#135 Pay back money that you owe.

30 Aug

Most financial advisors will tell you, “Don’t lend money to family or friends.”  They advise that lending money to family and friends will lead to strained relationships.  But if you MUST lend money, they say, don’t lend money that you need; lend money that you can afford to give away and never get back. 

That sounds like great advice to me.  What more needs to be said?  Unfortunately, for most people, that’s not where it ends.  Once you give someone money under the condition that it is a loan, even if you tell yourself that you don’t expect to get it back, it’s hard to completely let go of that money.  You still see it as “your money”.  You want to know where it’s going, what it’s being used for, and whose hands it will touch.  Will it be used to pay the water bill, settle a gambling debt, or fund a “dancer’s” college education?

And then it happens.  You learn through Twitter than the person you loaned money to just bought a new designer handbag.  Or the person you loaned money to texts you from the airport as they prepare to leave for their vacation.  They appear to be living the life; they are doing a whole lot more than you.  And don’t let them come to your house fresh out of the salon (oh, you fancy huh?) when your own hair looks like it needs to become reacquainted with a comb.  In your head you begin to let them have it:

Excuse me if I’m not excited about any of this.  That’s because I’m working hard to make sure I have money to give you the next time you need it support my habits–you know, like eating three meals a day.  I’m delaying my vacation because I can’t afford it right now.  Maybe if I hadn’t loaned you that money I could have taken a vacation too, but whatever.  You needed the money and I gave it to you so I’m not going to dwell on it.  So you go ahead and enjoy your little vacation on my dime (whether they actually used your money to take their vacation is beside the point at this moment.  Let you tell it, every penny to their name came from you).  As soon as I get my money back, I will be excited for you too. 

Maybe some of you will actually let these thoughts cross your lips, but no one wants to be the intended target of these words.  If you owe someone money, do your best to pay it back (especially before you go flaunting your new shoes in their face) and remember that the person who loaned it to you might have denied themself something in order to give to you.  Come up with a payment plan or set money aside so you can give it all to them in one lump sum.  Do whatever you can to show that you intend to pay the money back and then follow through with it.  If you make a habit of never paying money back, eventually people will stop lending it to you.

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