Kind gesture by couple turns flat into friend’s love nest

Published 8:31 am Thursday, June 27, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I rented an apartment six weeks ago. A friend of his needed a place to stay due to some marital problems, so we decided she could stay with us. At the beginning, she offered us $500, and we agreed to that. Abby, she hasn’t paid us a dime. She has chipped in maybe $30 for food. 

She sleeps all day and sits in her room playing games on her phone all night. She demands we take her anywhere she needs to go, gives no help around the house and makes nasty comments about my boyfriend. (I just caught her looking at my phone to see what I am writing.) 

We have tried explaining that I’m the only one paying the bills here and she seems to be freeloading. She even had her boyfriend here. I am on a fixed income, and I feel like she’s taking advantage of the situation. Do you have any advice for me? – FEELS LIKE A FOOL

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DEAR FEELS: Yes. The longer you tolerate this, the longer it will continue. Tell your boyfriend (if he doesn’t already know) that his friend hasn’t given you the agreed-upon $500 and has made no effort to become self-supporting and independent. 

If she’s entertaining her boyfriend at your place, it’s no wonder she was having “marital problems.” Tell your boyfriend you want his freeloading friend out of there. Then set a date for her to be out – unless he wants to support the two of them himself. 


DEAR ABBY: When my mother-in-law turned 75, her kids decided to throw her a surprise party. My two sisters-in-law and I offered to make the food, with one of them doing the shopping and the three of us splitting the cost and the work. We agreed upon a menu and hashed out a shopping list. 

The party was a success. But when the grocery bill came, it was three times higher than I’d expected. Sister-in-law had bought only fancy-brand organic foods from a boutique store, expensive wine and way more than we needed. 

Now, we’re planning a party for the parents’ anniversary. I said I’m happy to make food again, but I have to put a cap on the budget or be the one to do the shopping. This did not go over well. The family is taking turns making digs at me for being “cheap.” 

At what point do I say they need to be respectful or I’ll bow out of the event altogether? I refuse to be shamed for holding the line on my budget or for making less money than they do, but I’m also not interested in giving them intimate details of my financial situation, which is none of their business. 

Am I wrong to think that when I say I have to stick to a budget, they should believe me? They think I’m being stingy. – NO PARTY POOPER IN TEXAS


DEAR NO PARTY POOPER: Of course you are not wrong. Because you are reluctant to reveal exactly what your financial situation is (and you are within your rights to keep mum), the next time you are accused of being “cheap,” simply respond that NOBODY has as much money as other people think they do. Period!



Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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