Money Manners

Mom should not expect reimbursement for gifted bridesmaid dresses

King Features Syndicate

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: I’ve asked four friends to be my bridesmaids. Even though bridesmaids customarily pay for their own dresses, my mother paid for everyone’s dress. She did this to help out one of my friends, “Ashley,” who doesn’t have much money and who already faces the expense of traveling to Hawaii for my wedding. The reason Mom bought all four dresses is that I didn’t want Ashley to feel like a charity case.

Now, here’s my question: While it’s no hardship for my parents to pay for the dresses, my mother is irked that none of the other bridesmaids offered to reimburse her. Should she be? She did mention to each of them that she’d picked up the tab for all of the dresses solely to spare Ashley any embarrassment (I wish she hadn’t said anything). — Winter Bride

DEAR BRIDE: Ashley probably wishes so even more. It was nice of your mother to be concerned about your friend’s pocketbook, but she could have been a little more concerned about Ashley’s dignity.

To answer your question, though: Your mother has a point. Your friends know that bridesmaids are expected to pay for their own dresses. Moreover, they understand that your mother didn’t particularly want to buy their dresses — that it was only because of Ashley that they got a free ride.

But that doesn’t mean they’re obligated to reimburse her. For one thing, your mother did give them their dresses. And for another, it will be costing all of them — not just Ashley — a lot to travel to your destination wedding.

So our vote is for your mother to let this one go. You say she could afford to buy the dresses; why not simply enjoy having done the good deed?

When dog bites, owner pays bill

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: My dog, “Bruno,” bit another dog, “Peanut.” Peanut’s owner took him to a veterinarian, who said the bite wasn’t serious but, to be on the safe side, prescribed an antibiotic. Now Peanut’s owner has asked me to pay the vet’s bill.

I think he’s being unreasonable. First, I could tell that the bite wasn’t serious, and I never would have taken Peanut in if he were my dog. And second, Peanut is a yappy, aggressive Chihuahua who is always provoking Bruno when they encounter each other on walks. If you ask me, Peanut had it coming. Am I wrong to refuse to pay this bill? — Bruno’s Dad

DEAR DAD: Are you sure it wasn’t you who bit Peanut?

Look, we sympathize. But when your dog bites another dog — especially a dog you know and have allowed your dog to greet — it’s on you to pay the bitee’s bill.

Get daughter to save for retirement

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: My 45-year-old daughter lives paycheck to paycheck and has a ton of debt, including a big mortgage and over $20,000 in credit-card bills. Rather than paying off the credit cards and trying to save, she wants to buy a large life insurance policy so that in the event of her death, her 24-year-old son can pay off everything and own her house free and clear. (Her son is unemployed, but is looking for work.) What do you think of this plan? — Dubious

DEAR DUBIOUS: Make that three of us who are dubious.

Your daughter easily could live another 40 years. So rather than worrying about a bequest to her adult son, she should be concentrating on saving enough money to pay for her retirement. The best way your daughter can look out for her son is to make certain that she doesn’t become a financial burden to him in her old age.

Email your questions about money and relationships to questions@moneymanners.net.

| King Features Syndicate

  Comments