Generosity among friends is well and good, but what happens when your friend oversteps the monetary boundaries?
If any of these statements sound familiar, you’re not alone. There’s always that one friend who seems to short-change you when it’s time to cough up the cash. When it comes to dollars and cents, there really is no such thing as too trivial an amount to care – it’s ultimately about mutual respect. Here are three foolproof (and polite) ways to tell that pal to pay up.
Give Them Time
A friend of yours has asked for a loan and it’s only fair to set a date for her to pay you back, particularly when it’s a substantial amount. Discuss when she would be back in the black – there shouldn’t be a problem as long as she intends to repay you. However, if you sense hesitation, there’s your red flag, especially if this isn’t the first time she’s borrowed cash from you. The failure to provide you with concrete answers is your cue to decline the loan. Remember, you’re neither her parents nor ATM.
Pay What’s Yours
The most common forms of freeloading comes when splitting bills, helping a friend buy lunch, or sharing cabs. When you sense your friend always asks you to pay first or says things like “remind me to pay you back later”, point out that you’ve been shouldering the load for a while. Should a friend have the habit of hopping out of a taxi without paying, ask her for cash before she gets off.
It’s easy to jump to conclusions if a friend frequently borrows money. However, there’s the possibility that she really is in need of financial help. Money is a sensitive issue, but tiptoeing around it isn’t going to solve the problem. Ask her in person if she’s having some problems and see if a compromise can be reached. It may be awkward but open communication helps clear tension and also lets a freeloader know you’re onto her and won’t be taken advantage of.