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May 16, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Peas & Queues – Lending Money to Friends

When I was just a wee thing of 17, I took out my first student loan. They were the golden days when all you had to do was dial a number, tell them how much you needed, and it would be promptly delivered to your bank account no questions asked.

There was a dude. Let’s call him Richard. That was his name. I had a ridiculous crush on him, so when he asked to borrow some money, I just said: “Sure, how much?”. I drew down $300 on my student loan and forked it over to said crush. He made a cursory effort to pay me back, once handing me $20 with that boyish grin of his and promising I’d see the rest next dole day. That never happened, of course. And I know for a fact the money went on cigarettes, weed, porn and ‘art supplies’.

The moral of the story is not that you shouldn’t lend friends money. People say that, but I don’t think it’s as simple as that. I think the advice should really be: Feel free to lend friends money, just don’t expect to see it again. It’s not the money that’s the problem, but the expectation it will be paid back, and then the disappointment when it’s not, and then the resulting resentment that impacts on the friendship.

That’s not to say you should have a lend-to-any-friend, no-questions-asked policy—that would just be foolish. But you can make some smart decisions about who to give to. There are some friends you see buying everyone rounds on pay day and new books/clothes/music before they’ve paid rent, and who would happily ask anyone, even acquaintances, for a spare $20 because they’ve run out of money again. They’re the ones to avoid lending money to. But the friends you have known a long time, are pretty sensible with money, and who wouldn’t be asking unless they were desperate, are okay to lend to. Think of it like Christmas—do you buy that friend a Christmas present? No? Then why would you give them $60?

Give money as a gift, not a loan. If you get it back, awesome; if you don’t, hopefully you’ll feel like you’ve done a good friend a kindness.

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  1. Ice says:

    Mighty uefsul. Make no mistake, I appreciate it.

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