Can you lend me money … ?

I once lent my best friend money. My mother and my father told me that I will lose my money and my friend. I told them that would never happen. My mom and dad got it right. They have been there. The more I listen the more I see that this happens to almost everyone. The amounts may differ, but the sad endings are all the same.

We all have that one friend that conveniently leaves their wallet at home when the bill arrives in a restaurant at the end of a meal. You know, that guy that searches in his pockets frantically and then has that coy look on his face, and lands up having no money on him, again. Yes, some people are simply tight when it comes to the dosh. But we take it on the chin.

What happens though when someone asks you to lend them money. This is never an easy situation. Perhaps you can’t afford to help them. Or perhaps you are dealing with your own pressures and just can’t handle anything more at the present time. Whatever the reason it is something one can’t just dismiss. Friends are there for each other, but, as we all have learned, when it comes to money and friends, it very rarely ends well. Yes, we all wish we could help everyone who needs it, but in reality we can’t.

Friends in business most often land up fighting. Perhaps because friends expect more from each other. When a bank loans a person money they are not doing it out of friendship. There is paperwork and checks and balances. And there is a business reason. That is how the bank generates its revenues. And if something goes wrong it could get serious and litigious. But, when a friend makes a mistake it generally gets emotional, and that never solves anything.

I have lost a few friends because of money. The money can be earned again, but the friendship is gone. If money was no object and you wanted to help everyone around you, then go wild. But, if you dealing with your own challenges and a friend asks you to give them some financial help then what do you do? Sometimes you do help, and sometimes you just don’t know how to respond.

A mentor friend told me once that the next time someone asks me to help them financially that I should do the following: Offer them 10% of the required amount as a gift. That way you don’t expect it back, and your trust and your friendship will be preserved. And if 9 other friends now help that person too, then everything will be in harmony. This sage life guidance has been put into practice a few times, and I have lost no further friends.