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'My friend wants to use me as her backup ATM on vacation.' UPDATED 4X

'My friend wants to use me as her backup ATM on vacation.' UPDATED 4X


"Friend wants to use me as her backup ATM."


Next month I (F) am going away on vacation with a long time friend (F). We are going to the Caribbean for five nights. It is not all inclusive so we will be responsible for paying for food, drinks and any activities.

She asked me how much was I bringing in cash, I said $300 cash plus debit and credit cards. She told me she is going to bring $300 cash but no debit or credit cards. She said she is on a budget and $300 is her limit.

I explained that comes around to only $60 per day, this is not one of the cheaper Caribbean islands, so food and drink alone won’t leave her with much left over. I reminded her that she needs to factor in cabs, incidentals or any activities we may decide to do.

And you never know if an emergency will come up where she will need money. She says to me “that is why I have you” and started to laugh. That outraged me to no end.

I tell her that we are both adults who are responsible for ourselves. It would be one thing if she lost her purse and needed money, I would float her money before she even had time to ask. But to purposely use me as her back up ATM is not going to work.

I told her now that I know what she is up to, I’m not going to go along with it. If she runs out of money, she will just be broke and hungry. She needs to bring her cards with her for her own good. She is now telling me I am too harsh and she will bring extra money but no cards. I told her to do what she wants but if there is an emergency she is on her own.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


We will need an update for when she spends all her cash in the first two days and starts begging.

The OP responded here:


I meant it when I said she is on her own. She can call the same friends who are telling her I'm being unreasonable.


Call her bluff. Ask her to pay you a refundable cash deposit, say $500, prior to the trip. Frame it as holding onto her money for her. If she needs money, agree to pay her up to the $500 or whatever amount she gives you. Guarantee she will either decline or blow the budget anyway.

At the very least, she is forced to prove that she actually has the money to 'pay you back' because you'll already have it in your bank account. In all likelihood, she does not have the money though. Otherwise. This lets her stick to her 'budget' without being completely and utterly irresponsible.


Let me recap if I may. Your friend (and I think you are using the term incorrectly) told you she plans on using you to cover her expenses, when you told her no, she then said she’d bring a bit more but no cards to cover her costs.

I doubt you can get out of the trip, but she will expect you to cover every cab and get rounds of drinks (we’ve all known this type). Demand money upfront before you even get in a taxi. Under no circumstances open a tab at a bar you go to.

Do not allow her to charge anything to the room (in fact insist she bring a card to put on file because you know she’s going to use your money if it’s on file). When ordering at restaurants, she will need to show cash upfront.

Basically this trip is ruined and your friendship probably is as well. But you must make a choice, either she pays and you end up miserable but have your money or you pay and end up miserable out a bunch of cash. This sucks hard, but NTA.

Ten days later, the OP returned with an update.

"UPDATE: Friend wants to use me as her backup ATM"


Thanks to everyone for your feedback and suggestions. It truly did save the vacation. I’ll hit the highlights:

Some of you said that the Hotel would want a credit card on file from the person who made the reservation. My friend was the one who booked the vacation, she put the whole thing on her credit card because she wanted the card “points”.

I told her because the reservation was booked through a third-party app, the hotel would need the original card used to make the reservation. So she was on the hook to bring her credit card. I have no idea if that is true or not, but it sounded good based on what you all commented, lol. She was not happy that her own greed got her, lol. But at least she brought a credit card.

Others mentioned that she was going to sulk. And sulk she did. When we got to the airport I told her I was not going to spend the vacation in her misery so let’s hash it out right now. She said that my tone was very rude, as if I was accusing her of trying to mooch off of me (she was).

I told her to put herself in my shoes. She was deliberately not being responsible and told me to my face I was her backup plan and laughed about it. It made me feel used and put upon. She apologized and I apologized for being so harsh.

Some of you said she would try to be content with cutting corners. Cabs were prohibitively expensive on the island and they didn’t take credit cards. So, she looked up how to take the local buses. I was fine with that until we waited 45 mins in the heat for a bus to take us to the mall (Island time…). Yup, we only took cabs after that.

A few mentioned that she would go thru her cash in the first two days. You were close… 2.5 days. There were several markets with local jewelry and crafts that she absolutely loved and they only took…cash.

So she ran through her money rather quickly. She only brought her credit card, not her debit card. So, as someone suggested, I made her Zelle me right then and there the money I took out of the ATM for her. She paid for the exchange and ATM fees.

She “tried it” with the meals, she ordered something big and wanted to “split” the bill evenly. Normally I would not nit-pick about that but I just didn’t want her to feel like she still got one over on me in any way. Since she used her credit card for meals (to save the cash she had), I paid what I owed in cash and she paid the rest (her higher portion) with her credit card.

Overall, we had a good time. We did a few excursions, had shopping and beach time and relaxed. She even told me it was a good thing she brought her credit card. Things only got weird when I asked her to Zelle me right then and there at the ATM before I gave her the cash, but she knew why I was being so hard-nosed about it.

I want to thank everyone for the kind words. Your great advice and comments on the original post really helped me save this vacation. It was a group effort, lol ❤️. And thanks for the awards!

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's update:


I love this. Thanks for the update… and standing your ground.


Thanks for the update. Sounds like your figured out how to have a good time and keep both of you straight.


She’s better than me. No way in hell I could enjoy myself with someone after having showed their colors in such a way.


I learned a lot from this - I shall put my foot down next time I holiday with friends or family!

Six months later, the OP returned with another update.

"UPDATE: Entitled Friend is at it again – vacation with no credit cards"


Z is now going on an Xmas cruise with a group of her friends. Her cabin mate - the same one who told me that I was “mean and stingy” - just texted me about Z’s plan to only bring cash, no credit/debit cards for their upcoming cruise.

Since the cruise is all inclusive, including unlimited drinking packages, Z feels she can get away with it this time. The cabin mate wants to know what did I do to get Z to bring a credit card on my vacation with her.

I never laughed so hard in my life. I haven’t answered her yet. I want to respond “Don’t be so mean and stingy” lol, but I’m electing to stay out of it. Just wanted to share that update.

EDIT: I gave in. I wrote her back "Just cover for her. Don't be so "mean and stingy" 🤣🤣🤣🤣" She responded "I deserve that 🤣. I'm sorry 😔"

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's latest update:


STG my response would be, "Have you considered not being so mean and stingy?"


If she made that statement in a text, scroll up, screenshot, and send.


I like that Zs friend sees she was being ridiculous and apologized.Self awareness is rare.


Ya know, her attempts at mooching would probably work better if she'd stop telling people that she's planning on not bringing her cards on group vacations... she's not too bright, is she. 😅


Glad she replied to the friend. Must have been a delicious feeling.

The OP provided a few short updates over a week later:



Cabin mate ended up putting her credit card down for Zina's Sail and Sign card (the card you use to pay for stuff on the cruise). I heard she isn't a happy camper right now. I hope they can pull through and enjoy the cruise 🙃



Update because I was asked a few times, lol. Zina had sent in the Sail and Sign card info prior to the cruise, but she didn't bring her physical credit card with her to the cruise, so they couldn't validate it. So cabin mate put her card down for her. Zina paid her back when they got home but cabin mate is still salty about that and other things that happened on the cruise and isn't talking to Zina at the moment.

So, how sweet is it that the same people who judged her are now asking for her help? Have you every had to deal with a mooching friend like this? How did you resolve it?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,Reddit
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