Why It’s Never A Good Idea To Lend Money To A Friend In Need

by Lauren F.

I know the title sounds harsh, but it really is never a good idea to lend money to a friend.  I have witnessed numerous encounters where my friends bickered about the exact amount of money that they owed each other even if it just came down to as little as $3.00.

While we are in college most of us may rely on getting money from our parents while some of us have a part time job after our classes end. I have worked at various part time jobs in high school and in college.

I have always been conscious of keeping track of how much money I spend and how much I should save up. Though I was always careful with my money, I fell into the familiar trap of spending my paycheck as soon as I got it at the end of the week.

Whether it was spent on new clothes or booze for the weekend, I was almost always broke yet again by Sunday.

Lending money when you barely can finance yourself is a difficult, and usually bad situation to be in. You don’t want to come off as being selfish to your friends, but it’s necessary to have that person understand your reasons for being stingy.

Your friend may have some problems paying the bills, but helping him or her out will then become your problem. Folks, here are the 3 tips on why you should not lend money to a friend in need.

1. You or your friend may forget the exact amount of money that is owed, which leaves plenty of room for scamming.

If you spot your friend because he or she did not have cash handy at the time, pay close attention to how much you spend.

Right after you purchase whatever it is you are getting for your friend, tell him or her the cost of it right away or take note of it on your phone. Quite frankly if it’s been three days before your friend finally pays you back, one of you is likely to start an argument about the exact amount of money owed.

2. If they are having trouble managing their finances now, won't they have just as much trouble paying you back in the future?

This is self-explanatory. If friends are having trouble paying their bills, and are coming to you for help wouldn't they have trouble paying you back as well?

“With money, you can buy a clock but not time.” - Chinese Proverb

Time is everything, and when you need to focus on paying your car insurance, electricity, heat, gas, rent (you get the big picture here), you will need to start saving up to do so.

So when a friend comes to you and says, “I will pay you back as soon as possible,” you’re going to have to let them figure this obstacle out by themselves. You may not be able to offer them money, but you can lend advice and truthfully that is the best assistance for a friend in need.

3. Don't let money ruin a friendship

“Money lent, an enemy made.” - Portuguese proverb

I’ve seen my fair share of friendships end due to the lending of money. It might not sound like a big problem, but it does get frustrating when you don’t get the money back when you need it.

Whether it’s just $10.00 or $1000.00, money is money these days, and with the unemployment rate growing and no guarantee of finding a secure job after college, you really need to save as much money as possible.

So with that being said, if you are honest and tell your friend why you can’t help them out, they will likely understand and move on. You still get to keep your friend and the cash, it’s the best of both worlds, everyone leaves a winner.

Photo credit: Shutter Shock