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Ask Anyone

payback's a bitch

I have this friend who’s always borrowing money and slow to pay it back. It’s never a huge sum, but like $20 here or there, $50 once in a while. Over time, I get most of it back, I guess. It’s not like we have formal IOUs or anything. He’s been struggling more of late because he lost his job, and my heart goes out to him. The problem is, I lent him $100 back in January to pay some parking tickets so he could get his car back on the road and now he’s claiming he already paid it back.

I’m not lending him any more, but the problem remains that I’m out $100. I’d like to say it’s just the principal of the thing, but the fact is I’m not made of money myself and I could really use that $100. What do I do?


Smart Money says: When one lends money, one should assume one will never see that money again. Maybe this person really does think he paid you back. Probably not. Just don’t lend him money again, and IF he asks, let him know you’re not rolling in it and it sucks that you’re out the hundred bucks... so you can’t front him cash anymore. Good luck with this. Uncomfortable situations suck.

The Gay Perspective: As my father once said to me, “When you ‘lend’ a friend money, you do so with the awareness that you may never see the money again.” Say goodbye to that hundred bucks and forget about it, except to remember never to lend money to this friend again. Also, if I may offer you some unsolicited advice: never sell a used car to a friend or buy a used car from a friend—take my word for it.

The Omniscient One: This is why one should always remember their Shakespeare “Never a borrower or a lender be.” That said, what my brother usually does is wait until he can track down the person who owes him money in some very important social situation, like a wedding or dinner in a fancy restaurant and then confronts them bellowing at the top of his very mighty lungs “I WANT MY FUCKING MONEY. WHERE’S MY FUCKING MONEY?” I’ve witnessed this on more than one occasion. It’s quite alarming and effective. He usually gets paid back very quickly afterwards.

The Sales Guy says: It is my experience with the “chippers”—the nickle and dime people who chip away at your wallet until you’re fed up. The best way to get your money back is to constantly ask for it back. I mean right at the “hello.”

Two very positive things will occur. One, you will get PART of your money back (lets face it, whose kidding who) or they will duck and avoid you forever.


The Other Hand says: By all means write this friend off when it comes to lending money. But as for the $100 you’re out, why not borrow say $10 from ten different people? That size loan usually comes out in the wash.

Strictly Classified says: I think the Bard says it best: Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend.

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