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Aussies estimate they’re owed $1,350 by their mates on average

As the season of splitting bills, shouting rounds, and group gifting ramps up, new research from PayPal reveals that Aussies stand to be significantly shortchanged by social sensitivity around asking to be paid back.

Left holding the bag short-handed

  • Half (50%) of Australians say they feel awkward or uncomfortable asking to be paid back, and two-in-five (44%) say they decide not to chase money they’re owed for that reason.
  • About half (46%) are prepared to wear the extra expense, paying for things like meals, coffee runs, or group activities, knowing they won’t be paid back in full by everyone.
  • All of this little loan forgiveness adds up, as Aussies estimate they are about $1,350 out of pocket on average from friends failing to settle up.
  • As a result, one-in-five (22%) say they decline activities with certain people because they know they won’t be reimbursed, and one-in-six (16%) avoid picking up the bill to prevent people from owing them money.
  • Aussies are more likely to be reimbursed by family members (64%) than by friends (56%).

The worst offenders and liabilities

  • Considering the people in their lives who are least likely to balance the books, half (50%) of Aussies say their friends are the worst at paying them back, followed by co-workers (22%) and adult children (17%).
  • When asked which situations are most likely to leave a hole in the budget, two-in-five (42%) say picking up the bill for a group meal, a third (32%) say picking up takeaway food for the crew, and about the same proportion (32%) named organising and buying a group gift.
  • The next activities most likely to leave us in the red are going for a coffee run (30%) and buying a round of drinks (29%).
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