I have to be the world's most obsessive compulsive person when it comes to borrowing money. Sure, I have credit cards and I have a car payment just like most of you. But when it comes to owing someone personally (i.e. not a bank) I just don't do it. I don't owe my parents money. I don't owe my friends money. I don't even like owing the school lunch lady. Rest assured though if you lent it to me - just like the bank - you'd get it back.
Sure, I've been in situations where I've forgotten my wallet and I've had someone run to the grocery store and pick something up for me. I either will remember to return the favor or I immediately pay them back. It weighs on me until I do. I have realized though that many people are NOT like me - even those that share my same genes if you know what I mean.
So what do you do with that neighbor who's always asking you to pick something up when you hit the store but never pays you back? What about the friend who always forgets her wallet when you go out to lunch? Or when you have a family member that confides that they've been having money problems and asks to borrow some cash? Do you immediately dig into your pocket and help? Or do you simply keep quiet and pretend you didn't hear anything and change the topic of the conversation?
Obviously, a loan of a small sum of money vs. a large sum will make a huge difference in your decision. The same goes for the frequency of the request - because it can all add up. My best advice is to say "I'm sorry, but as a rule, I don't lend money to friends" or "We really can't find any extra in our budget right now". You could also be resourceful and have a few suggestions on other ways to find the money to offer your friend/family member. If you find yourself in a situation where you deem it appropriate to lend the money ask yourself - can I afford it and am I emotionally prepared to deal with the consequences should I never see this money again.
I hope that some of you can offer advice too.
How do you feel about borrowing/lending money?
What is your best advice when it comes to saying "no"?
Do you have a "lending money" story to share?
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