A friend wanted to give me a gift of money, she wanted to make sure it was ok if she just gave me the money instead of a gift, then I could get what I wanted. I accepted the offer and said that it would be put to good use. (She hadn't actually handed me the money yet)
I then followed up with, "I have a bill I could put it towards, so that would be nice to pay off." This didn't sit well with her and she immediately said she wasn't going to give me any money if it was just going to go for bills. "I want you to get something for yourself. Forget about bills for a moment."
|flickr/cc - oskay|
I was a little upset that she had changed the 'rule' on the 'gift' and now it came with a condition. She might as well just keep the money and use it on herself. Well, that wasn't a good response and things escalated into a war of words- Me accusing her of being materialistic and having a spend, spend mentality; and she accusing me of being tight fisted and not having any fun.
Eventually the fire subsided and we talked about it as civilized people. I explained that it gives me pleasure to pay a bill and know that it isn't haunting me, that I'm not a slave to the bill. And she told me that seeing me buy something I have always wanted made her happy, that she could do something I would put as a low priority.
Eventually, she came around and said that I could do with the money as I pleased, since I was clearly happy about paying off the bill. I was glad to see her come around, not that it was about getting me the money, but that she understood happiness doesn't come through added 'things' to my home and the reason some things are a low priority is because I have higher priorities (like bills) that take precedence over other things.
All in all a lesson learned about someone else, you just never know how they view money.
A couple of questions for you:
Have you given money gifts with strings attached? Why?
Would you have used the money for bills or a something on your low priority list?