Don’t be a douche

January 6, 2010 · 19 comments

I had a friend send me a text message while they were at a frozen yogurt shop last night asking if I wanted anything. Are you freakin’ kidding me? I will never, repeat NEVER, pass up an opportunity to chow down some FroYo. I thought to myself “That is really nice of my friend to front the cost of yogurt.” Of course I will be paying her back, but there is always the possibility I turn flaky and never make that payment.

This brings up the topic of today’s post: you should always pay people back, and you probably shouldn’t borrow money in the first place. I hate debt, but I especially hate owing money to people I know. That is why I refuse to borrow money from friends and family. And more importantly, this is the reason I refuse to loan money to those close to me.

Have ya heard the phrase “Never mix business with pleasure”? Well lending money to friends is a total violation of that rule. If your friends need to borrow money from you, there is probably a reason for that… they are broke. If they had the means to make the payments, they wouldn’t have to borrow in the first place.

If your friend is desperately in need of money, then you have two options…

1) Loan them the money, probably never get paid back, be pissed off, lose a friend.

2) Give them the money as a gift, with no strings attached and no expectation of repayment.

I personally don’t believe in loaning money out to those close to me. Maybe you disagree, and if you do, you’re a dumb head (just kidding). Have you ever been asked to loan money to a friend? Did you do it? Did they pay you back on time and as expected? If you’ve been asked, but didn’t do it, how did you let them down? It’s definitely an awkward situation so I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

1 Jessie's Money

Recently (~ 6 months ago) I had a friend who was flying into the city (about a $200 flight) and had called a few days before. Apparently her payment hadn't gone through on her credit card, and she couldn't book. She asked to use my CC… in nearly 5 years of knowing her – money has never been an issue – by that i mean we never asked/borrowed from each other. It was a really hard decision b/c at that point i was so so so close to haveing my credit card paid off. In the end, I gave her the number .

She actualy wound up not using it – as her payment had gone throught he next day – but boy was it stressful.

2 Kim

Back in highschool my friend asked me to borrow money, about $200 to buy a discman. I had a job and she didn't and it was at that point then and there that I said no because I had a rule of not lending money to friends. She was kind of upset but eventually got over it. And I've held true to my rule since then. On the rare occasion that a friend will ask me to borrow money for lunch or a coffee I just pay for it and say if they so chose they can treat me to lunch or coffee sometime later.

3 HighClassLowIncome

Totally agree! I used to hang with this girl, and she loaned one of my other friends about $1000 total for a family emergency. Let's just say it took my friend super long to pay this girl back and it definitely put a strain on her. Also, recently this friend went on a trip with another friend who booked the hotel in advance, and she just assumed that she could pay him back in "installments" instead of paying him back for the whole thing! I agree.. DON'T BE A DOUCHE!

That being said, I have loaned my friends money in respect to booking flights or hotels for trips… there are certain friends I would do it for and certain friends I wouldn't. I know the friends I'm doing it for have stable jobs and can pay me back in a reasonable amount of time, it sounds mean but I probably wouldn't give a friend money for an emergency or if they were having rough times.

4 Mrs. DFx40

My dad always said that if you were ever asked to "loan" money to friends (or family), to first ask yourself if you would give the money as a gift, no strings attached. If you wouldn't give it as a gift then don't give it as a loan.

5 Larry

Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

(Polonius in Hamlet. And "husbandry" means "thrift," not getting married.)

I would say that if you *are* ever tempted to loan or borrow, get confirmation in writing so both parties know the exact amount and the repayment terms. Otherwise, you could be one of those persons who winds up on Judge Judy, and you wouldn't want to be one of those.

6 SS4BC

Well I think FroYo is different than some big ticket expenses.

And I also think it depends on the friend. I had one in grad school that you couldn't have him buy you FroYo without hearing about it EVERY DAY afterwards. "Dude, chill, you will get your $3 back"

Then I had another friend who I loan $500 to, to pay for his oral surgery because I knew he would get it back to me. Few months later I had to borrow an equivalent amount from him. I knew he wouldn't bug me about the money I owed him and I also knew that he would pay me back as quick as he could. Because that's the level of friendship that we had.

However, I ALWAYS operate under the assumption that I will NOT get the money back. If they CHOOSE to give it back, I'm thrilled, but once that money leaves my wallet I consider it a gift. That way it isn't odd for me and it hopefully isn't odd for them.

7 SS4BC

Oh, and also, don't ever loan any more money that you can AFFORD.

A lot of people loan with the credit card and that is BAD NEWS.

8 Mrs. Micah

The only person I've loaned money was Micah, whom I loaned a couple hundred bucks to buy new suits when he started teaching. I came with him and paid for them in person. Then he paid me back from his first few paychecks. In that case, we were either engaged or about to become so. I also knew that if we broke up it'd kill him to be in my debt so he'd pay me back anyway (he's incredibly conscientious–sometimes overly).

