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  • #137033
    Elisabeth
    Participant

    I borrowed money ($2000) from a friend ( I know, was a poor decision, but the best one I could make at the time) last summer and paid her back in full recently. During this time, both of our financial situations have changed (mine for the better, hers for the worse). She asked me if she could borrow a significant amount of money ($6500). At the time, I said yes because she’s a good friend and I want to really help her out. Now, I want to change my mind. We have been friends for 20 years, but last summer was the first (and last time) I have asked for money. She has never asked me for money before, but I have paid thousands of dollars for her rent and to take her on vacation. I feel really guilty that I am changing my mind, especially since I normally don’t do this and she has helped me out. However, I feel that she is not really helping herself out. Am I wrong? I don’t know how to proceed.

    #137407
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Elisabeth,

    Did she pay you back for all the rent? And for the vacation did she offer to chip in?

    Is it the sheer volume ($6000) that is making you balk?

    The best way to say “No” to someone studies have shown is to say “No” and then immediately ask for a favor.

    Example: “I wish I could but I had to send some $$ to my cousin with the sick baby. Hey, listen, my car’s in the shop, do you mind driving me to the dentist?”

    My general rule for myself is to say YES (up to a certain amount) but not to lend money again until everything is paid back.

    Good Luck!

    Inky

    #137573
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elisabeth:

    I think it is perfectly fine for you to change your mind and not to loan her the money she asked for (or any amount). You do not have an ethical obligation to do so.

    You had the ethical obligation to pay her back the money she loaned you, and you did that.

    Let her know you changed your mind. Do so simply, clearly, respectfully- no need to get into unnecessary details, you don’t have to give her reasons for choosing to not loan her money, no need to be apologetic for your decision to not loan her money. (a short apology for giving her the first Yes will do).

    anita

    #137631
    Elisabeth
    Participant

    Thank you both for the response. She has never paid me back and I have never asked. Honestly, I think of it as a gift, so she doesn’t need to pay me. I ended up telling her that I would prefer to help with a couple payments rather than give her the money. I told her I can cover her moving costs or pay her medical bills. My financial help will stop there as I have my own bills and family to provide for. Thank you for letting me know it is OK for me to change my mind. I love my friend, but she needs to figure her financial situation out.

    #137633
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elisabeth:

    You are welcome. Reads to me like you are and have been very generous with your friend.

    anita

    #137645
    Elisabeth
    Participant

    Yes. A small part of me feels obligated because I generally keep my word, but this is something I am OK with since its a much smaller amount and I don’t feel like I am enabling her actions.

    #137651
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elisabeth:

    You are a good friend, reads to me. And keep friendships Win-Win.

    anita

    #140875
    Elisabeth
    Participant

    Here’s an update: 10 days ago, I called my friend to follow up on my email offering to help by paying for a service (movers, a medical bill, etc). She declined and asked if I could get her a prepay Visa card or if I could add her to my bank card. I really feel that was overstepping her boundaries and I declined. Today, she sent me a request asking for $2000. At this point, I don’t feel like helping at all as I feel she wants the money to pay her credit cards and that’s not how I want to help her. She has about $70,000 worth of credit card debt and until she changes her spending habits, I don’t see that changing in the future. I would rather help with one time expenses or not help at all as I’m not going to enable her spending. I’m pretty sure I am right, but feel a little guilty for sticking with my boundaries.

    #140917
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elisabeth:

    I think it is a good choice on your part to not forward her any money whatsoever, in any form. Is she a friend or a financial dependent..?

    anita

    #140977
    Elisabeth
    Participant

    I already have one dependent and don’t need a second. 🙂

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