Do you regularly find yourself paying money for others? There are several scenarios in which this problem might occur. However, you can deal with all of them by implementing two key tricks. And the best part about these tricks is that they don’t require the other people to make changes; it’s stuff that you can do yourself.
Scenarios When You Might Be Paying Money For Others
When are the times that you are paying money for others? Here are some common scenarios:
- Your name is on a lease or utility bill. Therefore, you pay the bill and others are then supposed to pay their half to you. However, they don’t always pay you. As a result, you’re paying the entire cost for others.
- The check comes at a restaurant or other shared event. Somehow the total doesn’t add up. You pay the extra to resolve the problem.
- The check comes at a restaurant or other shared event. You say, “I’ve got this.” You do this more often than not.
- You’ve offered to share your streaming services with others. Then you want to cancel or downgrade. However, you feel guilty for nipping their services in the bud. Therefore you just keep paying.
These are just a few of the scenarios that play out where you might find yourself paying for others. Brainstorm a list of others that apply to your own life. The more you know about the situation, the easier it’s going to be to resolve.
2 Key Things You Can Do To Stop Paying Money For Others
Each of these situations is different. However, they share a common denominator: you. You have choices. You can make changes. Therefore, it’s up to you to figure out what to do. And there are two key things that you can begin doing right now:
1. Work Through Your Own Money Issues
Many of us have psychological and emotional issues about money. We have received messages from our families and our culture that affect the way we deal with financial issues. This shows up in all sorts of ways. However, it especially shows up in our relationships. If you’re having problems paying money for others, then chances are that there is some underlying emotional stuff coming up for you that’s making it hard for you to set appropriate boundaries.
For example, if you’re the one at the table who always pays extra to settle a shared check, then dig deep to figure out why that is. How were financial conflicts handled in your family? Are you avoiding conflict because it’s a trigger for you? If so, what can you do differently in these situations to feel safe without having to foot the bill?
Conflict avoidance could be at the root of issues like covering rent for roommates as well. On the other hand, perhaps money represents security to you. Is that why you chose to be the leaseholder? If so, then what can you do differently to feel secure without people taking advantage of that?
Similarly, if you always pick up the check at a shared event, then it’s worth asking yourself why that is. What do you feel that it says about you that you pay for everyone? Is it a self-esteem issue? Is it a belief that you’re responsible? What’s going on underneath?
2. Learn to Talk About Money
This goes hand in hand with working through your own money issues. Once you know what’s going on with yourself, the other aspect is learning to properly communicate that information to others. Talking about money isn’t easy. But you can learn to do so with practice.
Start by discussing money issues with the people you find it easiest to do so with. They’ll help you strengthen your skills. You can even work with a therapist to help you learn to set boundaries and communicate them to others.
Obviously it helps if the other person will join in the conversation with you, but if all you ever reach is the goal of communicating your feelings then you’re still doing great. It will still help you stop paying for others when you don’t want to.
Additional Tips to Reduce The Problem of Paying for Others
Working on your own underlying issues, including learning better money communication, is truly the way to resolve this problem forever. But, of course, that might take some time. Here are some tips and tricks that you can implement in the meantime to minimize the problem in your life:
- Promise yourself that you’ll always say no first if someone asks you to pay. You can always change your mind and decide to pay later if that’s a choice you consciously want to make. Saying no (or saying that you need to think about it) will help buy you some time.
- Make use of apps like Venmo. People can instantly pay you right from their phone. Therefore, you should ask that they do so in appropriate situations such as when splitting a bill.
- Set up weekly or monthly money meetings. Whether these are family meetings or get-togethers with roommates, this is a way to address financial issues. Sometimes just setting aside the time to talk resolves the issues. Once it becomes a habit, it will be easier for everyone.
- Ask someone you love to hold you accountable. For example, if you always say, “we’ve got this” at the restaurant, ask your spouse to remind you not to do that. Ask for support in letting the situation unfold as it will.
- Set a budget that includes paying for others. If you enjoy paying sometimes, then work that into your budget. Don’t exceed it. Monitor it closely.
- Let everyone in your life know that you’re working on your personal finances. Say outright to everyone, “hey I’m just trying really hard to save money right now.” You can say this during a neutral time so that they know it’s not about them. This helps set the stage for all future conversations about money.
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