I also lent it because I could afford it and because I knew that even if he didn't pay me back the reason he didn't have enough money to buy them was in-part from coming to see me, so I could write it off as my "Dutch" on the gas money.

Otherwise I've never loaned a friend or family member money. I used to give one of my roomies money for expenses because both her parents were out of work, but I didn't expect to be paid back.

9 Katie

I don't loan, I give. If I'm paid back, awesome! If not, no big deal.
Then again, I don't give more than a few hundred bucks unless it's a) family and b) a desperate emergency. For example, MIL needed testing done when she had a poor white blood count to see if she had Leukemia, but she had no money and no insurance. That is a true emergency to me. Not being able to afford a payment on a luxury SUV, not so much.

10 psychsarah

My husband wanted to take out a loan on his brother's behalf (who's credit was so bad he couldn't even get a loan if we co-signed-which I didn't want to do either, but that's another story). I said I could not support this, as I knew it would cause such detriment to their already somewhat fragile brotherly relationship if (or should I say when-I'm cynical) his brother didn't pay and we were on the hook.

That said, I've floated friends lots of times (e.g., hotels, concert tickets, lunch, communal gifts), sometimes you get it back, sometimes you don't. For some people, I just don't float them anymore if they consistently dont' pay me back (fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me) but others I don't worry about, because I'm sure I have forgotten to pay them back for a coffee or something somewhere along the line (I do my darnedest, but I tend to be absent-minded , absolutely not with large amounts, but sometimes with smaller stuff). With really good friends, I figure it all comes out in the wash, so to speak.

11 girlmakescents

I have borrowed money from my family before. Hence my current Family Loan debt. I know they considered it more like a gift and do not want any interest, and are allowing me to pay them back whenever I like. I however did not like this idea and decided to pay them interest and gave them deadlines to when I would pay them back. It was a generous thing on their behalf and they know I really appreciate it and my word is good to pay them back.

However I try not to loan friends money, and I don't like when friends buy me things. A drink, an ice cream, a dinner. I feel like I then have a tab with that person. It takes a lot of memory! However I don't usually have a problem paying for a friend (no big ticket items though).

12 Duddes02

6 years ago my friend called me and begged me to borrow money for her cell phone bill. She told me it was $90 dollars but they ended up charging me $300 (YES kids, I gave her my aba and routing number- I can’t believe my stupidity)

She claimed for months that the check was in the mail and then told me it got lost in the mail. After I told her it was pretty much impossible for mail to get lost -she told me off and ignored me for years. Oddly, she invited me to her wedding and then facebook friended me. I asked her (via facebook message) for my money and her HUSBAND responded and told me that since I waited so long, I could wait even longer and then defriended me (!) Seems like they are meant for each other.

I’m over it (for the most part) and I would never lend money to anyone again.
.-= Duddes02´s most recent blog ..Welcome to 2010! =-.

13 eemusings

I'm proud to say I've never had to borrow money. A while ago my friend and housemate borrowed $70 to help cover rent for the week – thankfully she paid me back the next week when I prompted her. I've also lent $400 to BF.

14 Investing Newbie

I've lent my brother money. Still waiting on that…

I have never lent friends money. If they ask, I would just say that I don't have it. A small white lie, but I value their friendship that much. Or, I would just donate the money and then never expect it back.

15 RainyDaySaver

I lent my brother money when I was 19, and that's the only time I've even done a "personal loan." Definitely consider it a gift — if you can't afford to not be repaid, you can't afford to lend it and chance that you'll never see that money again.

16 madonnaearth

I will loan a small amount of money to people I know once. If I don't get it back, I never loan them money again. I have one relative who will do anything she can to help me if I need it, so if she asks for a loan and I have the money to spare or even if I'm getting paid next week, I just give it to her.

17 FaithfulSense

It strange but I've loaned money to family and trust me its a problem…family gets to comfortable. I am the youngest of 5 and the only girl. I was front my brother rent money while I was working 4 jobs and going to school part-time. I learned the power of NO.
I know first hand the trouble with co-signing. I co-signed a car with father (bnig mistake the man is not finanically on page and Iknew that my fault on this one) needless to say car got repossessed and I YES I owe the bank 7K! ON top of my 40K student loans!!!!!!!!
Now I lend for small things but if its keeping me from achieving my goals or putting me an uncomfortable situation financially….NO has become my best friend. I explain to them hey I have X, Y, and Z with my life I will not. compromise them.
I refuse to borrow from anyone, if I do it stays with me until I pay it off. I owed someone 0.10 and and bother me for a week until I saw the girl again to give it back to her.
Also the bible tells us not a borrow or lender be. Its amazing the finacial advice thats in the GREAT book

18 Larry

"Also the bible tells us not a borrow or lender be. Its amazing the finacial advice thats in the GREAT book"

Sorry, but's that from Shakespeare. See my post above.

19 BRB

I think there is another option which my parents did when they borrowed money from a friend of theirs. They actually drew up a contract and had it notarized and everything stating the terms and conditions of the loan and re-payment.

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