How much do you stand to save if you exploit your friends?

Published Apr 10, 2017 – By Caitlyn Ng


By now, I’m sure many of you have read the story of a student from UTAR (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman) who was exploited by a group of those he called ‘friends’. It was only because he was in possession of his own vehicle while the rest were not, that the drama then began.

These friends of his made it a point to ask him for many favours in sending them to various places, some of which are located far from the Kampar, Perak campus. These included trips to the hospital when one of them was ill; for an assignment in Ipoh; to classes when it was raining; even to Kuala Lumpur for a computer repair. All the while, none of them offered to compensate him for the fuel or toll fares he had to fork out.

If that wasn’t bad enough, they not only conveniently forgot to thank him, they refused to even acknowledge his birthday so that they can save money.  In the end, the group befriended another group of people with their own cars, and abandoned him.

While we sympathise with his plight as a thankless chauffeur to his band of ungrateful friends, we got to wondering how much people could really save if they decided to do the same thing.

1) Petrol

With petrol prices on the more expensive side nowadays, it’s only common courtesy to offer to help split or pay for the driver’s petrol bill. Since the Government will review and revise the price of petrol accordingly, we’re taking the most current figures for our calculations.

But first, a case study. For example, a student who wants to travel from his/her campus in Setapak (Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, for example) to the Kuala Lumpur city centre – a distance of approximately 17km.

Using a standard Perodua Myvi, it will cost the driver RM5.37 for a two-way trip. How did we get that figure?

  • The fuel efficiency of the Perodua Myvi is 7.2L / 100km
  • The latest price of RON95 petrol (as of this writing) is RM2.16
  • Distance from TAR UC to KLCC is 17.2km

Cost per 1km = [(7.2L*2.16)/100]
                       = RM0.156

Total cost from TAR UC to KLCC = RM0.156*17.2km
                                                         = RM2.68

What about the student from UTAR who was obliged to fetch his friends from their campus in Kampar to Kuala Lumpur? We decided to calculate the cost he had to bear as well.

Assuming he drives a Perodua Myvi for ease of comparison, and the distance from the UTAR campus to KL is 174km, it would cost the driver a total of RM54.28 for a two-way trip. The calculations are as below.

Cost per 1km = [(7.2L*2.16)/100]
                       = RM0.156

Total cost from Kampar campus to KL = RM0.156*174km
                                                               = RM27.14

2) Toll fares

Taking the same case studies as above, we also calculated the toll fares that the driver would need to fork out for a two-way trip.

  • From TAR UC to the KL city centre = RM5.00 if the DUKE highway is used.
  • From Kampar to Kuala Lumpur = RM38.80 if the North-South Highway is used.

3) Food and beverage

This happens far too often than we’d like to admit; it is quite common to hear generous Malaysians say “Nevermindlah, this meal is on me”. While it’s alright to be treated once in awhile, it is again common courtesy (and common sense to boot) to treat the person back at the next available opportunity.

Of course, we all know of or have that one person who doesn't. These people exploit the kindness of their friends in order to get free meals whenever they meet up. You’ll recognise a parasite when you see one.

They are the ones whose wallets / purses never seem to be with them when it comes time to paying for the bill. With promises to pay you back the next time they see you, more often than not, it conveniently slips their mind and they never do.

While a meal at the neighbourhood mamak won’t burn a big hole in the pocket – a plate of fried rice with chicken and egg plus a glass of iced teh tarik will cost about RM9.50 – the same cannot be said about a meal at a café.

One café located in Bukit Jalil will charge you RM32.00 (GST included) for a meal that consists of chicken pasta and an iced lemon tea. Ouch.

The same situation applies to those who attend a potluck party and neither contribute to the total cost of groceries, nor bring a dish along. While everyone else happily tucks into the array of dishes laid out, courtesy of the combined effort, there will be that one (or more) shameless person who joins in knowing that a few ringgit was saved from that action.

Special mention: Handyman skills

This one is slightly trickier to calculate since how do you put a price tag on skills? For example, your car has a simple malfunctioning part and instead of taking it to a mechanic who may charge you an exorbitant amount for other unnecessary repair work, you turn to a friend who is skilled in automobile repairs.

Let’s have a look at an actual example. A repair at an authorised dealer for a malfunctioning power window (also known as the window regulator) on your Honda Jazz will cost a total of approximately RM680 – RM600 per window for the parts, as well as an additional RM80 for labour costs.

You will probably get a much lower price if you turn to your friend who knows where to get cheaper parts, or he/she might just offer to fix it up for free. Again, it would be good manners to bring that friend out for a nice meal to thank him / her for the effort spent, plus helping you to save a couple of hundred ringgit. Please don't conveniently forget to do so!

To conclude

If we total the basics up and assume that the sum is over the course of one month, it would be RM144.95 that would be saved!

All’s said and done, do note that this is just a candid piece about how much money you stand to save if you were to even think (don’t do it) of exploiting those who care about you. These are just some of the more common examples that we have heard of, and we’re sure there are other ways as well.

Loanstreet in no way condones these sorts of actions / thinking; they’re callous and show the kind of person that most will ultimately avoid in the end.