Money Moral Dilemma: Should I tell my friends the true cost of our holiday?



  • FatbritabroadFatbritabroad Forumite
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    MalMonroe said:
    I think some people are being really harsh with their comments here. The OP simply wanted to treat two friends to a holiday. A really kind and unselfishly generous gesture in my book.

    However, I'd be feeling quite cautious about taking a holiday anywhere right now, to be honest. I know we're supposed to be coming out of lockdown but the virus is still around and I don't want to travel.

    I would have to let my two pals know I couldn't afford it any more. All my friends are lovely and I know they wouldn't mind. They would appreciate the fact that I'd wanted to do something so nice for them. I don't have any friends who would be angry about such a situation. If I did, it'd be quite by accident. I couldn't be friends with anyone who would take offence at such a situation. 

    So, tell them. If they hate you as a result then so be it, they weren't worthy of your lovely friendship anyway.

    This is really not a dilemma for me because my friends and I would never be hurt if one of us attempted to be so kind and lovely. Your kindness only backfired because of a pandemic, totally and utterly unavoidable.
    I'd have agreed if they had the money to pay for this outright but as someone else said they haven't actually paid for anything yet. This is the problem with any kind debt even 'free' debt. Circumstances change.

    I would however be honest about the situation and make it clear if they can't afford to pay anything they shouldn't feel bad and you will shoulder the debt as it was your decision to do this. If I was a friend I'd probably offer to pay it off for you and have you pay me back (with no expectation of actually getting it back) and as long as you made an effort to do so I'd write it off after a few months 
  • pennyforthempennyforthem Forumite
    192 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I am confused as to why you would offer to pay so much extra money that you didn't actually have?
    I would explain to your friends what has happened without asking for money and see what their reaction is. For all, I know you are repeatedly making these financial gestures and that is the only reason why they are friends with you? Or this could be a one-off for some reason you felt you/ all of you needed time away?
    Provide them with a no-obligation explanation their reaction will speak volumes. If the worst happens and they do not offer to pay and you cannot get a refund except it as a lesson learnt the hard way not to count your chickens before they have hatched. Be brave and good luck!
  • ScrewedOnScrewedOn Forumite
    2 Posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Ditto Wakeupandgo and Achubarian. What's with all the aggression and negativity?

    Your intentions were good and well-meant. You wanted to treat your friends which a nice thing to do. I would be chuffed at that gesture.

    My thoughts: honesty is the best policy if you can REALLY no longer afford it. Before cancelling anything, give them the full picture. Explain that you wanted to treat them but that you cannot afford it anymore. Ask them if they would prefer you to cancel the holiday and do it some other year. I cannot imagine that they would be upset.

    Work out a plan, maybe a pot, regardless of who can put in what? Ideas to raise the money together (selling stuff?). Etc. Honesty is the best policy. Lockdowns have knocked many people's lives and finances out of sync. S*** happens. Have some fun resolving it as a group!

    I hope you all get to enjoy your holiday.
  • Fls_2789Fls_2789 Forumite
    4 Posts
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    MoneySaving Newbie
    My suggestion would be to be honest with the friends, and offer to reimburse them any loss they have incurred so far.
    That way they haven't actually lost any money, and you can all choose a new holiday that's financially viable for you all.
    Hopefully you won't have lost too much on the deposit. 

    If that's not feasible then unfortunately, whilst your intentions were good, you are now putting your friends in a difficult position also expecting them to find that sort of money out of nowhere.
    If I'm agreeing to a £400 break then one that is double that would certainly be out of my price range. 

    Also the affects of covid have likely hit their finances too, so whilst they may appreciate your good gesture and now unfortunate circumstance, they are likely in the same boat which you are now adding to and it will be an even worse burden than it otherwise would have been.

