ASK AMY: Friends don’t allow friends to snoop on finances

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Dear Amy: I gave my neighbor, who is my best friend, access to my house to take care of my animals during the holidays. This is something our families have done for each other over the years. Along with taking care of our animals, they brought our mail.


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My husband and I were uncomfortable allowing them access to our mail, but we were uncomfortable saying it was being held at the post office when they would come to our house every day anyway.

They have been making presumptuous comments about our financial condition. The comments are accurate and contain information that we have never shared with them.

Upon returning home from our recent vacation, it appeared that some envelopes had been tampered with. All of these envelopes contained investment statements.

The specific comments they have made about our finances leave me little doubt that they opened our mail to see how much money we have.

We can’t be 100% sure they opened our mail, but we are sure they did 85%.


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We have been very close friends for more than 20 years. Now I feel like their curiosity destroyed our friendship because we can no longer trust them.

This has made me sick. If we confront them, I have no doubt that they will deny it and it would ruin our friendship.

If we don’t confront them, it will still rot and damage our friendship.

– Betrayed, hurt and sad

Dear betrayed: Opening mail addressed to another person (without their permission) is a serious crime and charging them with this would be a serious charge.

One way to avoid making a direct accusation would be to say, “We are concerned that some of our mail was tampered with or opened while we were away. Did you notice anything unusual about him when you brought him home? “


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Regardless of his guilt or innocence, his trust in these friends has obviously eroded. You must lock your financial information. Reject hard copies of your investment statements and use an online-only system.

Notify each vendor that paper statements may have been viewed and ask what additional security steps you may need to take.

In the future, keep your mail at the post office when you leave. You don’t need to explain this choice at all. Anyone could take or tamper with your mail if they know you are absent.

If this couple is bold enough to bring up their specific financial situation, you should call them: “We don’t talk about our finances and we wish you weren’t so curious about this.”

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Dear Amy: My birthday falls every year on or around US Thanksgiving.


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For other family birthdays, my relatives insist on making the day special for the celebrant: they can choose a family outing or the menu for the birthday party.

For mine, my “party” is a candle in my dessert at Thanksgiving dinner, even in years where there are a few days between my birthday and the holiday.

An important birthday is coming up and I would like to do something special.

Unfortunately, this year my birthday is Thanksgiving.

What is the best way to get out of the family party so that you can do something for me?

There’s no point talking to my family members about maybe doing something different this year – vacations will always take priority.

– Family thinking

Dear afterthought: I’m assuming you’re an adult, which makes things easier, because you have free will and (presumably) transportation.


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If the exact day of your birthday is the day you want to celebrate, then make your plan and simply tell your family: “I am not going to be at Thanksgiving dinner this year because I am going (flying to Rio…) to celebrate my birthday “.

However, it seems to me that this year you could go both ways: enjoy your (maybe warm) birthday during the family party and then do something really special for yourself the next day.

Dear Amy: Responding to “Wondering Father of the Groom” who wanted to commemorate his late wife at their son’s wedding, when my sister got married after both mothers died, she and her husband had an appreciation for their late mothers.

There were sunflowers in a vase near the altar, and each of them took turns recognizing the importance of each mother, while moving the flowers to a larger bouquet. It was just lovely.

– Aimee

Dear Aimee: Yes, this is beautiful.



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