Dao Vu answers your most interesting, intimate and out-there questions about love, life and everything in between

Dear Dao,
My sister’s baby shower was four months ago. In order to buy an expensive gift on her registry, my other two brothers and I decided to purchase the item together. We agreed to split the cost three ways, but the purchase was made on my credit card. One brother reimbursed me on the day of the shower, but the other has not even mentioned it. I want to ask for the money since I am on a tight budget, but do not know how to ask without coming across pushy. This is not the first time he has borrowed money from me and not paid it back. I can’t help but feel I’m being taken advantage of. I’m looking for a way to ask for my money back without offending. From, Tiffany.

Dear Tiffany,

First, congratulations on becoming an aunt. How wonderful for you and for your sister. As for your deadbeat brother who did not reimburse you for his portion of the gift, I would absolutely say something. If this has happened to you in the past, he knows exactly what he is doing. He has established a pattern with you and it’s time to break the cycle. He obviously has no intentions of paying his portion, and you are letting him take advantage of your generosity by not saying something. There is nothing wrong with being direct, nor is there a reason to be afraid to speak up. I would say to him the next time you speak, ‘By the way you have not paid me back and the shower was four months ago. We all agreed to contribute and you have not only not paid me, but you insult me by ignoring your responsibility.’ Tiffany, if you feel like you are being taken advantage of, it means that you are! Don’t let him weasel his way out of doing what’s right when he knows he’s wrong.