Friends do favors for one another, and we usually don't expect anything in return.  Courteous friendships are dependant on an elastic network of understanding, communication and shared experiences.  For most people, friends are one of their most treasured assets.

 A curious aspect of friendship is the exchange of favors.  In healthy friendships, favors are traded and negotiated without bookkeeping or accounting.  Occasionally, that system of trading degrades into heated barter or anger.

Friendly Help



 a ride to the local airport

the airport is 14 miles away


house-sit for 5 days

the house is 5 miles away from yours. You have your own home. collect the mail, water the plants, feed the cat,  leave the cat litter alone, sodas & cable, but no pool, pinball machine, parties or DSL


haircut amateur. Don't cut her ear, or other big errors. no body hair. haircutter owns scissors/clippers, cut party sweeps up. boy cut $4
girl cut $16
help move 8 hours, property 90% boxed & labeled, no cleaning $44
perform expertise:  installing car alarm, configuring scanner car, electrical, sewing, financial or computer, 2 hour job $19
run to store  buy cat food & toilet paper for sick friend, friend stays home $5
  save seats in a theatre  save 4 seats by yourself, opening weekend, for 15 minutes before the start $5 total
  borrow $100 for 10 days, duration set at borrowing, repay in full $4
  borrow $8 until ATM visit less than six hours $2
  trivial embarrassing information something on your face $1
Everyone has experienced feeling cheated or shortchanged while offering a favor or receiving one.  Sometimes it comes down to a simple difference in the value of various actions.  I compiled this list of values in June to provide a neutral online resource.  These values are mine, and those of my close friends.  confidence boosting information "Monica likes you", "You nabbed the Henricksen account" $3
serious & awkward  embarrassing information someone was with your wife $95
  wait around for the cable guy 3 hours alone at friend's house $12
  post bail $1000 bail, you get it back in four weeks,  pick him up from jail $50
  furniture storage table, four chairs & dresser in garage, 6 months.  $18
borrow under-needed car for 5 days 30 miles/day returned clean and full of gas, no air-conditioning $110
cigarette not last one $ .25
  use of your room for intimate privacy during a party less than one hour, not spoiling your own action $7
  "borrow" a condom not last one $2
borrow a CD you aren't likely to ever see the CD again $7
  using your shower ..and not your deodorant  $1
  burn a CD for you audio, not a mix. yes, this is illegal, burner provides blank $2
  using your video-camera returned unbroken, 2 days $10
listening to story of heartbreak or financial ruin 2 hours, little advice of value $8
babysitting you like kids, the kid likes TV, four hours $13
  check email or ebay at your house 10 minutes $1
  using your washer & dryer 3 loads, use house soap and fabric softener $4.50
  get your work discount $60 saved $12
  sober designated driver 4 hours at a local bar, no restaurant, three friends $18
least-drunk driver  5 miles, two stops, three friends $13
cleaning up their vomit no curry or other staining contents, lingering smell, not in your bed, not on carpet $7
  fake girlfriend

foursome dinner-date with parents

$30/plate restaurant, 2 hours, parents pay, no drinks $91
  fake girlfriend

company Christmas party

Not at bosses table, $30/plate restaurant, DJ, 3 hours, company pays, 2 dances, drinks $32
The dollar amounts are disturbing to some people.  To them I suggest converting these dollar amounts to "buying them a bottle of wine", "making them some brownies", or filling up their gas tank after you used their truck.    fake girlfriend

high-school reunion

$15/plate restaurant, DJ, 3 hours, date pays, 4 dances, drinks $28
borrowing sweater, coat or dress three days, no visible stains $4
supporting a friend in the face of physical confrontation no other friendly support, no blood spilled, sober $9
  use of swimming pool 2 people, 3 hours, no kids or barbecue $8
  cover my shift not holiday, 8 hour or shorter shift $6
  borrow truck for 3 hours the truck is picked up and returned without effort $16
  lie to her boss lie to an acquaintance over the phone, not a convoluted lie $2.50
  let sleep on couch 5 days on a tourist trip to Washington D.C.

The host is busy with school / work. Half of the meals are out of host's fridge. Host has other friends in town


let sleep on couch 31 days in home town maximum of 12 hours/day in the house, clean up a little. No guests. Rent is $400 per person $150



If you have any other favors that you have asked for or performed for someone in the past, please email me and I will try to include your situation in my table. Also, if you think these prices are outrageous, let me know what you think is fair. Furthermore, I am going to start a log of amazing stories of favor-granting and posting them next to this, so if you would like to share your story, I'll place it with the valuable friends listing.  I love getting email from real people: write

write Last updated June 11, 2000.

  • Photographic Height/Weight Chart
  • The Weight of Clothing
  • The Television Commercial Database
  • Terms and Conditions Copyright 2000