What do you do when someone constantly hits you up for money?

What do you do when someone constantly hits you up for money?

A few years ago, I wrote about how to lend money to friends without letting it ruin the friendship. To quickly recap, a friend needed help paying the rent. She had never asked me for money in all the years we'd been friends, so I knew she had to be in a pretty desperate situation. In fact, she was even on medical leave and tried to return to work early, but her doctor (and therefore her employer) refused to sign off on it.

So although I normally think that lending money to friends is a bad idea, this seemed different. I loaned her the money. Although she promised to pay me back, I looked at the loan as a gift, and expected that I would not be repaid. It would have been nice to be repaid, but I was being realistic based on all of the stories I've heard about lending money to friends. Therefore, I was only willing to lend what I was willing to lose. I also helped her boyfriend get a job.

My friend never did repay me, which was fine because I'd already assumed that I would not be repaid. Her boyfriend took the job offer and promptly lost the job. (She told me that the boss expected her boyfriend to “just do whatever he was told to do.” Um, yes, that's how most jobs work, especially when you have next-to-no experience.)

So that whole situation was a one-time thing, over and done. But in the last year or two, someone else I know started hitting me up for money. Money for rent, money to put minutes on his phone. In these situations, I still think my original stance is best, which I wrote about before:

“I don't believe in loaning money most of the time. It's not that I don't want to help make things better, I just think that in most situations it's a temporary fix. If someone can't make a house payment this month, what's going to change next month? In many cases, money troubles are a sign of ongoing issues and habits.”

So I've not loaned him any money. But the thing is, so far I've made excuses about why I couldn't loan him money. I dance around the question because I feel like a jerk for saying no, for saying that I'm tired of feeling used (even though I'm not loaning him any money).

Logically, I know that he's the one who's being a jerk and trying to take advantage of his friends, but emotionally, it's not that easy. When he tells me that he sent out resumes but is worried that employers won't be able to call him because he doesn't have a lot of minutes on his phone, I feel bad about not helping him. Even though frankly, I don't even believe his stories and reasons anymore.

He's also hit up all of his other friends with similar requests. Some of them avoid him now. One mutual friend suspects drug use. Another friend has cut ties by defriending him on Facebook and bluntly saying, “I have my own bills to pay.”

But I have yet to do that. Maybe I don't want to seem mean, or maybe I'm avoiding confrontation. Maybe I feel bad for him that his life has turned out like this. I'm not sure why it's so hard for me to be blunt, even when he is trying to take advantage of me.

So readers, if you were me, what would you say to someone who constantly hits you up for money? What if they are someone you were once close to and still care about?

 
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Beth
Beth
6 years ago

Just my two cents, but have you thought of offering him financial coaching instead? “I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. I’d be willing to help you tackle your finances and create a budget.” That way you’re not completely cutting him off from help — you’re offering the expertise you have instead. Either he’ll accept the help and maybe you can make a real difference, or he won’t take the advice and he’ll stop asking for cash. (I hope for his sake he takes the help! People already learn so much from you!) When it comes to money, there’s a… Read more »

cherie
cherie
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

This is the best response. I’ve done it with several people who were constantly complaining about their finances. It lets you do SOMETHING [probably the most helpful thing] and yet not feel taken advantage of. The one I was closest to, who we did lend money to more than once until I told my husband to stop offering [he did, and no, it’s MY friend first, not his] took me up on it and I constructed detailed budgets and debt repayment plans TWO TIMES, with long discussions about how to make it work. In the past couple of years things… Read more »

Kelly
Kelly
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Your suggestion is probably best, but my DH has a method where he will only give (yes, give) 10%-20% of the amount asked for, and it is a gift, no expectation of repayment. This offer is a one time only thing per person, but he has done it about a dozen times. Several years ago, his godson asked him for a (sizable) sum to buy a house; he sent the 10%, and he received a note back saying that the godson was sorry we were suffering such financial hardship, lol… no thank you, just cashed the check. Remember, people believe… Read more »

Devora
Devora
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

I agree with Beth – often, if it’s someone I care about, I will offer other ideas or suggestions or assistance as opposed to money. I happen to love doing research so I’ve helped friends find gyms, therapists, etc etc. With your friend in particular, and with the minutes issue – I’m pretty sure Google Voice is still free if he has computer access and is willing to wait for voicemails, or if he has a smartphone and a wifi connection. It’s not optimal but it’s an idea. Land lines can also be cheaper than mobile plans, depending on your… Read more »

