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Taking Money From Strangers

One of the first things I learned as a child was to never take candy from strangers or go towards the vehicle of someone I didn’t know. This had to be stressed, as our beighborhood was more dangerous than it appeared, and I loved candy. It was hard for me to believe that people weren’t who they appeared to be, that they had hidden agendas & motives. I still have this problem with taking people at face value, but years of instruction molded me into someone who sticks close to the model if I can’t buy it outright, I can’t buy it. I don’t ask for help or use credit…and I don’t take money (adult candy) from strangers.

But what about a non-spousal significant others? Is it OK to accept money from them? What is the protocol for monetary gifting? When can someone who isn’t living with you pay a bill or rent, and what happens next? Do I need to pay you back? Should I consider it an investment in the future we may possibly have together?

In July, as my regular readers know, I had a situation with my apartment complex depositing two rent checks at the same time that left my account overdrawn and me strapped for cash in a major way. I had to pay bank fees, returned check fees, and still had to pay a month’s rent or be put out. Mr. P. offered to pay half of what I owed for rent. It was sweet of him, but I couldn’t make myself take it. I wouldn’t have felt right. It all worked out without me needing to take him up on the offer, but it made me wonder. We’ve been together over 2 1/2 years, but even so without being married, I am not his responsibility & he isn’t mine. He still has his own bills to see to.

Nobody wants to be thought of as a golddigger, or be taken advantage of financially. So you tell me: should you accept money from non-spousal significant others? At what point in the relationship is it appropriate, if ever? Do you pay it back? Does/ did anyone else feel like it obligated you (imagined or real)? If you have taken money, how did it all turn out?

4 thoughts on “Taking Money From Strangers

  1. I think the best practice is to do what you did – work it out on your own.

    When I dated, I didn’t borrow money from guys. I did have one boyfriend that I had to keep bailing out. One month it was his rent, another utilities; it was always something. And, to top it off, if we went on dates, guess who paid? Yep. Me. As time went on (over 2 years) I grew to resent it and it was one of the things that made me say ‘goodbye.’ I file this under the ‘what was I thinking?’ category of my life 🙂

    1. That’s one reason I didn’t want to take the money too! I don’t want to be “that girl” that he’s always bailing out or paying for…that’s draining and makes you resent the person. I also wanted to re-establish that I have money management skills and can make it on my own, LOL…that one more to myself than anyone else. Thanks for sharing!

  2. When you write a check, subtract it from your balance and forget it. Never assume you have money if that person doesn’t deposit your check for a month or so. If it is out there you should never consider it your money.

    My rule is I wait a year. If the check doesn’t go through within a year, I put a stop pay on it (free with my bank) and I add it back to my balance and go about my business.

    I once worked at a clearing house (where checks go when written), they are sometimes shredded in the machines (accidently), they slide under the machines….anything, so it it possible for a check to never go through.

    Hopefully, lesson learned (although the hard way).

    On the topic, I think if you can avoid taking money from strangers, you should at all cost. That way at the end of the day when the problem has pass (and it will pass) you will feel better because you did it on your own.

  3. @annoy- good advice! It actually costs at my bank to stop paayment on a check, which is why I didn’t place one on there after a month or two. After a month it started to get pinched off of, meant to be put back in case, but you know how that can go. Lesson learned indeed! Still, an apartment complex should be on top of processing your check or accept other forms of payment, in my humble opinion!

    I think it’s best to keep from mixing finances until you are married & sharing bills.Money changes everything!

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