Lending a Friend Money Can Ruin Relationships

Some would say, lending money should be left to the banks and other financial institutions. However, when a friend or family member is in need, it is oftentimes difficult to turn them away. As a friend, or a genuinely caring and generous person, you may be the type who have no problem helping people out with money in cases of emergency with a promise to pay it back in a reasonable period.

Lending money to friends can become a volatile situation. Once you cross the line and begin to lend money to your friends, you can ruin the relationship altogether, depending on the circumstances of course. There are many scenarios where it may not affect the relationship at all, specifically, if the money is paid back each time, in the exact amount, and the agreed upon date. However, the relationship may begin to suffer if these deal breakers begin to occur over time, more frequently, and with no respect or regard for the agreement to pay the money back.

A friendship is generally based on trust, honesty, support, and reliability. You want your friends to listen well, be there for you in times of stress, need, or simply as a companion. Friends who run into money issues occasionally are easier to lend to than those who seem to always have problems. There’s also other factors such as the type of money issues your friend encounters. Is it the same issue over time? Perhaps, they overspend, or shop too much and end up short and can’t pay their bills? Did they lose a job, go through a divorce, or became ill and lose work wages? You see, there are many legitimate financial issues that can occur at any given time, to literally anyone.

However, if you are constantly bailing your friends out and the money is not paid back in a timely fashion or even with a good explanation, then this is when the relationship may suffer. You may begin to feel used or disrespected. After a long time of waiting to be paid back, your communication with your friend may even suffer, now with the added tension of trying to avoid the “money” topic. The friend who borrowed the money may feel guilty and start avoiding you if they can’t pay you back as promised. They no longer return calls, texts, or emails. The trust in the relationship is now gone and until the money situation is resolved, or until that strain no longer exists, the contact with your friend, soon decreases.

Finally, before lending money to a friend and possibly ruining your relationship, consider two simple things; can you afford to simply just give them the money instead of loaning it? Think about it as charitable giving. If you will not need the money back anytime soon, no matter how much your friend promises to return it, why not just let them have it as say, a gift? The second thing to consider, is a contract the better way to handle the loan? This is ideal for large amounts and for those friends who need an agreement to keep them honest and on track. For example, a loan agreement is the best of action for a business venture or partnership that relies on future earnings or income in order to pay the loan back in full.

Always remember that lending money to a friend falls into a different category then say paying for lunch or for concert tickets. Basically, it can be a bad idea and destroy your relationship once you realize you made a financial mistake and that the loan itself, indicates that the person is now indebted to you and has made a promise to pay it back. When it doesn’t happen as planned, the next step or how you communicate will determine the path of your relationship.

What NOT to Do With Your Money

Sometimes it can be helpful to be told what not to do with your money rather than being told what you should be doing. That’s what we are going to take a look at today. Knowing what not to do can save you from costly mistakes or financial crisis. I’ve provided a list of a few of the big things you’ll want to stay away from doing with your money.

Never shop when you’re feeling down

A little retail therapy never hurt anyone, right? Well, it doesn’t really help your finances. Shopping while emotional will only lead to unnecessary spending. Also, shopping when you’re feeling under the weather makes you more susceptible to pushy salespeople. Their flattery might make you feel better, but give too much into that and you may end up making a purchase you can’t afford. Their goal is to get you to spend as much money as possible, don’t allow their hollow compliments to sway you.

Forgoing a budget

If you don’t have some kind of budget in place, you’re asking for trouble. Without a budget how are you supposed to keep track of your spending? Your budget doesn’t need to be overly involved to be effective. A simple budget that puts a cap on spending in all major areas will go a long way. A budget will keep you accountable to yourself and your wallet.

Having an inadequate emergency fund

It is a huge mistake to have an inadequate emergency fund. Ask yourself these questions:

Do you have six months of your salary saved?
Is that money separate from your regular savings?

If you’re jaw just dropped at the idea of having six months worth of your salary saved, pick it up and I’ll explain why it’s important. An emergency fund if for, you guessed it – emergencies. Things like losing your job, expensive car repairs, or unexpected medical bills. These things generally tend to cost a lot and can be detrimental to your finances.

If you answered yes to the first question, but not the second, you’re not out of the woods yet. Your emergency fund needs to be a separate account from your checking and regular saving accounts. The reason for this is because you should treat it differently than your ordinary savings. That money is for vacations, gifts, and any other “wants” you have. You should not be dipping into your emergency funds for a guys weekend away.

Don’t lend money to people you can’t trust

It will be very tempting to help out those in need – especially family and friends. If you are going to lend money out, make sure you can trust them. An untrustworthy person will have no problem asking for a loan with zero intention of paying it back.

A little bonus on this topic: Even if you can trust the person who’s asking for a loan, make sure you can afford it. Loaning money you don’t actually have to loan out will be a hit to your finances.
Managing your money is no easy task, but hopefully knowing what not to do has given you a different perspective. Overall, setting guidelines for your money will shed light on what’s important and push aside the things that aren’t.