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You Asked: My Friend Keeps Asking to Borrow Money

Dear Sugar--


I recently became acquainted with a woman at my son's school. Since the area we live in is very affluent, and we are NOT, we sort of clung to each other for support. We talk daily about the kids, husbands, etc. However, recently, she has been asking to borrow money from me. I really don't have an issue as to if she'd pay me back - I trust that she would. The problem is, my husband and I barely survive on the money we do have. And she's not asking to borrow $20 or even $40, but a couple of hundred! I'm not a very direct person, I have to admit, I try to dance around the question saying, "Well, I have my rent due, and the car payment" thinking she'll drop it. But NO! She'll then ask, "Well, when's it due because I can pay you back before then." She has even gone as far to ask if I can take a direct deposit loan at my bank! At that point, I just ignore her constant calls. I'm really hurt that she would put me in this predicament.

She knows how much my husband makes, which isn't even close to 50k a year and she knows how we struggle. (The only reason we live in this area is because my landlord gave us a great deal on rent). I feel for her, they just moved out here from New York and she has no family and California can be an expensive place to live. But I also know that her husband makes 3 times what my husband makes and I don't feel it's my duty to bail her out just because they can't manage their money. How do I get her to quit asking for such big favors? She just hit me up today for $110!

--In a Sticky Situation Sally

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Dear In a Sticky Situation Sally--

I have to say right off the bat that friends and money don't mix. I completely understand if a friend asks for $20 every once in a while, but asking for hundreds of dollars is quite nervy, especially from an acquaintance! She definitely crossed the line here.

It sounds like she's kind of pushy and will keep asking until you either give it to her, or tell her "NO!" As hard as it may be, you need to be direct with her. Simply say, "I'm sorry, I wish I could help you, but I don't lend money to friends."

You've got your own family to take care of, and you shouldn't be made to feel like you have to lend her money just because she can't seem to manage hers. If she's a real friend, she'll understand and lay off the mooching. On the other hand, if she gets upset, then you know she's not a true friend after all and she only wants you for your money. Good luck Sally.

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