It was 11:00PM on a Friday and I heard a ping on my phone. Swiping up to see the notifications, a message from an old friend, one I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 4 years.
“Hey man, I’m having some cash flow issues. I’m hoping I can borrow $50 to get to work tomorrow and park. I’ll have a paycheck to pay you back on the 18th.”
I sat there with a wrench in my gut. I had never been asked to borrow money before aside from covering for a friend’s dinner if/when they were short. Even then, I hated it. Whenever I lent money, it seems all of my friends would casually forget until I would resolve to write off the expense and let it be. Perhaps it was also my fault for not being particularly good at following up whenever I had the chance.
So obviously, I was a bit torn. My friend was a nice guy, but I likely wouldn’t be able to follow up with him since we didn’t talk or see each other. And from my time when I did see him every day, he wasn’t known to be particularly reliable.
My Philosophy: Just Say No.
I wrote back “Hey bud – as much as I know you’re a good guy, I don’t lend money to anyone (family or friends) for personal reasons. I’m sorry I can’t help, but I hope you find a solution.”
He understood and didn’t give me a hard time about it and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Money is complicated. We all work hard for it and thus, have a hard time parting with it sometimes.
My philosophy has always been that when it comes to family and friends, I never lend money. Perhaps that makes me a cold-blooded bastard, but I’ve seen first hand how money can tear friends and family apart when loans casually become “forgotten”. I don’t want to be in that situation and hopefully I’ve set the precedent so that I never will be.