Randy
Randy
6 years ago

Allow me to second that statement that Beth so eloquently makes: When it comes to money, there’s a fine line between helping and enabling. I have one friend in particular, to whom I’ve made several loans and gifts both. The great thing about my story is that he has ALWAYS paid my loans back. I’ve tried to offer my suggestions (gently) about choices he could make to better set himself up for financial success. Concepts such as, “If you can afford to make payments ON your new bedroom furniture, you could have afforded to save up FOR new bedroom furniture… Read more »

infmom
infmom
6 years ago
Reply to  Randy

The two mooching members of my family could never tell the difference between what they want today and what they need tomorrow. Thus one of my brothers cheerfully blew $100 for a scalped ticket to see Paul McCartney and called me two weeks later in tears because he had no money to take his cat to the vet.

He didn’t get any money from me, regardless of how sorry I felt for the cat.

spiralingsnails
spiralingsnails
6 years ago
Reply to  infmom

“[They] could never tell the difference between what they want today and what they need tomorrow.”

A very succinct and accurate way of putting it.

Vanessa
Vanessa
6 years ago
Reply to  infmom

But it’s Paul McCartney…I mean, c’mon!

Jen
Jen
6 years ago

I’ve been in your situation many, many times. It’s hard to say no. If I do lend the money, I tell the person that I have other financial commitments and that I can’t always help out. If I can help out in any other way then I will try but they cannot just be relying on me.

Elle
Elle
6 years ago

This is a tough one. I look forward to seeing the responses. In my personal experience, I had a friend like yours in the article and I loaned her what I could afford to never get back. I remember writing the check feeling very wary but also ‘adult’ in the sense that I had it to give at the time (I was about 22 and in my first apt/job, etc). The friend DID pay me back which was a good thing. I have a sister who is like your 2nd friend. She has asked for help with things of many… Read more »

Eric Duminil
Eric Duminil
6 years ago

Exactly.
Propose to sit down with him, take a look at his expenses/debts/accounts, put them all in a spreadsheet, and see where he could save money and what he really needs.
As for drugs, you could just ask him face to face. Or pretend a friend of yours needs some, and is looking for supply.

Money Bunny
Money Bunny
6 years ago

Limit setting time. This type of person does not get it. There are short term cash flow issues from unexpected problems like you described with your friend with medical problems. Then there are systemic issues, like the boyfriend, and the person now. I’ve tried to counsel people like this, both therapy and finance and it’s usually a dead end since they don’t want to change yet. I usually wait until they ask, and then open my big mouth. If I say something before they are ready is usually is not recieved well if at all, and if they are the… Read more »

Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life
Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life
6 years ago

I would loan my friends money, but I would be honest with them from the get-go. There are many other ways to help them get back on their feet, including helping them set up a budget if they don’t have one or figure out where their money drain is every month.

Someone who is constantly asking for a few dollars here and there is going to be asking for more down the road.

Saskia
Saskia
6 years ago

This shouldn’t be that difficult. 1) Channel Nancy Reagan and “Just say, ‘No!'” or: 2) I never lend money to family and friends. or: 3) I’ve never had a positive experience lending money to family and friends so I’ve made it my policy not to do so. or: 4) Your friendship is too valuable to me to risk it by loaning you money. However – the more you say (and the lower down you go on my list), the more you open yourself up to questions and discussions. Pussyfooting around so far has caused just that. You haven’t stopped the… Read more »

William Cowie
William Cowie
6 years ago
Reply to  Saskia

We’re old and gray and have tons of awesome friends. Some know how to manage money and others don’t. I know my friends. The responsible ones rarely need money to begin with, but there have been times when one of those had a need. We lent, and got paid back on time. We’re still friends, only better. If I don’t know them well enough, or if I know they’re not smart with money, I go with #4 above, followed by #3. If someone wants to cut off a relationship because I won’t lend them money, that tells me what the… Read more »

Michelle at Making Sense of Cents
Michelle at Making Sense of Cents
6 years ago

I would never lend a friend money. That just never ends well (can someone share a story where it ends well? 😛 ).

That being said, I have lent money to family though, but I will never do it again. That did not end well and I still hold a grudge (it was a LOT of money though).

