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What Do You Do When Someone Wants To Give You Money?


Our neighbors are awefully nice people, and while we do not “hang out” with them (they are an older couple), we do chit chat from time to time and we know to ask each other for help if we need it.

A few weeks ago, they asked for my husband’s help lifting something. Of course, he went over there for just a few minutes and helped him.

My husband came back with $5.00. The first thing out of my husband’s mouth was, “They made me take it.”

While we appreciate the thought of the money, we just want to help them when they need it just for the sake of helping them. My husband told our neighbor that they didn’t have to give him money, but they insisted that he take it.

Is there a good way to let someone know that you want to help to be helpful and no money is needed? Or should one just accept the money and say thank you?


  • Reply Matt |

    Sometimes people simply want to give you money. Its their way of saying that they appreciated your help. I’ve been in that situation before and tried to give the money back but it failed. When it happens take the money and run!

  • Reply D |

    Take the money it is an insult when someone turns it down. In the givers eyes. At least that is what I have been told. I haven’t fully reached this place yet – I can’t wait to get here though.

    What I do is bake them something and drop it off. Sometimes brownies or cupcakes or their favorite dish. I will then claim that I had “extras” when I drop them off. It is so hard for them to turn it away then. Makes me feel better.

    Plus it makes such a neighborly world…don’t you think?

  • Reply Chitowngirl |

    Hi! I think you can say just that and if they still say take the money, then take it. Sometimes, people have a pride issue and they don’t want something for nothing. Also, on a more cynical note, people never want to feel like they owe you anything in the future because you helped them out before. You have decent neighbors, that is a blessing in and of itself. =)

  • Reply Tricia |

    Thanks everyone for your input. Thanks D for mentioning the possible insult if we do not take the money. I just remember growing up and the neighbors helping each other – but without money being exchanged. Like a “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” sort of thing KWIM? More so like bartering, I guess?

    This is our first home with neighbors like this – so this is sort of new to me.

    I think we will make something special for them to drop off because we had extras (that’s a great idea) 😉

  • Reply Maria |

    There’s alot of pride in not taking money when it is offered, especially when we have done something to help them. We dont want to appear to needy but they want to give you something that says an extra “THANK YOU.”

  • Reply Jenni |

    I think letting them know that money isn’t needed should be enough. If they still offer money, it’s best to take it, as some people might see it as charity if you refuse or as an insult.

  • Reply DrHousingBubble |

    If a person really wants to pay you, that is their right. If you really do not want to take the payment, that is your right. The etiquette is finding the middle ground. In most cases explaining to them how strongly you feel one way or another is the best solution. With that said, I would be happy to take your husband’s five dollars if it is weighing on his mind. : )

  • Reply Steve Heath |

    Lol, maybe they read your blog and just want to be part of the debt elimination 🙂

  • Reply Karen |

    Take the money and give it to charity, the SPCA or to a homeless person. “Pay it forward…”

  • Reply Hilary |

    My brother gets really annoyed at people who won’t take help. One time he changed a tire for someone stuck on the side of the road, and motorist kept pushing $10 on him. After refusing several times, he finally said, “If you insist on giving me money for this, my rate for changing tires is $54. If you want to accept it as the favor it was, you’re welcome, and have a great day!” No one’s ever accused him of being tactful.

  • Reply S/100/30 |

    Like a “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” sort of thing KWIM? More so like bartering, I guess?

    My guess is that they fear that, being older, they have no real way to “scratch your back”, but they will need your continual help. Paying you is what keeps them from feeling too guilty about not being able to reciprocate.

So, what do you think ?