Last December, a friend helped my boyfriend get a job at the company where he works. After a few weeks of working there, the friend and his girlfriend mentioned that she was driving 100 miles to and from his work each day (in addition to her own job-related driving) because they only have one car (apparently their other car is broken). We couldn't believe that she was going that far out of her way. The friend works at the same place as my boyfriend (and I work just two miles from them) and we live five miles apart so we offered to carpool with him while the car got fixed, or until they bought a new one.
Fast forward five months. We are still giving him a ride to and from work on a regular basis. He often mentions extravagant spending sprees ($300 clothing trips, a new xbox+games, dog training services, etc). He's often running late, and always makes us wait outside for 5, 10, or even 20 minutes, even though we've started warning him via text with an arrival time (hoping we wouldn't have to wait). He often forgets to let us know if he's arranged for another ride home - the only way we know is if we contact him to let him know when we're leaving. We also had to institute a policy of "If you don't call us the night before to cancel, we will assume you need a ride" because we got tired of asking every night if he needed a lift. He didn't offer to help with gas money until we specifically asked for it, although he did throw in for a couple coffees and sausage biscuits.
He still hasn't fixed his car, nor has he mentioned saving up for it or saving up for a new car.
We feel like he's taking advantage of us and taking us for granted. Taking advantage of the fact that we wanted to do the friendly thing and make things easier on him until he could get his car fixed. We didn't do this so he'd be able to go on spending sprees instead of fixing his car. We miss our solitary drives to and from work (hello podcasts and loud music!). He also talks continuously, and almost exclusively about work, in detail. Attempts to reroute the conversation end up in him talking over us, and him rerouting the subject to work issues. I miss my decompression time in the car on the hour-long drive home.
We like the couple very much - we enjoy hanging out with them and they're fun people. But this carpool thing is destroying any desire we have to see them otherwise. And it's making us (silently) angrier and angrier each time they mention how much money they spent on something luxurious the previous weekend. He makes more money than we do, and to our knowledge, he's not strapped for cash, because he keeps talking about all the fun stuff he's spending money on - and it's not pocket change. However, he always seems to be "strapped for cash" when it's for something non-entertainment related.
Based on our tally of the things they've mentioned that they've purchased unnecessarily in the past few months, they would easily have had the down payment for a new car.
Part of me feels like it's none of our business to tell them how they should spend/save their money, but the other part of me feels like since they're taking advantage of us driving all the time, and not getting a new car, it's our right to ask why they haven't bothered getting their own transportation yet.
We want to talk to them about all of this and get it out into the open, because both my boyfriend and I are having an increasingly difficult time letting comments and actions roll off our backs when the topic of money comes up, but we're afraid it'll destroy our relationship with them.
We did see this
article posted previously, but it seems to focus more on how to make the ride suck less, instead of how to tell our friend he needs to start taking responsibility for his own rides by doing what he originally said he'd do - fix his car or get a new one. We never intended to be his permanent chauffeur.
How do we bring this up without sounding like a nagging mother? How do we talk about this without destroying our friendship with them? We'd prefer to only carpool under special circumstances when needed - not as an expected, all-the-time thing. How do we talk to them about this? Any advice is appreciated.