PB
PB
6 years ago

My BIL owes us thousands of dollars which he refuses to pay. He asked my husband to go halves with him in a lawsuit (long, unedifying story) and even though my husband did not want to do so, he got talked into it. We wound up paying the lawyer as the BIL was overseas at the time, lost the case, BIL blamed my husband, and therefore feels justified in not coming up with his half. The larger part of the story is that he is in his 60s, has not put aside a single penny for retirement, has huge debts,… Read more »

Jenn
Jenn
6 years ago

I have a story in which it ends well. My second year in grad school, I was facing a cash shortage because of bad choices I had made previously, and I was digging myself out. I was living as frugally as I could (well, self control was still a minor issue but I was trying) and I was throwing every spare penny at my credit card debt, and one of my friends was aware of this, as we are very good friends and I always felt I can discuss anything with him. When I needed a computer for my qualifying… Read more »

Crystal
Crystal
6 years ago
Reply to  Jenn

I’ve given friends small amounts of money (like $5-$20) to cover dinner and stuff like that, and I am happily surprised when they pay me back or cover my next meal since I forgot about it. But the only two people that I’ve ever loaned larger amounts to were actually only acquaintances that needed help. The first was a co-worker in college that wasn’t put in the system fast enough, so she had outstanding paychecks and no rent money. I gave her the $250-$300 that she needed and she paid me back as soon as she finally got her back-due… Read more »

Michele
Michele
6 years ago

My sister went through a terrible “surprise” divorce. Her husband molested her daughter, he got arrested, the whole family left him. Before he went to prison, he squandered, lost, or stole most of their assets leaving her bankrupt. He also had a mother bankroll his side of the divorce so they spent a lot of time in court. My husband and I had been saving money for years to buy some rental property. We were able to buy a house for her to rent, finance her divorce, and open an account in my name at a furniture store for her… Read more »

AMW
AMW
6 years ago

10 years ago we had a sibling ask for money and we did not have any to give at that time (even if we had wanted but offered to help in other ways but they refused. Ironically, that sibling has not talked to us since then. Sad but good as well, this sibling has borrowed tens of thousands of dollars from other family members that they will most likely never see again.

Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life
6 years ago

I find it so completely disrespectful that so called friends are notorious for not paying back loans. If for some reason I ever felt compelled to give a personal loan, I would probably draw up an agreement stating the conditions and expectations. But I think it’s just best not to get involved at all.

Another Beth
Another Beth
6 years ago

I don’t know how these “friends” can look their lenders in the eye. How can you carry on like nothing’s the matter when you owe someone $50, $100, etc.?!

OP, I think you need to just say “no.” That’s it. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you offer excuses, then he’ll just counter with a loophole. Ex: If you say “I can’t this week,” he’ll just ask you again next week.

Jerome
Jerome
6 years ago

We had the same situation fa while ago and what made us say ‘no’ was the conviction that saying ‘yes’ would just enable the borrower to keep avoiding changing her lifestyle and start living within her means. Viewed in that light borrowing can even be seen as very detrimental. We did offer to help with budgeting and getting the finances organized, but the offer was never taken up. She explained that by telling us that she simply could not live in an apartment or drive in a smaller car. Which helped us even more with saying ‘no’.

Paul in cAshburn
Paul in cAshburn
6 years ago

The key word is “constantly”, and… can you afford it (just this once, for you certainly can’t afford to adopt them, right?) I believe two things are true about people: 1. People are wonderful, and they make your life better, and when you can help – you should. 2. People suck, they make your life more complicated, and you should not hurt yourself to help them. Yes, these two ideas can coexist in your mind simultaneously if you work at it. So, make your decision based on your current (and expected future) financial situation – and on whether they are… Read more »

Alberto
Alberto
6 years ago

Personally, I would give them a small amount of money and tell them that it is a gift that need not be repaid. That way, you have helped them in a small way, you wouldn’t lose a friendship, and they probably wouldn’t ask again for money. If they did happen to ask again, then I would be more blunt. Just my thoughts.

getagrip
getagrip
6 years ago
Reply to  Alberto

Actually I would recommend not making it a gift. I lent a friend who was bad with money $50 over twenty years ago. Anytime he asked me for more money I would just tell him he still owed me $50 and he had to pay me back before I’d lend him more. When he claimed he’d make good and pay me back what he was asking plus the original $50, I’d reply that was what he said the first time and I’m still waiting. He got the hint. He stopped asking, and we’re still friends. We’ve gifted each other dinner,… Read more »

Mrs PoP
Mrs PoP
6 years ago

I’m in the middle of reading “The Richest Man in Babylon”, and the “rules for lending gold” seem to make sense. They’re basically 1 – if someone is asking for a loan to pursue a developed business idea or grow their own wealth, it’s probably worth considering and evaluating the merits of the business idea 2 – if someone is asking for a loan to continue to live a lifestyle their income does not support, it’s not a good idea. One of the suggestions for rejections was also placing the loan value in terms of the time it took you… Read more »

jane savers @ solving the money puzzle
jane savers @ solving the money puzzle
6 years ago

