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How to Shut Down a Money Moocher

how to shut down a money moocher

Almost everyone will encounter a money moocher at some point. We aren’t talking about a legitimate need that someone has for a little bit of help.  A moocher is a friend  or relative who asks for financial help on a regular basis or who never brings enough money to cover their expenses when you go out. They may borrow your stuff, and then conveniently forget to return it. Perhaps they show up at mealtime and raid your refrigerator before they leave. A money moocher gets away with mooching because the people they exploit often feel awkward about confronting the behavior. You can learn how to say no to a money moocher.

Tips to shut down a money moocher

Use Humor

Are you procrastinating about confronting a money moocher because you don’t want to look mean and selfish? Your friend or relative likely knows that most people want to help and give to those they love, and they may take advantage of this fact. If direct confrontation makes you feel uncomfortable, consider using humor to bring up the subject. Suppose your friend always forgets to bring his wallet when you go to the movies together. The next time you plan to go to a movie with your friend, laughingly remind him not to forget his wallet this time. If you don’t make a big deal about the mooching, the moocher has less opportunity to become indignant and make you feel bad.

Give Advance Warning

If you spend time with someone who is a chronic money moocher, you should make a point of planning shared activities in advance. For instance, if you are planning to have dinner at a restaurant, before you go to dinner, tell your friend that you only have enough money to cover your own expenses, so you expect her to pay for her own meal and drinks. When you get to the restaurant, ask your server to provide separate checks. If the friend  says she can’t afford to pay, cancel your plans.

You can do the same kind thing if you plan on inviting the moocher to a dinner party at your house. Allocate that individual a certain responsibility. For example, ask him to bring the dessert. When you ask them to bring along a certain thing, don’t ask anyone else to provide it, or buy it yourself just in case. Bailing out the money moocher won’t help them learn that you mean business!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

If you notice that a friend keeps mooching from you, politely ask her about her financial situation while you are together. Simply tell the moocher you’ve noticed she has been short on cash lately, and ask if everything is alright. Once the moocher is aware that you’ve noticed the behavior, it may be enough to put a stop to it.

Just Say No

Another way of handling a money moocher is to directly refuse the request. Tell him you are sorry, but you don’t have spare cash to accommodate him.  Say no to letting him borrow.  If you deny the mooching directly, be prepared for any reaction they may have, and stand your ground.

In the end, a money moocher can only continue their behavior if people allow them to continue. If you stop enabling the behavior, the mooching will stop. Remember that you have a right to object to a behavior that is unacceptable or inconvenient for you.

Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit committed to empowering and inspiring consumers nationwide to make wise financial decisions and live debt free. Speak with a certified counselor for a free debt analysis today

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2 Responses to How to Shut Down a Money Moocher

  1. Bryan says:

    My inlaws moved on my parents land with the understanding that they had 6 months to move out. We spent over $2000 so far on the move and to help them restart there lifes. They haven’t saved any money back and keep asking for more and more help. I tell the wife this has to stop and she defends there awful spending habits. I must admit if we didnt have kids I would get a divorce that’s how bad it is… what am I to do? I’m afraid that I will have to get them removed by force.

    • Tracy East says:

      That’s a tough situation for sure. Do you have a written agreement with them regarding their stay? You may want to consult a lawyer about whether a written contract with them would be helpful at this point. Let us know how it turns out!

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