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How to Shut Down a Money Moocher

Two People Hands With Money

Almost everyone will encounter a 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 never brings enough money to cover their expenses when you go out. He borrows your CDs and video games, and then conveniently misplaces them. Half of your clothes are in the moocher’s closet, and many of her meals come from your refrigerator. Moochers get away with mooching because the people they exploit feel too embarrassed and awkward to confront them, but you can learn how to say no to money moochers. Read on for some sensible suggestions for how to shut down a money mooching friend or relative.

Shut down a Money Moocher Using Humor

Are you procrastinating about confronting a moocher because you don’t want to look mean and selfish? Your friend likely knows that most people instinctively want to assist others, and they take advantage of this fact. If direct confrontation makes you feel too uncomfortable, you may want to consider using humor to bring up the subject of your friend’s mooching. 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 moocher, you should make a point of planning shared activities in advance. Suppose, for instance, that you are planning to have dinner at a restaurant with your friend. 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 with.

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 the moocher to bring along a certain thing, don’t ask anyone else to provide it, or buy it yourself just in case. That way if the moocher comes to the dinner party empty handed, people will notice it.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

If you notice that a certain friend keeps mooching from you, politely ask her about her fiscal situation while you are alone 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, she may feel embarrassed and stop it.

Just Say No

Another way of handling a moocher is to directly refuse the request. Tell him you are sorry, but you don’t have spare cash to loan him. Say no to letting him ‘borrow’ your new CD.  If you deny the mooching directly, be prepared for the reaction they may have. The moocher will probably do his best to make you feel greedy or cheap. That’s because moochers tend to harbor the deluded belief that they have a right to other people’s cash and belongings.

In the end, a moocher can only mooch if someone else allows him to do so. If you stop enabling the moocher, the mooching will come to an abrupt halt. Remember that you have a right to object to a behavior that is unacceptable in any individual who has reached the age of majority. Objecting may mean the end of your friendship with the moocher, but maybe that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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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