Handle awkward money moments with ease

Published: Monday, May 13 2013 9:54 a.m. MDT

Having a credit card declined is the most awkward money moment for 41 percent of U.S. adults.

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Handle awkward money moments with ease.

As you walk away, you say under your breath, "That was awkward."

You know those moments, those terrible moments, those climb-under-a-rock embarrassing money moments.

A new couponcabin.com survey reveals that 48 percent of U.S. adults have avoided a person or a situation because they knew it would be an awkward money moment.

The rest of you encountered, endured and made it through.

For example, having a credit card declined is the most awkward money moment for 41 percent of U.S. adults. Other unpleasant money encounters include:

-Feeling pressured to donate to a charity on behalf of a co-worker, family member or friend - 34 percent

-Saying no to giving money to a panhandler or beggar - 29 percent

-Feeling pressured to chip in on a group gift at work, like for a baby shower or wedding shower - 25 percent

-Sharing salary/wage amounts with co-workers - 25 percent

-Splitting a dinner bill or check with a large group of people - 17 percent

-Figuring out a gift to get a partner for special occasions, like a first anniversary or a first birthday together - 14 percent

The key word for many of these items was "pressure."

A way to ease the problem is to prepare.

Fortunately, Forbes magazine asked some experts how to handle awkward money moments.

Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, said what to do if your credit card is rejected at a restaurant in front of a date or client. Post says to say, "I'm sorry, something unexpected has happened with the card. Excuse me while I go handle it." Then, get up from the table and handle it out of site of your date or client.

What about that pressure to donate to a cause from a friend or co-worker? LearnVest founder and CEO Alexa von Tobel says the best thing to do is to compliment your friend on their cause and "gently turn them down." Find out if there is another way to help. The key is to show support in some fashion.

Von Tobel also had another great idea for people on the other side of the money awkwardness. If a person is collecting money at work for a wedding gift or something similar, instead of going around and asking for the money, set up a Paypal account for everybody to transfer money to by a set date. This ends having to chase people around for money.

Kiplinger has an online quiz to see how well people handle a few awkward money moments like splitting the check when you didn't order anything expensive.

EMAIL: mdegroote@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @degroote

Facebook: facebook.com/madegroote

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