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Would you give money to a colleague to buy appliances?

(114 Posts)
AppliancesGift Wed 29-Jan-20 10:03:46


A colleague who I get on very well with has been having accommodation difficulties, and financial issues as a result of this. Won't go into details, I do know the specifics, but it's nothing that was their fault. They have now found somewhere to live but need to buy some appliances. This, together with paying two lots of rent in the short term, is putting more financial strain on them.

I'd love to give my colleague some money towards getting these appliances to help them out. Not £1,000s, but enough to make a difference. I do not expect the money back, it would be a gift, and this would be made very clear. When I was in a similar situation I was helped out and now I am in the position to do so, I'd like to help someone else.

I would not tell any of my other colleagues this is what I was doing, it would be confidential between me and my colleague. Of course if they choose to tell others then that's up to them. My other colleagues are EXTREMELY unlikely to ever ask for money, and I'm pretty good at being assertive so there's no worries there. This is really quite a specific one-off type situation.

What would you do? Is this a terrible idea or should I just do it? If someone helped me out in this way, I'd be delighted and very grateful, but I'm not sure how others would feel?


WitchQueenofDarkness Wed 29-Jan-20 10:04:57

No - I'd be terribly embarrassed if I was your colleague

Ennith Wed 29-Jan-20 10:05:25

Can you afford to do it?

Lifeisabeach09 Wed 29-Jan-20 10:06:29

Lovely gesture.
Ask them discreetly and see what they say.

PGtipsplease Wed 29-Jan-20 10:07:27

That’s actually really kind and I know my dh has helped out our employees from time to time and I can’t see this as different.

I’d say it was a moving in present.

raspberryk Wed 29-Jan-20 10:08:14

I might find a second hand appliance for about 50 quid if I could afford it and say a friend was getting rid of it to gift them.
I wouldn't give money or buy expensive appliances.

viccat Wed 29-Jan-20 10:08:46

I guess it depends if you're friends as well as colleagues?
Is the colleague senior or junior to you? Would it create an awkward dynamic between you at work?

mummmy2017 Wed 29-Jan-20 10:08:52

You could buy them a housewarming gift.
Halogen ovens are about £40 and can cover for a cooker.
Or tell them your doing your kitchen up, do they want your white goods .

AppliancesGift Wed 29-Jan-20 10:09:43

I can afford it.

I like the idea of it being a moving in present.

Yes I was a little worried they'd be embarrassed, of course they have nothing to be embarrassed about from my point of view.

It's a genuine gesture.

Gertrudesgarden Wed 29-Jan-20 10:09:50

What appliances do you mean? You could buy them a kettle, toaster and microwave as a moving in present, but a cooker or washing machine is a different thing. What do they need?

AppliancesGift Wed 29-Jan-20 10:10:40

We are friendly, and they are the same level as me, so not junior or senior. We don't work directly together so it won't affect any dynamics.

EmeraldShamrock Wed 29-Jan-20 10:11:27

What goes around comes around. It is very kind to even consider it.
Maybe a voucher for an electrical wholesaler. You colleague might be embarrassed though it sounds like you don't suffer fools if you believe they're genuine I'd get a 200 voucher.
It is more than enough.

cultkid Wed 29-Jan-20 10:11:28

Yes I would for sure help them

Thegreymethod Wed 29-Jan-20 10:11:40

I think it's lovely and very kind of you, maybe if you tell her that the same happened to you and explain that you wanted to pay the favour forward to someone else? Don't think it's got anything to do with your other colleagues.

AdachiOljulo Wed 29-Jan-20 10:11:44

you shouldn't do this - it will muck up the dynamics of the work team and it's unprofessional to be that invested in a colleague's personal life.

research local charities that help people in this situation. they do exist. make a generous donation to one such charity and suggest to your colleague that they should apply to that charity for assistance. if your colleague gets help then you will know that you effectively helped them without creating an unhealthy vibe between you. if the charity doesn't help your colleague it will because the charity used your gift to help someone in even worse dire straits than your colleague and you should be satisfied that your paid your obligation forward in a way that got it to where it was most needed.