I had to lend one of my sons $1,900 for tuition last fall. He has a good part time job but blew his money on a fancy gym membership, a trip to the southern US and lots of other fun stuff. I had to increase my debt but I made it very clear it was a loan and he has to start paying me back shortly after graduation this spring. I have helped him so much and I have also made it very clear that I will not be helping him anymore. He has to start living within his means… Read more »

lmoot
lmoot
6 years ago

I would offer empathy, but that’s it. I wouldn’t feel badly about not offering money, especially since it’s obvious that you are not the only one he’s hitting up, and I’m sure you’re not that much of a standout if everyone else is saying “no” too. I’m lucky that I haven’t had friends ask me for money other than to spare a few dollars here and there so I can’t really speak to how to deal with the situation. I’ve had friends in need before and I’ve helped them in other ways such as offering a place to stay. I… Read more »

cherie
cherie
6 years ago
Reply to  lmoot

I fully agree – it’s NOT jealousy – I am doing without lots of things I’d ‘like’ to have or do, simply because security is important to me.

There’s no way I’m willing trade those choices so someone else can have all the things they like if I’m not willing to do it for MYSELF LOL

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago

if you were me, what would you say to someone who constantly hits you up for money? GO AWAY/GET A JOB. What if they are someone you were once close to and still care about? I don’t think giving money willy-nilly really says “I care.” “I care” means finding the truth about the person’s problem and getting involved in their lives, helping the person come to terms with their new situation instead of trying to maintain an artificial status, taking them to see a social worker so they can discuss their options, helping them find counseling, giving help where it… Read more »

lmoot
lmoot
6 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I agree with most everything you said, especially this: ‘Maybe giving money is just a way to hide our guilt for not wanting to get too close to the problem. A kind of ransom— “here’s some money, don’t make me feel bad.” ‘ EXACTLY. Often times the act of lending money is merely a convenience fee being paid…which there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Time equals money and in today’s society the exchange rate for time can be higher. Gone are the Laura Ingalls Wilder days where Pa spends a few back-breaking days helping the neighbors build a new… Read more »

William Cowie
William Cowie
6 years ago
Reply to  lmoot

When you read stories about lottery winners and pro athletes, the thing you hear about most often is relatives and acquaintances hitting them up with the guilt trip: you have lot, how can you not give me some?

Those stories end with bankruptcy, and the recipients of those handouts are no better for it.

Practical Cents
Practical Cents
6 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

“Once certain people know you have a little money, they will want it for themselves.”
This statement is so true. I just advised my sister not to discuss her finances with a particular person who keeps hitting her up for money because of this same reason. This particular person has always been irresponsible with her finances and life in general so lending her money will not solve her problems.

Jon
Jon
6 years ago

“I care about you too much to participate in enabling. If you need financial coaching, job coaching, or any other advice – I’m happy to help. But just giving you money or paying for minutes/rent doesn’t help the underlying issues long-term” (but then, my friends are used to me being long-winded and outspoken so they wouldn’t come to me without first expecting a diatribe) :-\

CERB
CERB
6 years ago

If a friend/acquaintance hints for money, I ignore the hint. The couple of times in the past I lent a small amount of money, it didn’t get repaid and I felt resentful when I witnessed their ongoing poor financial decisions. It also changed the nature of the friendship. I felt that they no longer saw me as a friend but as a giant walking dollar sign. When I saw them coming with their “woe is me” stories, I began to avoid them like the plague. If one of my in-laws asks for money I say no. I don’t ignore the… Read more »

Dee
Dee
6 years ago

There are times in everyone’s life when you absolutely must be totally candid and honest and clear in order to set boundaries, because your job, your health, your life, your emotional well-being depend on it. I look at situations such as the one you are encountering as an opportunity to practice for those really big boundary moments. If you can’t clearly and politely say no to a friend who asks for money, how are you going to clearly and politely set much bigger and more important boundaries in other areas? The more you practice, the easier it becomes. Try out… Read more »

April
April
6 years ago
Reply to  Dee

I love this comment.

I knew a few people would suggest telling this person to just go away, but I think it’s pretty obvious in my post that I’m not going to treat someone like that, regardless of how they’re treating me.

But clearly and politely saying no and looking at it as practice in setting boundaries is really useful. I’ve had to end a couple of friendships in the past precisely because I didn’t set boundaries early on. If I had, the friendships would’ve either ended sooner (and more easily) or they would have turned out differently. Thanks, Dee.

