How To Deal With Loaning Money To Friends And Family
Loaning money to friends or family is a situation that almost everyone has experienced at one point or the other. Emotion and obligation are involved because you want to help out and lots of promises are made in regards to when and how the loan will be paid back. The trouble is, a good percentage of the time, when you loan money to friends and family, the repayment is delayed or you just never get your money back and that's not good for you. In this post I'm going to give you some tips how to deal with loaning money to family and friends!
Tips on how to deal with loaning money to family and friends
1. Determine if you can afford it
When it comes to loaning money to your family and friends, it should not be at the expense of your own financial goals and bills especially if the money is not needed for an emergency situation. If you have debt, or pressing bills to pay and someone is asking you for a loan to pay for a plane ticket or a pair of shoes then it doesn't make any sense for you to loan them the money. You cannot afford to pay your bills late or ignore your debt so someone else can go on holiday or buy new shoes.
Also regardless of what the loan is for, paying your bills and your debt and contributing to your financial goals should be the priority. If you have spare money to loan to a friend or family member it should be after all your financial obligations are met.
"When it comes to loaning money to family and friends be honest about what you can afford and don't be afraid to say no!"
2. Be clear on the repayment terms
When you loan money, the plan for repayment should not be "when they have it" or "in a couple" weeks. If the repayment plan is too vague the chances that you will get your money returned to you are slim. Pick a date, send them reminders and follow up.
3. Have the expectation that you may not get your money back
People who borrow money from friends and family don't always take the loan as seriously as they should because there is no contract and there is really not much you can do about it when it comes to getting your money back. You cannot garnish their wages and you can't put it on their credit report. Also when people owe money, many will "forget" or become hard to reach all of a sudden. So when you loan money, keep this rule in mind - "If you cannot afford to loose it, don't loan it". This will help you avoid a ton of headache and stress. Don't use money designated for your upcoming bills or financial goals as a loan to anyone or you might be stuck when your bills are due.
4. Learn to say no
If you don't have it, can't afford it or the loan purpose doesn't make sense to you then don't be afraid to say no. Unfortunately money is one of the top reasons why relationships and friendships disintegrate and if your friend or family doesn't like your response or feels like you don't want to help them out it can become a problem. You can offer an explanation if you choose to i.e. you have your own bills to pay, and if they cannot understand where you are coming from then maybe you need to step back and reassess your friendship or relationship as a whole.
5. Build it into your budget
if loaning or giving money to a family member is something you are obligated to doing often then build it into your budget so you make sure you plan for the loan or the gift you are giving in relation to your other expenses and money goals.
There is nothing wrong with helping others out. In fact helping others out and being generous should be part of the way you live your life, however it has to make sense for you and should not derail your financial goals.
Bola Sokunbi is the founder of Clever Girl Finance and she's passionate about helping women take control of their money so they can live life on their own terms.