Many of our friends are more... financially comfortable (some of them quite a bit so). They also tend to spend more freely (in other words, I suspect some of the them rely on credit cards and stuff, whereas I'm very much a tightwad!!) So often when we are hanging out they want to go out to dinner, or to costly events, or whatever... sometimes I feel like I'm really holding them back because I will only do free activities & all.
Anyway... so a few times we've run into situations where friends have offered to pay for us, or buy us dinner, or chip in on tickets, or gift us something that to me is pretty expensive. I really appreciate their generosity but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this. There are a few situations where I have felt OK with it (an expensive Christmas gift that was also a thank-you gift; an 'anonymous' gift sent in the mail, etc.) but for the most part it makes me feel awkward & indebted to them & I worry that I'd be taking advantage of them.
I'd never be able to pay them back (at least not in the foreseeable future!) They rationalize it with "You helped us with XYZ and that saved us money," but those are just things friends do for each other, you know? Plus we are not poor. We don't have a lot of money but we do have some that we can live off of for awhile. We tend to be a bit minimalistic and I'm cheap (even in the best financial times) so I feel like maybe they think we are in a worse situation than we really are. We make the choices we make because I just want to make sure I can continue to feed my kid and all.
How do others feel about these kinds of situations?