Beth
Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  Dee

Love this comment too! You make an excellent point about boundaries. I wish someone had told me that at sixteen!

Christine
Christine
11 months ago
Reply to  Dee

I appreciate and agree with this comment. I’m learning that when I’m feeling uncomfortable with a situation I need to look for the lesson. There’s something that I need to learn, something in me that I need to change and maybe there’s a lesson for them too. I am reading this because I have this problem now, a newer friend and her family in financial crisis I give on my own a few bucks here and there and then the requests start… Feeling taken advantage of a take a step back and I see that the financial problems could be… Read more »

Renee s
Renee s
6 years ago

I am not speaking specifically on the person in this story–but from personal experience. I do not lend people money…but sometimes people just need a break. My boyfriend had a car, but needed money for car insurance. He wanted to get a job, but how could he get to the job without a car (no public transportation)? And how could he drive a car without insurance (he doesn’t want to drive illegally)? I lent him money for the car insurance and gas money. It took him a few seasonal/temp jobs, but now he has a full time job that he… Read more »

cherie
cherie
6 years ago
Reply to  Renee s

Thats great to hear – and some people really do need a little help and a few lessons and motivation – I can understand that. And since you were willing to lose the money [and the boyfriend LOL] at the time it wasn’t a bad choice, if it didn’t hurt you in the process

Glad you were his turnaround moment

SwampWoman
SwampWoman
6 years ago

We have a small farm. When people *used* to ask us for money, say $50, that we knew meant “give me money because I want it”, we would tell them things like “Sure! We’re putting up new fence on the weekend, and we could sure use somebody to dig postholes in the 95-degree heat. We’ll pay $5.00 per 3′ deep posthole”. Or “Sure! We need to restack the hay in the barn this weekend. Are you allergic to hornets? We were going to do it ourselves, but if you need the money…” Only one person ever showed up to do… Read more »

cherie
cherie
6 years ago
Reply to  SwampWoman

great solution – I do this now with my 13yo son

BD
BD
6 years ago
Reply to  SwampWoman

Are you still hiring? A farm job would be awesome!

CCH
CCH
6 years ago
Reply to  BD

Said nobody who has worked on a farm ever!

BD
BD
6 years ago
Reply to  CCH

At least it’s a job. Any job is looking good right now. I’ve been unemployed since 2005 (and yes, I’ve applied at fast food and retail places with no results).

Veronica
Veronica
6 years ago

I’ve both lent and borrowed (in my younger years) to/from friends and family without much of an issue. Yes, some friends haven’t repaid and I haven’t re-lent. Others have repaid, no issue. On other occasions I’ve asked if they’d like to work for me in exchange for $. That’s worked out if they’ve got a skill I need (or tell them to get their skills out on one of the job boards like craigslist, or sell something). It sounds like it might be time for them to introduced to our social services. I believe for very low income groups a… Read more »

Mortgage Free Mike
Mortgage Free Mike
6 years ago

I think if the person is CONSTANTLY hitting me up for money, it’s a sign of a deeper problem. I will always help loved ones if it’s not enabling. A one-time gift or loan could help someone out of a bad situation. I’m all for that. If it keeps happening, I wouldn’t let myself be taken advantage of like that.

Kristin Wong
Kristin Wong
6 years ago

I feel like I know this person. It’s hard when you start getting your crap together and someone close to you doesn’t. Or, worse, their life starts to unravel. This happened to me, I loaned a friend money and our friendship was never the same. I think I loaned the money because, part of me subconsciously felt guilty that I got it together and my friend didn’t. It’s easy to blame it on the loan, but I think the loan was just symbolic of the fact that we were growing apart anyway. I was often told that, because I make… Read more »

Nina
Nina
6 years ago

This must be because I’m from Finland (and Finns are, in general, notoriously honest – for example, when you go to the doctor, you don’t pay on the spot but they send you an invoice to your home address later on)but I’ve lent money to my friends and never had any problems. The sums have been small though and related to short term cashflow problems. I cannot imagine my friends not paying back at the agreed date unless their house burned down, destroying their electronic banking security devices. That being said, I would never lend to a friend with whom… Read more »

Robin Bermel
Robin Bermel
6 years ago

Agree with the first comment: Financial coaching or help shows that you care, and you want them to experience change. I also think you need to prepare emotionally for a backlash response, so as not to take it personally. You could also give $$ to a benevolence fund (many churches have them) and send your friend there. People who distribute that money have experience. Really good question and thoughtful answers!

