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Offered Money for helping out..what should you do?
Old 05-30-2011, 03:15 PM   #1
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Offered Money for helping out..what should you do?

My friend's nephew just bought a house. I was helping my friend help him clean his carpets. It would have costed him $150 to hire someone. In the end, when I'm loading the carpet cleaner in the car he comes up and gives me $45 for my help. I say, "no, that's okay." He then insists. I try again..."no, that's okay". Then he said, "I'd feel bad if you didn't take it." So, I give in, and say "okay, thanks a lot." I didn't pocket the money, but just left it in my friend's car for now. What would you do in my situation. I really didn't expect payment as I was just helping out a nephew of a friend. Yet, I didn't want him to feel offended if I refused.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:25 PM   #2
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Say "OK but let's go out together and spend it on a (enter something here)."
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:29 PM   #3
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It would depend. Like you, I would decline the money and if this was a close friend I would continue to decline. If the friend was more of an acquaintance rather than a close friend then I'd probably accept if they continued to insist.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
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What would you do in my situation. I really didn't expect payment as I was just helping out a nephew of a friend. Yet, I didn't want him to feel offended if I refused.
Take the money, give him a big smile, and say "Well, thank you very much!"

He's offering it because he's expressing his independence and he doesn't want to appear to be indebted to a friend of his parents. And after all, you still saved him over $100.

I'm always offering to help our neighbors, but I find that I get far more calls if I "charge" them $25/hour. (We also accept baked goods in lieu of cash.) It doesn't make much economic sense to me since my handyman's skills are worth at least $75/hour, but the neighbors seem more comfortable putting a dollar value on the transaction. Most of the time it's troubleshooting or to fix things that they have no idea how to fix, but sometimes it's to do things that they never find the time to learn how to do (like painting a room or assembling furniture).

By paying me, they no longer feel an unspecified obligation that they don't know how to repay. I enjoy helping people out and I get to keep up my handyman's skills by practicing on the latest equipment. I can donate the money to charity or buy a guilt-free power toy tool.

Spouse and I once bought a washer/dryer from Craigslist. Since we'd be hauling heavy appliances, we brought our old hauling station wagon and wore our crappiest clothes. When we arrived at the seller's and paid him the money, he took one look at us and promptly returned $50. It made us all feel good!
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:07 PM   #5
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Thank him and take your buddy out for beers.... pay the kid's dad back if you will.

I also insisted that our neighbor's dad take my money for running that wood chipper all afternoon. He wanted to just do it for gas money but, as I was willing to fork over $150 to the rental place for a smaller chipper that I'd be running myself, I valued his time and experience more than he did.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
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He's going to have an open house party in a couple of weeks. The plan is just go get him a nice present (like a microwave oven) that would be about the cost or a little more than the amount.

These type of things always make me feel a bit awkward. I guess there are no set rules. Another situation...aquaintance of same friend. One time, she couldn't her computer to work. Knowing I'm a "computer guy" I got it to work. How much, she asked...no charge. No biggy. Then another time she's knocks on the door, says "please, please help..can't get computer to get online to her online classes." So, I look at it, big biggy...no charge. Then my friend moves. She doesn't have a lawn mover but has to get the lawn cut before moving. The same person who's computer I've fixed, who has a lawn mover goes, "I'll mow it for you, for $10". How soon we forget. What ever happened to helping each other out? I ended up declining..and took care of the grass with my weed wacker.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:28 PM   #7
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Throw the $45 on the ground in front of him, grinding it into the dirt with your heel, crying: That's how I receive your filthy lucre!
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:33 PM   #8
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It would depend. Like you, I would decline the money and if this was a close friend I would continue to decline. If the friend was more of an acquaintance rather than a close friend then I'd probably accept if they continued to insist.
I'm passing the buck (both literally and figuratively) to my friend. Leaving the money in my friend's car and let her decide what to do with the money from her nephew.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:56 PM   #9
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Many people (including me) don't want to accept money partly because we want to foster reciprocal obligations. Almost always a favor is worth more than the amoung of money that would be offered in these situations. We all understand "you owe me one".

