Paying Your Way
Problem: A few friends make more money than you do, and they brush aside your sincere efforts to pay your way. You feel like a charity case. How do you handle it?
Solution: "Let people be generous, and find creative, inexpensive ways to reciprocate," says Amy Dickinson, author of the Chicago Tribune's syndicated advice column, Ask Amy. People who have money to spare are often thrilled to share their good fortune with friends. And if your wealthy patrons had leaner days, someone may have done the same for them. Be gracious and say "thank you." How? A simple photo album of your trip together or an inexpensive basket of homemade goodies is a lovely gesture. And don't shy away from inviting these friends to do things that are cheaper, says Dickinson. (Think hikes with your dogs or potlucks.) "Real friends just want to spend time with you. Cost is not the issue," she says.