NEW YORK (Money magazine) -- Money magazine readers answer your financial etiquette questions.
Question: Some of our neighbors have been hit hard by the downturn. We often have get-togethers where we take turns cooking for each other. Should we pay for more of the food costs, since we can? -- Name withheld
No. You are assuming that your neighbors are in a weaker financial position than you, and you run the risk of hurting their pride. If your friends are strapped for cash, they will figure out a way to opt out of these get-togethers or reduce their own spending somehow. -- Brian M. Fraley, Morgantown, Pa.
Yes. Find ways to surreptitiously take over some of the expenses, whether you do more of the hosting or slip a gift certificate for the supermarket into someone's mailbox. If people protest, let them know you'll be happy to celebrate when things are going well again. -- Julie Gervais, Ferndale, Mich.
Your generosity in this case may not be well received. Gently drop a hint about putting the tradition on hiatus for a while. If your neighbors don't agree, you have your answer. -- Brian D. Jaffe, New York City
You should always supply the costliest items: the main course and adult beverages. Say something like, "I have a new recipe for -- (lobster, margaritas) that I have been dying to try." -- Mary Mussoline Rogers, Coral Springs, Fla.
You aren't obligated to foot the bill for your neighbors, since you've already decided as a group how everyone should contribute, says Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of Protocol School of Palm Beach. But if you want to chip in extra, bring a batch of brownies or second bottle of wine instead of offering cash. "That's a less obvious way to spend more," says Whitmore.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.69%||3.76%|
|15 yr fixed||2.80%||2.82%|
|30 yr refi||3.69%||3.76%|
|15 yr refi||2.83%||2.83%|
Today's featured rates:
Chipotle to hold company-wide staff meeting Monday to keep E. coli away. More
Russia, Mexico and southeast Asia stand to lose from the fall in global currencies while others stand to gain, depending on their trade ties with China. More
Laurie Segall sits down with Foursquare's new CEO Jeff Glueck to discuss the company's latest round of funding at a lower valuation, and their hybrid consumer/enterprise business model. More
Nonprofit JumpStart has launched a new $10M fund that will only invest in women and minority-led startups. The catch: You have to move to Ohio. More
Portland, Oregon, is often described as the last affordable cool city on the West Coast. But as more people move to the city, it's becoming increasingly unaffordable. More