Ramblin' Ma'am
Ramblin' Ma'am
6 years ago

People don’t ask me for money to pay the bills or things like that. What I’m seeing a preponderance of now, because of sites like Kickstarter, is a real uptick of people begging “friends” for money on Facebook or through email. “Hey, want to donate to my Kickstarter so I can have an art show?” This sounds less tacky than simultaneously asking 500 people, “Hey, wanna give me ten bucks?”, but it’s really the same thing. There are people who are constantly asking for money for something or other. And I’ve noticed that the people who are always looking for… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin
6 years ago

We’ve only lent money 2ce, once to a family member and once to a friend. The family member HAD the money, in the form of some kind of investments, but just couldn’t get it together to sell the investment and pay off her crippling credit card debt. Why it worked out I don’t know, except she is incredibly hardworking and loyal and faithful and our paying the credit card gave her the impetus to deal with the investment and she paid us back within a few months. We lent a few thousand to a friend and I don’t think we’ll… Read more »

Mike
Mike
6 years ago

“In 1998 I made a promise to myself to no longer allow money to be part of my personal relationships.”

That quote is the only answer I give to any person who is begging for my hard earned money.

EFC
EFC
6 years ago

This is additionally tricky when the person or people asking for money are close relatives you don’t want to alienate…in my case, the in-laws (HT to commenter CERB for your ideas on the same situation). My husband’s parents ask him for money several times a year; in the past he caved, but now he’s trying to say no without incurring their parental wrath. So I introduced him to “two-level negotiation” (thanks, otherwise useless graduate degree!), in which one party claims to need the buy-in of another to seal a deal. Even though it’s his money and his call whether to… Read more »

Diane
Diane
6 years ago

I’ve been on both sides of the coin. I’ve loaned money to friends and coworkers, and was always repaid.

Several years later when money was really tight and my mother died unexpectedly, a friend loaned me $600 to go to the funeral (it was 1500 miles away). It took me 3 years to repay her but she never complained about getting $20 a month. She knew I worked hard and lived a simple life. We are still good friends.

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago

I loaned a friend money once, and while she did pay me back, I found myself judging her spending until she did. I did not like that it turned me into the worst version of myself. I also loaned Jake money when we’d been dating only a year or two. It was very clear that he was totally committed to paying me back as soon as he could, and that is exactly what he did. Now, of course, we’re married so we both try to chip in equally but don’t worry if there is an imbalance for a short while.… Read more »

Another Beth
Another Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

“I loaned a friend money once, and while she did pay me back, I found myself judging her spending until she did.”

Good point! I would try not to judge if I were to ever make a loan, but it would be hard not to especially if the borrower waltzed in wearing new clothes and clutching a fancy coffee drink.

KC in ATX
KC in ATX
6 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

“I loaned a friend money once, and … I did not like that it turned me into the worst version of myself.” This is so true for me, too. I don’t have friends or family that ask me for money, but I recently had to negotiate an insurance payout, and imagine the stresses are similar. Until the settlement amount was agreed upon, I was on edge all the time. I basically spent too much time imagining worst-case scenarios and getting riled up over those hypotheticals. I was angry with the insurance adjuster (who was actually kind and patient). My wife… Read more »

Gemgirl
Gemgirl
3 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

This is so true. I try not to lend anymore but (if I am in a position to give and they are not taking advantage of me) I just tell them it’s a gift. No need to repay. I don’t like ‘that version of myself” either.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

I use the person’s lifestyle as a gauge by which to answer the question. Examples:

“You’re an avid skier and snowboarder. I could never afford what your season passes cost.”

“Add up what you spend on cigarettes per week, then set that amount aside. In six months, if you still need money, I’ll help you create a budget.”

“If I could afford to support four children, I’d have my own.”

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
6 years ago
Reply to  Marie

Ah, so be as judgmental as possible. You know, you can just say, “No” if you don’t want to do it.

Peach
Peach
6 years ago

Oh, for goodness sake! She is voicing her opinion like everyone else. You are one of the snarkiest people when you’re not endlessly complaining yourself, and it’s extremely annoying.

Give it a rest already.

