Should You Lend Money To Friends?

Should You Lend Money To Friends?

Should You Lend Money To Friends?

Money and friendship often does not mix very well. Money and friendship is often like drinking and driving. Money can part the best of friends, and can even sour sibling relationships in some instances.

The borrower feels the lender should be more understanding, or even write off the debt entirely for the sake of friendship, especially when the lender seems relatively much better off financially than the borrower, and should be able to afford to do without the amount in question.  The lender feels used and being taken for granted.

Owing a friend can be awkward, especially when the debt is past due. You start to feel uncomfortable, and start offering excuses even in instances when none is demanded. When you hear the footfalls of your creditor, your heart begins to race, especially when payment is always demanded each time you meet. Soon you begin to avoid each other.

Abuse of friendship

Borrowing money from a friend is an abuse of friendship. There is an inherent emotional blackmail in the demand – if you love me, you will help, which means if you don’t, then you don’t care. That is subtle manipulation. Often, some friends abuse the privilege of being close to make demands when they know their friend just got paid some money – a bonus, pay rise, an unexpected windfall etc. Suddenly the ‘friend’ comes for a loan, more like his share of the windfall. Some friends borrow with no intent to pay back. They feel the money is one of their fringe benefits from the friendship.

Lack of forward planning

Some people simply do not plan ahead. They operate on a pay as you go basis. Some look for money to borrow to pay maternity hospital bills, you begin to wonder if the baby dropped from the sky. All babies give 9 months notice, enough to plan ahead and get everything ready. You would expect anyone who is not ready to shoulder the responsibility of a new baby to locate the road to the nearest family planning clinic.

Some look for money to borrow to pay for school fees for expensive private schools, but the same folks will turn their noses at public schools. When they attempt to carry what is too heavy for them, rather than lighten their load by scaling down, they look for help. When you help with the first term fees, what about second and third terms? Is the help or loan sustainable? Is there any end in sight?

Giving with wisdom

This is not to say you cannot help a friend in need. We are to help others to the best of our ability. However, it is unwise to help other at the expense of our financial stability. It aircraft safety briefings, you are advised to put on your oxygen mask first in the event of a sudden drop in cabin pressure before you help others. If you are panting for breath yourself, you put both lives in danger. If you are not an expert swimmer, if you attempt to help a drowning man, you will be caught in a death grip which will put both lives in danger. The best thing to do is to call for help.

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