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All of us have been placed in sticky money situations–and many of us have actually avoided a person because we know it will create an awkward money moment. Whether faced with a family member seeking a loan or the dilemma of splitting the check at dinner, there are ways to navigate the situation without causing strife for either party. You’ll never say “This is awkward…” again!

If you’re uncomfortable with lending money to a family member or friend, honesty is the best policy. Without going into details, explain how your own financial situation can’t accommodate the person’s request. If you’d like to loan money to a friend or family member, be sure to set very clear expectations before doing so. Discuss the timeframe for repayment (and any interest that may be incurred), put it in writing and have both parties sign before any funds are exchanged.

If you’re headed to dinner with a group, come prepared with cash to mitigate the awkwardness that comes with splitting the bill. If you can, avoid paying more than your share. If there’s a significant difference between the amount each person spent, it may be better for everyone to pay what he or she owes. There are also a number of free apps available that can help determine how the check should be split.

If you’ve been invited to a social function or on a trip that’s out of your price range, don’t decline the offer. Instead, explain why the event is out of your budget (“I’m concentrating on saving right now”) and discuss affordable alternatives to the expensive outing that the group can all participate in.

If someone questions the cost of a purchase and you’re uncomfortable sharing that information, respond with a polite, but vague, answer. A simple “a lot more than I wish it had been” will suffice. It’s important to remember that often, those asking are simply conducting research for a similar purchase.

Source: American Consumer Credit Counseling