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Is there any way I can materially help my friend without making her angry?

(16 Posts)
NaiveBean Sat 13-Feb-16 18:12:10

My friend is having a shit time. There are various personal things going on for her but it is compounded by an utter lack of money. Her husband barely works, through illness, and she has two jobs, does every possible thing suggested on every bargain and scrimping board ever and they still only just cover their bills with a very minor amount set aside for emergencies. She is one of the hardest working people I know but is stuck in an area with few opportunities, where a car is essential and for family reasons can't move. There is no end in sight.

I provide all the emotional support I can, use birthdays and Christmas as an opportunity for treats but outside of that she insists on paying half of anything (I had thought to take her out for dinner as a treat, e.g., but couldn't do it). We have been friends most of our lives and I hate and find it so upsetting that one of my oldest and closest friends, who has always been there for me and works so hard is struggling when I could relatively easily help her out. I have thought of anonymously doing an Internet shop, sending vouchers, or signing her up for a veg box or something, but i think she would know it was from me as she doesn't confide in any of her other friends to the extent she does me.

I have been racking my brains for a year (since she first confided how truly dire it is) and can't think of any way I can do this as she would, quite understandably, be furious and hand anything back. I'm not trying to boast or anything like that, I genuinely want to know if anyone has managed to help their friends out and not ruined their friendship over it? I've just got off the phone with her again where she was incredibly upset because a payrise she was banking on hasnt happened. I just want to help her, I don't know how.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 13-Feb-16 18:16:34

Tell her you won £200 in a scratch card and give her half

Chorltonswheelies422 Sat 13-Feb-16 18:22:06

She sounds amazing and you are s wonderful friend. Don't try and take her out for anything as a treat as that puts more pressure on her. I would tell her how proud you are of her and say that you want to support her through this tough patch and then ask her what would help her the most.

fgkdrntoifgbn Sat 13-Feb-16 18:23:15

Fabulous quitelikely

RudeElf Sat 13-Feb-16 18:23:40

The key to this is increasing her income. Is she working for min wage? Is it two part time jobs or one full and one part time?

imip Sat 13-Feb-16 18:24:48

Cook her dinner and take it over to her -saves her food for the night and perhaps leftovers for the next day. Tell her it's because you just want her to have a night off because she looks exhausted/had a hard week/you had a glut of carrots/any other reason.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sat 13-Feb-16 18:27:40

What a lovely friend you are, OP - not just to think of it, but to insist on subtlety as well flowers

I also thought of "winning / being given" something, and it could stretch to a lot more than just cash if you wanted it to. A nice restaurant's voucher which you got for filling in a survey, perhaps? Something which was bought for you, but which you already have or genuinely can't use? Even a dress which you meant to return to the store, but left it too late under their T&Cs?

With a bit of ingenuity the possibilities are endless wink

ArmfulOfRoses Sat 13-Feb-16 18:29:38

Borrow her car and fill the tank as a thank you?

Tableandchairs1234 Sat 13-Feb-16 18:34:06

You sound fab - maybe 'win' a voucher you can't use.

throwingpebbles Sat 13-Feb-16 18:51:02

You sound lovely.

How about setting up a regular girls night when you could head round there with dinner and a DVD or something and just always bring big portions so there's some left? She might value the good friendship as much as anything else, not having spare money is horribly isolating

Or making it clear that if there is a real crisis she must ask? I am stubbornly independent but when my car broke and I couldn't afford to fix it (newly single mum) my dad paid that bill and it was a huge relief. I was too proud to let him pay for food etc though.

lizzydrippingsghost Sat 13-Feb-16 19:10:05

how about getting a thinking of you card sticking some money in it and write something like " from one friend to another" and put it through her letter box so theres no embarrassment

lizzydrippingsghost Sat 13-Feb-16 19:12:41

would she really be angry with an act of kindness, emotional maybe but not angry surely

katiekatie4141 Sat 13-Feb-16 21:25:59

Get her a "thank you for being a great friend card" shove a big voucher in for marks, sainsburys or wherever she'd like to shop. How lovely xx

Iwanttokillthem Sat 13-Feb-16 22:17:53

To what extent can you materially help? Is it just a fill up with petrol or an online shop. Or can you do more?

Im wondering if its possible for you to help find either of them better work so that they can get themselves out if the situation they are in at present.

NotQuiteCockney Sun 14-Feb-16 08:59:24

Paying for dinner is a tricky one. I've found the line "if our circumstances were reversed, I know you would want to treat me" very effective in the past. You're making clear that you don't see her as a freeloader, you know she is a very generous person.

NaiveBean Sun 14-Feb-16 12:12:37

Thank you so much for these ideas. We live very far away from each other (I moved away for work, there really is very little where I'm from), but I think that the idea of winning something I can't use is a brilliant one, thank you smile her local supermarket is Tesco and she knows I hate them so that could be a good voucher to 'win' at work (she knows my work often give vouchers out).

Long term, I agree with those of you who say the key is increasing her income. She works a full time job just over NMW and a part time job for NMW. I will offer my help in looking for something else and as I do a bit of recruitment I'm pretty good with CVs, interview techniques and so on.

flowers for your suggestions smile

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