While most of us would never dream of constantly taking freebies from people, there are others in the world who would happily stand with their hand out forever. Going out with friends or family members who clearly don’t appreciate that you have money concerns too and always expect you to fork out money for them can totally ruin the mood. Freeloading can take many forms: dropping hints, delaying payment or just blatantly asking for things and not even offering to pay. We’ve thought about some techniques you can use to protect your bank account from these types of people. What we should mention first of all is that there is no need to fall out with any of your friends over money, especially if you can handle the situation with tact.

1- Make out like your money situation is worse than what it is. Any friend worth having isn’t going to feel comfortable taking money off somebody who they think is struggling.

2- Ask for the money before the purchase. This works well in car sharing situations. If they’re always promising to give you petrol money, you could try asking for their share before giving them a lift.

3- Eat and drink before you go out. If, for example, you’re out in town and you’ve already eaten, you’re not going to need to buy some food and feel obliged to buy them something too.

4- Mention that you bought _____ last time. Maybe they’re just not aware of how much they take. Don’t feel bad about about letting them know that this isn’t the first time you’ve bought them something.

5- Don’t take your bank card out – only take enough cash to cover yourself. Bring your own taxi fare, drink money etc and let them know that you only have enough for yourself before you head out.

6- Never ever ever loan money to them. You will not get it back. Even if they swear blind that they will repay you, use their past when making your decision.

7- Never offer to buy them anything, as this would make them think that you’re willing to fork out money for them.

8- Don’t drink in rounds. Freeloaders often disappear before their rounds anyway or ask for the most expensive drink on other people’s rounds then only buy cheap drinks when it’s their turn.

9- Honesty. Freeloaders often don’t get subtle hints that you’re not happy. You have to be blunt and say no sometimes.

10- Make light of it. Make jokes about not being their bank to express your feelings but also keep the atmosphere calm.