Sam
Sam
6 years ago

Family and close friends, I will do whatever it takes to help them (assuming I’m not feeding a drug habit or whatever). And I have lent and gifted money to family and friends, sometimes it was paid back and sometimes it wasn’t, the relationships are all still good. When Mr. Sam and I were living together, but not married, I bought him a replacement vehicle. I’m trying to remember how we handled that, but I don’t remember. I do know that I gave him the money and I also know that I didn’t expect to be paid back, probably b/c… Read more »

Crystal
Crystal
6 years ago

I’m straight-forward. I’d let him know that it makes you uncomfortable when friends or family ask for money. I’d also say that you don’t loan friends or family money because it leads to awkwardness. If he keeps pushing, I’d stop seeing him/hanging out completely because he obviously doesn’t care how you feel. I have a couple of friends that have money troubles all of the time. I’ve even helped one of them set up a budget that they promptly blew off. They don’t ask me for money, so we can stay friends. But if they ever did, I’d explain that… Read more »

Art Chester
Art Chester
6 years ago

A lot depends on your relationship with the person asking. I had a case some years back with a friend-of-a-friend, an acquaintance, who rarely appeared in my life except when asking for money. I wanted to help but not to invite dependence. The individual asked for $250 and it was my judgment that if I said yes, I would receive many more such requests. So I said, I’ll be happy to lend you the money, here it is. And after you pay it back, it will be there for you to borrow again if you need it! Of course, the… Read more »

Graham
Graham
6 years ago

I’m a fan of the Dave Ramsey approach. If you’re in a position to “gift” someone money they need, go ahead, but be sure to also attempt to tackle the real issue – their poor choices/habits – so as not to enable them. If they really need money to borrow, they should do so at a bank. If the bank will not lend them money, why should you? Sounds harsh, but it’s the cold truth that is so frequently filling people with denial.

Edward
Edward
6 years ago

I actually have Len Penzo’s “Dear Friend: Here Are 41 Reasons Why I’m NOT Lending You the Money” laminated. Though they’re initially insulted, friends can’t take it too seriously because it’s laminated (which means I’ve used it before), and I tell them–“this is my policy”. If you haven’t read it before, take a look–it’s hilarious and true.

http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id15845-dear-friend-here-are-41-reasons-why-im-not-lending-you-the-money.html

Mem
Mem
6 years ago

Thank you Beth for that piece of advice. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me. I have found myself in similar situations with friends, whom when I was able I gave a gift to help with the cost of a new baby, and have since then been hit up for money multiple times, the children’s father drinks it all away, she lost her job, etc all very heart string pulling situations but I am not able to support my family and hers on my paycheck. I also have found myself in other situations, lending to my in laws,… Read more »

Beth
Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  Mem

I’m been in situations where I haven’t had the expertise to help, but I’ve tried offering to help the person find services and expertise they need, and even go with them for moral support.

I learned the hard way at a very young age that people don’t change until they want to, and sometimes they have to hit rock bottom first. People have to take responsibility for their own lives. We can offer help, but we can’t take responsibility for them. 🙁

Laura
Laura
6 years ago

I’m going to do something I usually don’t do – comment before reading others’ comments. April, when I read your post, I did not think one bit that this is a money problem. This is a self-perception problem. IMHO, you’re dancing around the issue of why you won’t lend your “friend” money because you seem worried about a negative reaction, what he might think, that you might be perceived as “not nice,” etc. Whose internalized voice do you hear when you consider being “not nice” to a user and get slammed down? (Hint: the first answer is usually the right… Read more »

cherie
cherie
6 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I am glad you replied without reading LOL – you hit the nail on what I thought as I read the OP – but by the time I started reading replies . . . well . . . There really are two kinds of borrowers, the users and those sincere hard responsible workers who are just in a bad spot for reasons they can’t control If someone is asking all their friends for money on a regular basis they’re users and think it’s a fine way to be – I’d be avoiding that person just because of that . .… Read more »

Anon
Anon
6 years ago

Two different times in my life I have had to tell someone I once considered a good friend to never speak to me again.

Its hard, but neccessary, and life has gotten much better because of it. Your friend who is constantly asking for money has gone past the point of no return, IMO. You can try to get through to him one last time if you want, but I think its time to tell him to go away and not come back.

infmom
infmom
6 years ago

Two members of my family are, I hate to say it, moochers. Instead of buttoning down and solving their financial problems, they just go around to their friends and family “borrowing” money to get by. Needless to say this borrowed money is seldom if ever repaid. They both go chasing the easy money all the time. Gambling, lotto, short jobs in TV or movies that pay a lot, you name it. Never have jobs with a future, never tried working their way up the ladder from entry level (need to be free for auditions for those easy money acting jobs,… Read more »

Andrea
Andrea
6 years ago

We had a friend ask us for money recently and after giving it much thought we just said “no”. We made no excuses, made-up stories. We just said no we do not lend money to anyone unless it happened to be a medical necessity. We decided that was the best answer as people will just ask you again and then you would be put in another awkward situation and have to make up more excuses. It worked, we’re still friends (neighbors) and she has never asked us again. I agree with a previous comment if you are going to lend… Read more »

