Monday, July 12, 2010

Friend and money are like... two things that are very poorly matched.

I know mixing friends with money is always a bad idea.  I never do it; I made an exception this time because of circumstances and because I felt bad for this friend.

Last year I helped a very close friend out who was really in dire straits; I told my friend that I would not do the work for free, that because of my own financial problems I needed to be paid (we're talking just less than $200, by the way).  I was told I would be paid as soon as my friend received some expected money.  It didn't happen when my friend got that payment, so I asked to be paid before Christmas. I really could have used the money for Christmas stuff.  My friend knew this and agreed to pay me before Christmas.

I didn't get paid before Christmas.  I let it slide.

I let it slide through the new year and the first few months, bringing it up only once and was told yes, I would get some money. I didn't get any money.  It's been a year now and I still haven't seen any money.

I find myself becoming very resentful when I hear complaints of I am so broke! interspersed with stories of shopping trips that involve name brand clothes or $340 worth of shoes.  I am trying to remind myself that I shouldn't let this bother me; that it is none of my business what my friend spends money on, but (clearly) it is bothering me. 

A large part of me feels incredibly disrespected by this. I feel taken advantage of. I am upset that my friend chooses to spend money on expensive material things instead of paying me back; I get mad when I read about it on facebook or hear about it over the phone.

I spent time with my friend last weekend and because I didn't have any cash on me, my friend graciously lent me some.  I am going to be seeing my friend again soon, and I know I will be asked to pay back the money.  I want to remind my friend of the outstanding money owed to me and suggest that I just subtract what I owe from what is owed to me.  This is probably going to not go over well, as my friend is honestly hard up financially these days. I am worried about how this is going to impact our friendship.

I feel petty and small and kind of mean about this.  At the same time, I feel like I should not have to wait a year to get paid.  And yes, this is small potatoes, but I dammit, I worked for that money.



  1. Hm. I'd say write it off as a loss and don't do it again. That's what I'd do, anyway.

  2. Lesson learned here - DON'T LEND MONEY TO FRIENDS especially if they are notoriously broke. Yeah, less than $200 may seem like peanuts but its a weeks worth of groceries in your house. Your damn right hearing that your friend has purchased $340 on name brand shoes is bothersome and not to mention insulting. I do think as uncomfortable as it may be, you need to confront your friend (or you can wait until she asks you to pay the money back..I'm just curious though, how much did you "borrow"?) Sis, if you have money to throw around, throw some my way!

  3. Ugh, I had the same thing happen not too long ago. I was trying to be nice because she lent me money, which I paid back even though I didn't have the means to really do so. She took months and months. Finally she gave me the money in two separate payments which I had to go to the other side of town to pick up. All while she was taking extravagant vacations with her boyfriend and kids. I'll never lend money again.... Besides, these days I barely have enough to keep ME afloat...

  4. Ugh. I don't envy you. I certainly wouldn't do work for her again. And maybe around tax time you could type up an formal looking invoice and give it to her to let her know that you're trying to tie up loose ends?
    My husband works for friends, but always insists on being paid on the same day... in food. He hates dealing with the payment part of it all.

    Good luck to you! I'm interested in knowing how it goes over.

  5. My husband and I made a rule: we never lend anyone money. We give it. If we can't give it, with full knowledge we'll never see it again, we don't give it.

    This we learned after being taken advantage of in a way that's exactly what you're describing. We lent money to a narcissist who felt too entitled to bother with paying it back. And we agonized over asking to be paid back, for fear we'd offend this jerk-off. Disgusting.

    So I say this knowing it's easier said than done, but, ask for your money back, point blank. No emotion, no explaining, no reasoning. You have every right to do so. Good luck.

  6. Yeah, I agree with Rootietoot. Write it off. Don't do it again.

    I like what LucyCooper wrote. Although I can't imagine *us* being able to give money to anyone any time soon!

  7. I like what LucyCooper said..
    To me, $200 is a car payment, it's almost 1/2 my rent, it's my utility bills, it's just short of a child support payment I'm not getting from my ex husband, it's not something I can do without. $20 is a lot of $$ some weeks...

    Sit your friend down and say "I am pretty sure when I agreed to do the work for you, you agreed to pay me the agreed upon amount. I kept my end of things, now it's time you did the same."

  8. ugh. That is a sucky situation. I agree with the others - is really expensive lesson. It might be worth it to ask a final time, but also, when I get to the place where it sounds like you are now, the friendship is over from my side. Sorry.


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