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Funny Money: A Field Guide to Money-Sucking Friend, Family Members and Acquaintances, Part 2

Friends without cars who always need a ride. Your older sister who asks you to babysit…for free. Here’s the guide to five more money-suckers you most likely encounter in your daily life, and how to resist falling prey to their attempts to rid you of your hard-earned dollars.

suction cupsBack in March, I shared my original field guide to financial leeches that surround every one of us.

But that was just the beginning.

There are more types of people out there whose main purpose in life seems to be sucking your wallet dry than there are stars in the sky. That’s exactly what Mufasa told Simba in The Lion King, right? Or was that what Simba told his kid in the direct-to-video sequel?

So back to the well we go, with five more leech-like money grubbers to classify, identify and neutralize. Strap on your safari gear and get ready to roll, because it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Office Entrepreneur (Candybarus Overzealous)

  • Identifying traits: Always peddles the school/church/sports team fundraisers assigned to their demon spawn. Fond of posting about worthless, marked-up products on bulletin boards and the company intranet. Not shy about approaching your desk at inappropriate times and letting you know they’ve got this or that for sale. Usually ugly.
  • Known phrase: “Oh, don’t worry about paying me right now. Just take it now and give me the money next week!”
  • To neutralize: Tell them you already bought that exact thing they’re peddling from your neighbor/nephew/own child. Every time. They will eventually get the hint and stop asking. Just kidding. They will never get the hint. Which is fine because it will always feel so great to shut them down.

Call-Me Maybesitter (Abadonista Parentiolus)

  • Identifying traits: Constantly contacts you at inopportune times to politely demand that you care for their children while they do not. Never offers to pay, due to your unfortunately close relationship. Places you on the spot with astute cleverness to ensure you cannot possibly turn them down without appearing selfish and cold-hearted.
  • Known phrase: “You’re such a doll for doing this! What would I do without you?”
  • To neutralize: Minimize communication with this person, and when conversation is unavoidable, be proactive by leading with how busy you are each and every night in the foreseeable future. When asked whether or not you can babysit, just laugh, shake your head and say you wish you could before inventing a laundry list of things you have to do, both real and imagined.

Low Rider (Scabbi Pedestrionus)

  • Identifying traits: Espouses high-minded ideals about not owning a vehicle due to environmentalism or evolved priorities, yet is constantly needed to be quickly transported around town and relying on you to do just that. Wears Birkenstocks. Has a sickeningly home-spun maxim at the ready to use in reply to any question or observation. Never offers to provide gas money.
  • Known phrase: “Say, you’re not going downtown today, are ya? Got a few things to take care of.”
  • To neutralize: Gladly accept their request to ferry them wherever they want to go, then hold them hostage throughout a day of running tiny, meaningless errands you didn’t tell them about beforehand. If they don’t open the door to tuck and roll to sweet freedom, you’re doing it wrong.

Trickstarter (Business Scamtastica)

  • Identifying traits: Always is offering to let you in on the ground floor of the next big business or investment opportunity, only to fail to mention that there are still several basement floors to descend from that ground floor. Charismatic, excitable and thorough, except for when it comes to looking for a real job. Turns every encounter into an investment pitch.
  • Known phrase: “Hey, man. Got a hot tip I wanna talk to you about.”
  • To neutralize: Avoid logical disagreements with their pitches. They will be easily countered by hyperenthusiastic boilerplate rebuttals that change the topic to something too outrageous and silly to counter. Instead, play into their zealousness by asking for more and more information. Get annoyingly detailed. And once you finally get to the point where a question isn’t answered, use the lack of enough information as an excuse not to invest. Thank them for their time, knowing full well you have robbed them of enough of theirs to warn them off of coming to you with future “opportunities.”

Insurance Pursuant (Hardsellius Exploitata)

  • Identifying traits: Invites self over to dinner in order to “go over your personal finances,” inevitably coming to the conclusion that you face financial ruin unless you get lots more insurance, as well as buy it from them. Champion small-talkers. Tendency to sweat profusely when pressuring you into a sale that they need to make in order to pay their second mortgage and alimony payment.
  • Known phrase: “You can only rely on luck so long. Best to take care of yourself before it’s too late.”
  • To neutralize: Lie, lie, lie. Exaggerate your current coverage to outrageous levels, and obscenely minimize the amount of money you pay for this fictional insurance. Tell them you’ll be glad to switch over if they match your current rates. Try not to grin triumphantly as they slink away to hunt for their next victim.

Published or updated on July 26, 2013

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About Phil Villarreal

Phil Villarreal writes Funny Money weekly for Money Under 30. He lives in Tucson and works for the Arizona Daily Star. He's also an author, blogger and Twitterer.


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  1. Simon says:

    For a long time I think I have entertained most of these rather annoying traits in people. Always the amiable person. Reading this list though, I need to step up my efforts in dealing with them and you provide probably just the lines I need to remain amiable and express it unequivocally that am not interested! Thanks man

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