Nina
Nina
6 years ago

My experience – lent a very good friend money, never expecting it to be paid back. While I did get some paid back, I basically forgave the loan because I knew that the person could not continue to pay me. This friend has been there for me in so many ways that I consider priceless. I would think twice about lending money to family or friends because it usually ends with hard feelings. I agree that if you consider it a gift, rather than a loan; and, give it with that attitude, then you will have some peace with the… Read more »

Kelly
Kelly
6 years ago

Has anyone ever encountered someone who has family in other countries where it is customary to send part of your paycheck to family members? I have a friend whose husband is from Africa but they live in the States with their baby daughter. They struggle financially (due to poor choices) but yet they send money to his family every month, with no chance of getting it back, and my friend regularly complains about not having enough money. I have told her that their first priority should be to take care of their family, but he won’t budge despite the fact… Read more »

cherie
cherie
6 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

they’re no different than the other folks discussed here – their choices are poor, spending more than they make, and one of the things they’re spending on is sending money back to Africa . . . or Lithuania . . . or to the sister who doesn’t ever have enough money in Iowa . . . all the same thing – just another money choice.

The bottom line is until they really want to make the changes necessary to live within their means they’ll always have this problem . . .

lmoot
lmoot
6 years ago
Reply to  cherie

I disagree. The sister in Iowa has access to resources that don’t exist in other places. There’s system in place and more often than not the system catches people before they die of disease and starvation. In other places, there is no such net. The husband is probably their net, and he knows it.

cherie
cherie
6 years ago
Reply to  lmoot

I agree that the out of country gifts are a valuable choice – however the issue here is that they’re not making the correct choices to allow them to be someone else’s safety net right now.

lmoot
lmoot
6 years ago
Reply to  lmoot

Good point, I agree. They should definitely take the opportunity to focus on how they can improve their situation so that they can continue to help the family and not struggle at the same time.

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

My suggestion to her is to stop complaining and be grateful for what she has.

lmoot
lmoot
6 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

I’ve been sending money back to family, also in Africa, practically since my first job at 15 (very puny amounts, but still). Right now my sister and I pay our cousins’ rent while they attend school. If we didn’t, they (ages ranging from 12-19) would most likely be separated to go off and stay with strange families where being molested or violated in other ways and treated like the family maid is a real possibility. The village they live in only has up to 5th grade, so they have to move to the city to continue education. We just sent… Read more »

two fish
two fish
6 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

During the U.S. recession in the early 1990s, there was a news story about immigrants in my city who couldn’t send money home because they needed all their earnings to live on here.

One woman’s children were living in Central America with their grandmother. Grandma couldn’t grasp the concept of difficult economic times in America. She believed her daughter was choosing not to send the money, and lied to the kids that their mother was dead.

Sometimes reluctant realist
Sometimes reluctant realist
6 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

There are cultural differences about money and relationships, but that should not mean you have to alter your own culture. A very close friend of mine for many years was from a cultural background where most parts of his life were a communal experience for just about everything (good or bad – family and friends involved in every decision, activity, etc). I come from a culture that highly values self reliance and self sufficiency (feels very awkward asking for help). As the years went on our different cultural backgrounds contributed to us beginning to diverge financially – he struggling with… Read more »

getagrip
getagrip
6 years ago

I borrowed a few thousand from my MIL to cover some cash flow issues some years ago and every time I gave her a check she gave me a dirty look and later my wife would say “she doesn’t want you to pay her back, you’re just making her mad.” I couldn’t let it lie because it was a loan to me but when I got it down to $1000 and she threatened to disown my wife I finally gave up. If she wanted to gift it to us, she could have just said so. So I’ve stopped paying her… Read more »

Former Enabler
Former Enabler
4 years ago
Reply to  getagrip

Pay it back, that’s wrong to let it go unpaid for your own mental health (I know, I am the same way about paying off my debts). Explain to your MIL you are not a person who is comfortable with unpaid loans. If she wants to buy you a gift with the money that you repay her, that’s her decision. But you gotta pay it back.

Otherwise that will hang over your head forever.

That Career Girl
That Career Girl
6 years ago

I agree with only giving the money if you see it as a gift. I would offer to help in other ways but I don’t believe giving money is the answer. I had an acquaintance who began calling around for money, and many suspected a gambling addiction. Where it is a suspected addiction, loaning money would be enabling the addiction and doing more harm than good. And if the person doesn’t trust you enough to tell you what the money will be used for, they shouldn’t be asking you for money in the first place.

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