Ha
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:04 PM   #10
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Go and get some pizza and beer for everyone and call it a day.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:08 AM   #11
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Take the money, give him a big smile, and say "Well, thank you very much!"

He's offering it because he's expressing his independence and he doesn't want to appear to be indebted to a friend of his parents. And after all, you still saved him over $100.
+1
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:50 AM   #12
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I'd just buy him something as a house warming gift. Ever seen a new homeowner that does not have dozens of things that cost at least 45 bucks? Call it a housewarming gift.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:04 AM   #13
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I have a good friend who travels frequently. She often asks me to take care of her cats while she's out of town - I've bonded with her cats and enjoy their company. She's comfortable knowing that I take good care of her cats and keep an eye one her house while she's gone. For a long time she wanted to pay me, but I didn't feel comfortable with that. We've finally worked it out that sometime after she gets back, she takes me to lunch. It works for both of us.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:26 AM   #14
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Here's another situation. I was away visiting a friend and her family out of state. We went on a trip in her van traveling several hundred miles. Each time the gas would run out, she was placing the fill up on her credit card -- pretty expensive. So, one of the times, I said, this fill up is on me. She accepted, but said, thanks, but the rest of the way she'd take care of it. I think I did the right that as I couldn't expect her to pay for everything (I know, she was just being a good host). Yet at the same time, it felt awkward, thinking..maybe I shouldn't have did the gas fill up.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:39 AM   #15
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You sound like a very generous person.

Mr B does a lot of computer fixes and has done some tax prep for his Legion buddies. Most of the time he does it for free and is glad to give his time and talents. When he is offered money and/or asked what the charge is, he will usually say $25 or $50 is good for his time and travel. He will take payment and usually gives it to me for the gas tank or groceries.

If it were me in your situation, I would just say thank you and tell the person paying that it's going right into the gas tank. Everyone understands that response these days.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:57 AM   #16
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Many people (including me) don't want to accept money partly because we want to foster reciprocal obligations. Almost always a favor is worth more than the amoung of money that would be offered in these situations. We all understand "you owe me one".

Ha
And learning who does NOT understand "you owe me one" is also of great value.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:14 PM   #17
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You sound like a very generous person.

Mr B does a lot of computer fixes and has done some tax prep for his Legion buddies. Most of the time he does it for free and is glad to give his time and talents. When he is offered money and/or asked what the charge is, he will usually say $25 or $50 is good for his time and travel. He will take payment and usually gives it to me for the gas tank or groceries.

If it were me in your situation, I would just say thank you and tell the person paying that it's going right into the gas tank. Everyone understands that response these days.

Thanks for the compliment and idea about saying it goes right into the gas tank. High gas prices -- the universal language
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:31 PM   #18
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Many people (including me) don't want to accept money partly because we want to foster reciprocal obligations. Almost always a favor is worth more than the amoung of money that would be offered in these situations. We all understand "you owe me one".

Ha
Yes. +1

And +1 to Calmloki's response.

(If you're doing someone a favor, with the implied understanding that, la Don Corleone, you might someday ask them to reciprocate, you don't want them to feel that the whole thing was a one-off financial transaction, and that you're now 'even'.)
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:39 PM   #19
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We would not accept money but we accept chocolate or dinner for thanks for our help. Pizza also works for moving. And we repay in the same currency.
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:23 PM   #20
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This is a tough topic. We go out to our friends place on the beach for the weekend. We always take meat for Saturday night dinner, a 6-pack of beer and 2 bottles of wine. It seems to work even though we are indebted to them for everything else.

Once we went to look after their dogs when they went to a wedding. They had left everything for us but we also took everything that weekend. They were pleasantly surprised that we did not use what they left for us.

We always try to default to do more than what we would expect!
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