When is the last time you can remember someone asking to borrow $20? I knew a guy who was always asking for money. He constantly complained that he did not have enough money for gas and food, yet he always had money to have his dog groomed and bought his dog expensive food. His constant requests for money drove me crazy!
I love watching Judge Judy. She’s spot on most of the time! One of her favorite expressions is “If someone asks you for money, give it as a gift because most likely you will never get it back. Be sure to tell them it’s a one-time gift.” I agree with that statement.
A few years ago a family member contacted me who was in need of money for his medications. I was more than willing to help him out. I also remember him telling me that he would pay me back within two weeks. I wired the money and then waited for him to repay it. A month later he called but never mentioned the money I loaned him. A year later he called again asking for money. This time I told him I couldn’t help him and reminded him of how important it is that we keep our word and that since he never repaid what he originally borrowed, I could not honor his request. I also told him he didn’t need to repay the original loan and could consider it a one-time gift.
We certainly need boundaries regarding our finances and money we loan. You are not a bank, or for that matter, Fort Knox! What we need to understand that once you loan friends or family money, it is highly likely the friendship will come to an end. That’s the cold hard fact. You have to decide if you’re willing to lose a friendship over loaning someone money.
Do you have boundaries established in the case that someone comes to you for a loan? If you loaned someone money in the past and they never paid you back and you had a chance to do things over, how would you handle it now? Would you loan them the money? Would you have stipulations in loaning them money? Would you have had them sign a legal binding contract? What would change?
The first question you have to ask yourself is whether you can afford to loan money? If you have to use money that is meant for paying your bills then you are certainly not in a position to loan or gift the money. If it’s money set aside for food or insurance, again I would say do not loan your money! When you loan money just plan never to get it back. I have seen the best of friends part ways because of unpaid loans. I have seen them in court as well. Plan to have an answer if someone you know comes to you and asks for money. Don’t be caught off guard and give away money you can’t afford to give away. Saying no may save a friendship in the long run.
Loaning money has caused many a divorce. I have seen one spouse loan money without consulting with the other spouse. When the unsuspecting spouse finds out why is money missing out of a joint account there is trouble in paradise. Protect your money! Hard times are a coming.
We all struggle with boundaries. Do you need help setting up your boundaries? Do you have difficulty telling people ‘no’ when they ask you for money? Are you tired of letting people walk all over you? Does your spouse, children or co-workers need to know your boundaries? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to look at how to protect yourself from those who want to borrow from you.