    If you was all to go for a meal and you paid for it. Then a week later you decided I'm a bit short of money this month, I'm going to ask my friends to give me that money back. The friends were aware of you paying for that but would still find that an off thing to do, I certainly would.
    So you can't now after the fact, especially when they are totally unawares of what you have done, ask them to cough up double or lose everything they've paid. I just think that's totally wrong. 
  • IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
    21.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    MalMonroe said:
    The OP lied to their friends - it is all on them.  If the OP now tries to tell their friends it is £800+ they may think you are lying now and you are trying to get them to pay the full cost so the OP can have a freebie.  Not much of a friend if you can't be honest with them - no matter what the reason is. 

    However, in this situation the OP may have to bow their head in shame and admit they lied.
    Crikey, I'm glad I'm not your friend!! 
    Given the virtue signalling, the feeling is mutual.  But then I can think of no reason as to why or when I would have to lie to my friends.
    Don't waste time on other peoples first world problems
  • haseeb01haseeb01 Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with the angry posts on this one.  Firstly the mere fact that it’s been posted to MSE, the OP should be aware of the mantra do I need it, can I afford it.

    If this holidays is being paid off in instalments neither applies.  If I was the friend, yes a £400 holiday where I’m going to be treated implies that the person paying has the means to treat me.

    If the OP was going to pay this holiday off gradually I don’t think they were in any position to offer this discount to anyone. 

    Being the friend accepting this reduced rate holiday, I may not have been in a position to go on this holiday but did not want to incur any credit to go. All of a sudden the OP who has decided to pay this extra drops the burden of paying for it on me.  !!!!!! off doesn’t come close to how I’d be feeling.

    OP- you made your bed, lie in it, pandemic or not of you want to go on holiday save up, put money aside and treat those you love.

    Don’t pay for things you can’t afford to buy the affection of those around you, then expect everyone else to pick up the pieces
  • MonhumMonhum Forumite
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    MoneySaving Newbie
    It’s a tricky one... you took a gamble by the sounds of it and didn’t pay up when you could afford it, and now you can’t? That’s the way I interpreted it anyway. Your friends may have been hard hit by the pandemic also and mightn’t be able to pay their own £400 let alone an extra amount.. I think you’re going to have to either learn from it or come clean with your friends. But money can be the root of evil sometimes and I just hope it wouldn’t cause upset between you. 

  • edited 14 April at 8:57AM
    PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    edited 14 April at 8:57AM
    MSE_Sarah said:
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    Before lockdown, I booked a holiday for myself and two friends. It cost £833 per person, but I wanted to treat them, so I said it was £400 each and decided to pay the rest off myself. Now the pandemic has worsened my financial situation, and it's becoming hard to pay the instalments for the trip, so should I tell them how much we're actually paying?

    Yes, tell them that the holiday is costing double what you actually told them.
    That's your dilemma sorted.

    Hang on.
    Do you mean that you are now expecting them to pay double what you originally told them the holiday cost because your financial situation has worsened?

    Has the pandemic worsened their financial situation too?

    Through trying to do a nice and generous thing, you've committed them to pay twice as much for a holiday than they thought they were paying.
    Would they even have agreed to the holiday knowing it cost £833 instead of £400?

  • CarcyCarcy Forumite
    12 Posts
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    Given that this is an MSE forum, it’s not surprising that people are annoyed by this. If you’re on this forum presumably you put a lot of time and effort into trying to be financially responsible and not buying things you can’t afford. The OP has taken the choice out of their friends’ hands and landed them in unnecessary debt. This is exactly the situation most of us are trying to avoid. 

    However, if the OP was one of my friends, I’d recognise that they had good intentions so I’d swallow my negative feelings. I’d either fork out if I could afford it or work on cancelling the holiday and getting refunds if I couldn’t. And I’d make it clear to the OP that I would prefer them not to keep me in the dark in future. 
  • maisie_catmaisie_cat Forumite
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    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Academoney Grad
    Be honest with your friends, explain what you did because you wanted to treat them and that now you cannot afford it. See what the reaction is, a lot will depend on the true depth of friendship.
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