Mixing friendship with finances can get messy quickly. Whether it’s a group road trip or a group dinner or a group of season tickets, the truth of the matter is that sometimes we either have to temporarily pay for others’ expenses or have someone temporarily pay for our expenses.
The unfortunate side of these situations is that not all people in our lives are as money-conscious as we are (or, on the other hand, maybe they’re the money-conscious ones). So, if you’re going to foot the bill for some of your friends when they promise to pay you back for their share, it’s important to do business with the ones you can trust.
Here are 5 reasons why I always pay friends back quickly.
1) The Golden Rule
Remember the age-old Golden Rule, which states “Do unto others as they would undo to you?” Yeah, that definitely applies here!
Of course, if I covered a tab, I’d want my friend to pay me back sooner versus later. So I try to do the same thing if the situation is reversed. It’s simply the nice thing to do. Plus, even if your own financial situation doesn’t hinge on receiving repayment of a few dollars, you never really know your friends’ financial situations. You may forget about a $10 IOU, but if your friend is struggling financially, they could be relying on receiving prompt repayment.
2) Use Technology to Quickly Pay Them Back
Nowadays, we have amazing technology which allows us to pay our friends back right away. Apps like Venmo, Paypal, and Zelle are all free to use. If you’re like me and don’t carry cash, you’ll want to check out one of these apps.
These types of apps connect to your checking account. You can send your friends money digitally, making it super easy! Plus, if you do forget, your friend can “request payment” from you, which is an easy and nice way for them to send a reminder.
3) Protect Your Reputation
You don’t want to be known as that friend who always skips out on the bill! Protect your reputation by always paying your friends back quickly.
And this goes further than just your friends. For instance, if you forget to pay a coworker back for a few lunches out, it could be detrimental to your career. Don’t let such a minor thing affect your reputation! Pay your friends back right away.
4) Avoid the Awkwardness
It’s always awkward when someone forgets to pay you back. If I loan a friend money, I hate sending the dreaded follow-up text to remind them that they owe me. Apps like Venmo make it a little less awkward because I can do the “request payment” feature, but I’d still prefer not to do that at all.
5) It’s My Responsibility to Remember
Lastly, when a friend offers to pay and have me pay them back, I take that responsibility seriously. My friend isn’t a personal credit card. If they covered a tab, it’s my responsibility to remember to pay them back quickly and the right amount.
Rachel Slifka is a freelance writer and human resources professional. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials find success with their finances and careers. Read more by checking out her website at RachelSlifka.com.