3littlemonkeys82 Wed 29-Jan-20 10:12:18

I will forever be grateful for the help from a wonderful colleague when I left my ex controlling husband.

She gave me the money to pay my first months rent and arrangement fees. I did however pay her back over quite a period of time as I felt that was the right thing to do, but she put me under absolutely no pressure to do so.

Once I'd paid the last payment we met up for coffee and I gave her a card saying how she had helped to change both my and my sons lives.

As they say here, never offer more of yourself either emotionally or financially than you can afford to give. But if you can afford it, it's a truly lovely thing to do.

mummmy2017 Wed 29-Jan-20 10:13:10

My friend gave money once, it upset the dynamics of our relationship, don't do it.
Honest remodel your kitchen and offer the old ones,...

Myneighboursnorlax Wed 29-Jan-20 10:15:08

I wouldn’t offer outright, but instead say something like “oh I know someone who’s getting rid of their fridge, if you’re interested?” Or “I don’t suppose you want these vouchers for Currys? I had them for Christmas and I’m never going to use them, they’ll just go to waste!”

greeentopmilk Wed 29-Jan-20 10:15:07

Get a Curry's gift card and pop it in a new home card.
It seems less 'charity case' and more like a gift like it is intended if done that way?

MRex Wed 29-Jan-20 10:15:34

It depends what the appliances are. You could easily gift toaster, kettle or microwave, plus anything you don't use much like a sandwich maker or slow cooker (even if you buy replacements). They'd have to be a close friend to be able to handle being given a washing machine / fridge freezer / oven without feeling very awkward, could you offer that as a loan instead? As you don't mind being paid back you can then just forget about it.

saraclara Wed 29-Jan-20 10:16:21

you shouldn't do this - it will muck up the dynamics of the work team and it's unprofessional to be that invested in a colleague's personal life.

That. And it will mess up your relationship if you spend significant money.
Personally I'd tell her I/a friend had a couple of used items that she was welcome to. Then grab a cheap used fridge or washer off FB marketplace or similar, and donate those.

NiceLegsShameAboutTheFace Wed 29-Jan-20 10:17:32

I did exactly this a few years ago for a colleague (and friend) who had just received her leave to remain in the UK and was trying to find her feet. It was a hot summer and she needed a fridge. She was reluctant to accept but I persuaded her that it was a small gift to get her started.

Best decision I ever made. That woman is now a qualified accountant and her husband has been able to join here here.

She has had so much positive influence in my life and when she and her family went back to Zambia and Zimbabwe to visit their families, I got to go along smile

It's a lovely thing for you to do. Do it!

viccat Wed 29-Jan-20 10:18:50

I think only you can know if it would be something you can offer, knowing your relationship. And also what exactly you're offering... buying someone a £20 kettle is one thing but kitting out a whole kitchen with a washing machine, dryer, fridge-freezer and cooker would be over the top.

EmmaGrundyForPM Wed 29-Jan-20 10:18:51

Could you do it anonymously or would that be worse? eg if you put cash in an envelope with a covering letter explaining that you were once in the same situation and were helped out and now want to "pay it forward" by helping them.

Not in the same league at all, but I once anonymously paid for a colleague who couldn't afford to join our team Christmas outing. I knew she'd be horribly embarrassed and would refuse if I offered, so I left cash on the desk of the organiser with a note saying it was to cover Xs Christmas meal, and left an unsigned note on Xs desk saying she was an amazing colleague and I really wanted her to come out with us so her meal was paid for. That way (hopefully) no one was embarrassed.

IntermittentParps Wed 29-Jan-20 10:19:42

That's so kind of you.
If you do think they'd find it embarrassing, I agree with the idea of it being a housewarming present. Maybe a combination of that and 'I've been given a new kettle/toaster/sandwich maker; could you use my old one?'.

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