Skip to main content

Scenario: You have an electrical issue requiring home maintenance help. Okay, multiple issues: An outlet just came loose. The switch in that room stopped working two months ago. And why does this lamp over here flicker and hum whenever you plug something in over there? It’s all such a mystery. You finally accept it’s time to enlist the services of a professional. But wait! That friend of yours does electrical work—they have the materials and the necessary skills to help you out.

Question: Should you reach out?

Suggestion: That depends. If you’re looking to save tons of money and take advantage of the personal connection, probably not. Hire a professional instead. If you’re willing to pay them a fair wage for their labor and home maintenance help, then yes. Fair payment shows that you value their expertise, skill, and time.

Question: How much should you pay?

Suggestion: Be transparent and communicate up front. Ask “What’s a fair price?” and then be willing to pay it—a little more if you can swing it. Why would you not want to be generous and kick some business toward the people you know?

Question: What if they adamantly refuse payment?

Suggestion: Sometimes people enjoy the opportunity to extend radical generosity. In that case, graciously accept it. Just be sure they know you don’t take it (or them) for granted. But also consider showing your appreciation with a simple gesture, like baked goods, a dinner invite, drinks, or a gift card to a place they love. Your payment doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy to be meaningful.

Final Thoughts: Just like poor money etiquette can damage your personal relationships, proper money etiquette can improve them. When in doubt, err on the side of generosity.


Check out more money etiquette tips on our blog.