Monday, October 11, 2010

Helping Friends Out

My hubby is in a construction trade.  My hubby is very nice about helping people and is usually all about it.  He is in a skill that everybody needs and not just anybody can do without training.  His skill is usually billed out at about $100 per hour.  In the past, he has not ever billed his friends for his time and effort but usually people will pick up the tab for beer and/or food. 

Last May and June, a good friend our ours was remodeling his lake house.  Naturally, he asked my hubby for "help".  This help turned into about 6 full days of my hubby at his place and doing the complete remodel in his field of expertise.  That would be one thing but for 2 of those full days, his buddy wasn't even there.  He was fishing because it was fishing opener.  I thought that it was getting a bit ridiculous and I pushed him to ask his buddy if he was going to pay him.  This was no longer just helping out a friend when they expect you to be there to get the job done and they are fishing.  His friend said that he was going to pay him $300 in a gift card but now my husband ruined the surprise.  After working out the hours that my hubby had put in, he told his friend that $450 would be fair.  Well, he did give him $300 but never gave him the $150 because he was having "money issues".  Needless to say, he did this entire remodel to his lake house without taking out a loan but he apparently had money issues.  Sure!

Flash forward to this past Friday, he came over with his girlfriend with a check for $150.  In a way, I should just be happy that he got the rest of the money but I still can't help feeling a little bit used.  If he would have hired out what hubby did, it would have been about $6000.  He's not in the construction trades and maybe he doesn't know how much they bill out for but I highly doubt it.

Lesson learned:  When helping out a friend for anything more than one day, discuss payment upfront.

BTW, the $150 is going directly to our savings.

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