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.
Love this post. I borrow too and always immediately pay back. I want to see that About Amber page!
Do you mean the How I Roll series? If so, it’s coming, but it’s taking work! 🙂
The biggest thing has been to let a family member put a big balance on a credit card. It got paid off no issues or problems. That’s really the only thing I can think of. Maybe little piddly stuff here and there. I know what you mean about feeling out of control with debt. Not a good feeling at all!! That’s why I just say NO!!
Love this post.
I have a friend who is notorious for lagging on payments. She bought my old snowboard from me and even with me nagging, took more than a year to pay me for it! She’s been known to take her time paying back her share of vacation payments, and was 8 months behind on rent. the only reason she wasn’t evicted was b/c the landlord was the father of our friend and he felt bad. I told him not to feel bad for someone who has a luxury car worth $40k+ at the age of 24!
Wow, that’s exactly the kind of stuff I’m talking about! Just crazy she wouldn’t pay immediately on something she bought from you!
The worst part was that I sold her a year old snowboard (full retail value $500) for $150 and still took over a year to pay! But yet, she still had money to come home with new clothes from Nordstrom. I am (was) your friend, not American Express.
I generally don’t lend out my money to anyone, except my immediately family or BF (although he has never asked).
If I do “lend” it, like someone borrows a fiver because they couldn’t pay by credit card, I don’t expect it back, but I also don’t expect it to be a recurring issue when we go out to eat.
That being said, I have a pretty damn good memory for who owes me money. I can remember it back to high school, but I’m not sweating it.
Wow I agree! I always try to make sure that I pay them back right away. Or ask for separate checks if we are going out to eat!
But I’ve been the lender far too many times 🙁 I hate owing people money and I hate it even more when people owe me. I hate nagging but there is always this one person who never pays
Great post. I’m facing this issue right now as i’m taking a group trip with my friends. While I’m paying for the hotel for the trip, one of my other friends is paying for the rental car. We have decided to just have the money when the trip starts instead of when the reservations are made. I’m not worried about them not coming up with the amount because I (being the good friend I am) told them how much to save every week to have the money by the time we leave!
This is my first time around here, and I have to say I love your writing style!
Now down to business, I have been on both sides of the lending friend and I agree with your points. It’s just rude to treat your friend like a credit card and borrow money on your own terms. It’s best to come in prepared, and know that you can pay them back, and will as quickly as possible. The same goes for lending.
My aunt is one savvy chick (money, law, medicine, you name it) and always actually writes up a contract when I borrow money. (I have only gone to her when I need large sums quickly) She charges interest and everything is business. I love going to her because I know we both benefit, thus I feel no guilt. I also know everything is clear in the contract. I know what she expects of me, and what I expect of her and myself. It’s a win-win and keeps our relationship healthy.