Saying “No” to Family and Friends: Financial Stability

In the above photo from WordPress, two friends disagree over a loan

About the author: Jermaine Reed, MFA is a college professor and writer from Chicago, who creates fiction, nonfiction and local and national news stories. For self-publishers, authors and other writers and Creatives, Jermaine provides proofreading on Fivver. Please join Jermaine’s email list to get notifications on new blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get his recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here.

After all the crushing student loan debt, coffee laden nights into the wee hours of the morning, studying until you nod into a stained book, you have landed a career. You are worn, beaten but semi-optimistic, even if you are not confident in your abilities. However, on the outside, all your family and friends see is the one who made it. Or they view you as “the one who has it all together”. All they see is the degrees and career. They assume you have money now, so much of it that you should loan it to them. Or give it to them. Just say “no” to loaning money to family and friends to save your relationships.

…they get money [from you] and they won’t…pay it back.

Saying no to a family member or friend’s financial requests may be uncomfortable, but it will save your relationship. Say for instance that when you call to collect your money, that family member or friend does not answer. Hours turn into days and then weeks. Still nothing. You will be upset and feel betrayed. The other person may argue that you are overreacting and that the money is no big deal. They will make you feel bad for requesting your funds back. Undoubtedly, this will alter your relationship with this person forever in a bad way. So, how do you say no?

Chances are, the person who wants to borrow money from you has already burned you in the past. Since then, the amount of money they want to borrow has increased. You know why? They have already burned you in the past, and that was a test. You did nothing significant when they didn’t pay you in the past. They also know you’re good for the money. It’s a win-win for them.

In this photo, gold and silver Bitcoin shine among fresh $100 bills.

The above noted, if a person wants to borrow money from you but did not repay a past loan, just say no in one of these ways:

1. I understand your need, and I wish I could help you, but you did not repay me last time. (If this is too much for you, use the next one)

2. I don’t have it right now. (If this is a lie and you don’t like to lie, use the next one)

3. I understand your need, but you didn’t pay me back last time. In order for me to loan you anything else, you must first repay the last loan in full. I know if you had the money now to pay me, you wouldn’t be asking, but I need my money upon the conditions we agreed because I have my own expenses.

You do not owe anybody anything

Still, you feel a little guilty every time you say no, but why? By nature, you’re a giving person, and if you have it to give, why not? Well, a loan is not a gift. If you want to give all your money away, go ahead by any means. But what will you get in return? Most likely cold shoulders and indifference, other than maybe one or two people who are likely your parents or longtime friend.

You do not owe anybody anything. Each time you punch a clock, wake up earlier than you want to, make it to work on time or pay your bills, it is because of the hard work you put in. That time sheet doesn’t have your begging friend’s name or your greedy brother’s. It is yours. You worked for it.

In the above photo, a hard working man struggles while studying

Moreover, you have to be a little selfish in life. That doesn’t mean stop donating to your favorite charity or not to give spare change to homeless individuals. It means that you must make the right decision for yourself not to harm yourself. For instance, you loan your best friend money on the promise that person will repay you next week on a certain day. You need this money for your phone bill.

However, on the day your friend is supposed to pay you back, they ghost you and your phone gets disconnected. “My check didn’t come”, “My account was overdrawn so the money was taken when it was deposited” or other excuses are what your friend will use. At the end of the day, you put yourself in a bad situation. Now, you may have to borrow some money or have your phone embarrassingly disconnected until you can pay.

Are you fine? When was the last time someone other than your parents asked?

All of that said, self-care is important. Are you OK? Are you fine? When was the last time someone other than your parents asked? You have worked hard to earn your way. You don’t owe anything to anyone, except yourself. Never lend what you can not afford to lose.

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Published by J Reed

J Reed is a Chicago-based fiction writer. When he isn't making a pretense of writing to avoid real work, he is making a pretense of really working. Please comment or email him at jdabossreed@gmail.com .

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