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The Moneyist: My good friend arrange a GoFundMe to pay for her sick pet as a substitute of getting a refund for our trip. I canceled the journey. Who is correct?

I have a question about GoFundMe etiquette and ethics. I had planned a vacation this summer with a very old and close friend. I paid the deposit earlier this year, but it has been refunded for another month. This was important to me because I didn't know whether we would still be closed this summer.

Recently one of my friend's animals became ill and is in need of an expensive procedure. I was expecting a phone call at any time to cancel or at least postpone the vacation as money is a little tight. I never received that call, instead I received a GoFundMe notification to assist with the animal's procedure.

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I called this friend and suggested they cancel the vacation as he had to ask for donations.

A day or two later I called this friend and suggested they cancel the vacation as he had to ask for donations. Instead, the friend had no idea why I would even suggest something like this, and we had a big breakout because, among other things, they said they deserved the vacation.

I ended up canceling just telling her to keep my deposit and use it as she saw fit. I felt wrong on a trip that was indirectly funded by others.

In my world, GoFundMe shouldn't be resorted to until all other reasonable options have been exhausted. If the trip was non-refundable, I wouldn't even have suggested canceling it. I probably would have offered to put in more than my share as I'm pretty careful about taking care of our pets.

I'm in my mid 50s and I may not understand the morals and ethics of crowdfunding sites. Can you address that? I need a rational and relevant point of view, especially since this seems to have strengthened a decades-old friendship. Many Thanks.

The friend

You can email The Moneyist at qfottrell@marketwatch.com with all financial and ethical issues related to coronavirus and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Dear friend,

You live in your world and your friend lives in hers.

Crowdfunding is a strange animal. Everyone from Roger Stone to Kanye West asked for donations (West via Twitter
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Stein via GoFundMe). Some are more successful than others. Recently, Kylie Jenner, allegedly a billionaire, shared her makeup artist's GoFundMe account and asked people to donate to his medical expenses after a car accident. She caught a lot of flack.

Why should the public pay their makeup artist's medical expenses when other people are facing such costs and don't have famous friends with 230 million followers on Instagram? Why doesn't she just pay for the medical expenses herself? But this argument works both ways: yes, the public isn't an ATM, but neither is Kylie Jenner.

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You walked away from vacation because of that moral judgment, and your boyfriend walked away from friendship because of being judged.

The outrage happens because people are asked to contribute. People find it triggering. Such people see GoFundMe pages as virtual panhandling and feel their personal boundaries creak under the pressure of all the emails and Facebook messages and ask, "Brother, sister, can you save a penny?" The nice thing about GoFundMe is that you don't have to contribute if you don't want to.

They could have said or done one of three things: 1. "Sheila has a GoFundMe page where she can pay for her cat's liver problems. That's nice. Poor Sheila. Poor cat!" 2. “Sheila has a GoFundMe page for Kevin the Cat. Who does she think she is? We all have problems! "Or 3." If she thinks I'm going on vacation with her while strangers pay for her cat, something else will come. "

No. 3 is the hardest of the three. Not because it's right or wrong to ask for help to pay the vet's bills when she could have used all or part of her vacation pay, but because you decided to cancel your vacation with your girlfriend because of a resentment and then voluntarily your disapproval of your decision without reporting your opinion being asked. You judged them and then you punished them.

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A person who knows how to write a poignant story and is photogenic will make more money than someone who doesn't have any of these qualities.

Maybe she was afraid for her cat's health and needed emotional support as well. A phone call to say, "How is Kevin? I don't have the money to help you, but if there's anything else I can do, please let me know." Maybe she needed a vacation. Or just wanted one. The money went to the sick animal. It didn't finance her vacation. It's two editions, not one.

GoFundMe helps a lot of people, and there are also many chancellors out there who are looking for money for nothing. This is her appearance. And when people cheat with it, GoFundMe intervenes and refunds donations. (Remember the New Jersey couple who raised $ 400,000 to help a homeless man, but they were all in trouble?

A person who knows how to write a poignant story and is photogenic will raise more money – maybe even more than they need – than someone who doesn't have any of these camera-ready qualities or social media skills. It is not an equal playing field. Nobody said life was fair. Our challenge is to decide what is right for us and to resist monitoring the actions of others.

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I've seen GoFundMes more frivolous. There is no requirement for crowdfunders that they should not take a planned vacation or choose tofu instead of steak.

It reminds me when former MP Jason Chaffetz (R., Uthah) told CNN, "Americans have a choice and they have to make a choice instead of getting the new iPhone."
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that they just love it and want to spend hundreds of dollars on it, maybe they should invest in their own health care. “Your iPhone or your life. Your vacation or your pet's life. Either / or or otherwise!

Can we all say that we are prioritizing our lives in a way that is completely selfless? Can you? Can I? I would have a hard time throwing the first stone at this friend to open a GoFundMe account. I've seen much more frivolous GoFundMe accounts out there. There is no requirement for crowdfunders not to go on a planned vacation or even choose tofu instead of steak, for example.

If you canceled your vacation for this reason and told her why, you absolutely risked losing the friendship. Call the holiday police! You removed yourself from the trip because of this moral judgment, and your friend removed from your friendship because he was judged. By doing what you did, you were effectively showing her your teeth, which the vet should have asked Kevin to do.

Your job is to be your friend, not your judge and jury.

The money is: I am a farmer in my late 30s, live a frugal lifestyle and my son has a disability. Should I pay extra for my mortgage – or save for retirement?

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