foo_foo:  well theres a few diff points…. (I havent read the article) but basically we have no idea of their history and we’re only getting one side of a vent. Maybe the writer has a history of being in trouble and is always relying on others to bail her out and the well-off person knows this. There’s only so much you can do to help someone before you start enabling their behavior. Seconly maybe the well off person has all their extra money tied up? I mean my Darling Husband and I could be considered “well off” in comparision to our other friends but we by no means could afford to give handouts like that to all the people we know who need it (and believe me….we know a lot). We have investments set up and tax free savings accounts that you cant just take money out of without penalties etc……

    PLUS like someone said you never really know exactly how someone is doing financially unless you know the daily comings and goings of their accounts?? and no one knows that…the friend may not be as well off as she thinks she is.

    The writer of the article is playing the entitled victim



    Post # 66
    1489 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I’ve been poor before, and I would never have expected any of my friends to bail me out.  If they wanted to pray for my circumstance to change, I would have taken it, because at that time any additional prayers on my side would have been a good thing.

    I’ve been well off, and while I’ve been known to pay for drinks/dinner on occasion, especially if money is tight for the people I’m out with, I wouldn’t pay their bills, not ever.  They also would never expect me to take care of them like that!!  

    IMO, Broke Mom is making wild assumptions about her friend’s financial status and is pretty entitled if she thinks she somehow “deserves” any of that money.  Well off friend is most likely staying out of it for a REASON.  

    Post # 67
    1161 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @bunny_foo_foo:  I can’t choose just one option, its not dependent on one answer but many.

    Why is she broke in the first place?

    How rich is the friend?

    How good of friends are they?


    If it was a bad reason, I wouldn’t help.

    If I was only doing okay, and friend thought I was better off that I really am, I wouldn’t help.

    If we were anything less than very very close for a fairly long time, I would not help.

    Post # 68
    3339 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

    Absolutely not!

    How much money you have is not at all related to how good of a friend you are.  I do not believe in lending friends or family money.  If she wanted to pay for the bill, then that’s nice of her.  But I think it’s ridiculous to expect a handout from a well-off friend.  It’s not her responsibility to pay the bills of her poor friends.  Wow.  I couldn’t even be friends with a person who thinks that way.

    When I was poor and starving a year out of college, even my own father wouldn’t give me money.  He had already given me a sizeable graduation gift the year prior.  He wasn’t going to hand out free cash just because I wasn’t making it in my chosen profession at the height of the recession.  I got a job across the country and moved there for it.  Life has drastically improved ever since.  At some point, it’s not about doing what you want anymore.  It’s about survival.  This person needs to learn how to survive on her own.

    Post # 69
    2216 posts
    Buzzing bee

    @Ruby-Redshoes:  I agree with this.


    “If my friend needed help and I had the means, I would help her. That’s all I know and that’s the only position from which I can speak.”

    Yes, yes, yes. 100% yes.

    I’ve been well off in the past and I’ve been known to do things to help other people who are less fortunate. For ex, in college I was getting a larger meal plan at one point so that I could meal one of my friends into the dining hall. Her bills were really tight and the meal plan only cost a couple of hundred dollars extra, which my parents could afford (and they encouraged me to do this). I did this because I wanted to, not because anyone expected it. I believe in doing the right thing and, as long as one is not being taken advantage of and the action costs them little realistically, in most situations helping someone out is the right thing to do. That’s about it.

    Post # 70
    4335 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I’m going to trust the judgement of the “well off” friend who actually KNOWS the situation over the one-sentence complaint of the broke mom, and I’m going to assume the well-off friend knows what she’s doing, and for example knows background that we don’t, like for example maybe the broke friend dug herself into a hole and needs “tough love” instead of handouts, or this is a recurrent spiral that the well-off friend has seen her go through before and knows to not get invovled.

    Post # 71
    9681 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    @bunny_foo_foo:  If I’m well off, that’s because I worked to be. If I’m broke, then I must have had some poor planning. I personally do not feel it is my responsibility to pay anyone’s bills but my own. I don’t want to enable people who aren’t self-sufficient and teach them that handouts are the norm. I wouldn’t make my problems anyone else’s problems so I don’t like when people do that to me. 

    Having said all that, maybe it was the sense of, “woe is me, why won’t someone save me from my own mess” that turned me off. One of our friends is pregnant and struggling and has never asked us for a thing…which makes me want to help. I fully intend to buy the big ticket items on her baby registry and help out monthly with things like diapers/groceries until she sorts herself out. 

    I don’t like when it’s expected but I’m happy to help when I actually want to. 

    Post # 72
    6354 posts
    Bee Keeper

    If it was for a typical reason (partly not her fault, partly her fault) I would seriously consider buying her food. But I would also seriously consider calling Child Protective Services. Sorry, my priority is the child(ren), and they need a fit parent or guardian. That includes (though is not limited to) reliably providing for their basic needs.

    Post # 73
    1723 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 1998

    It depends on the circumstances of both. I’m married now and in my family, I am better off than everybody. There have been several circumstances where people need money, but that’s a decision we both need to make together now. 

    That and the reason why the person is broke has to be considered. Could they work but they choose not to? Is this a temporary situation, or if I offer help once, am I going to be expected to help month after month?

    That’s if the Rich Friend is even as Rich as “Broke Mom” thinks. She may be making ends meet, and that might make her look rich comparatively to the person who can’t pay their bills.

    I’ve been in the “Rich Friend” position before. I helped pay for all kinds of crap for a friend. In our case, it was more focused on food bills than electricity and the like. But I quickly grew tired of being expected to shell out for every lunch outing. He’d bitch and moan about not having work, so I’d send a bunch of high-paying job listings in a market that had very little competition; nothing was ever good enough for him.

    He just didn’t want to work, and I was enabling him. As far as I know (we’re no longer friends), he’s still like that.

    Post # 74
    249 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @MrsPanda99:  If I’m well off, that’s because I worked to be. If I’m broke, then I must have had some poor planning. 

    I disagree with that in a pretty big way. Plenty of people were born into well off families and didn’t work a day to deserve their wealth. Plenty of other people were born into poor families with limited means and limited access to things like education that would facilitate class mobility. 

    Post # 75
    9681 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    @hgwells:  …okay. Then we disagree. Not sure what else to say. Agree to disagree! 

    Post # 76
    9916 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013


    I think the woman in the original post was responding to the super condescending “I’ll pray for you,” she got when she told her friend about her troubles.  If a friend said that to me, after I’d vented/explained/complained — anything — I’d be offended.  You’re not even a good enough friend to try to hash out solutions with me?  WOW.  

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