Never, Ever, Loan Out Money

I’ve had a few money loaning experiences in my life, but there’s one that particularly stands out in my mind.

Back in high school, 10th grade history class, a girl asked to borrow $2. I handed it over easily, thinking I’d get it back the next day as she promised. Next day comes around, nothing. I start to fume. She does mention that she forgot the money and would give it back the following day. A week goes by, nothing. I’m seriously upset but being the quiet person that I am, I never raised the issue. The girl continues with life as if borrowing money never happened and I never got my $2 back.

Funny even now 15+ years after the matter, I’m almost as upset about the incident as if it had happened yesterday. I believe this incident really opened my eyes to people who are responsible and people who aren’t. I’m glad that I learned the lesson early on to never loan out money again even though that $2 still hurts!

As a general rule, I don’t believe in loaning out money to anyone. I do open up my wallet when there is a serious need, but I never expect to be paid back, nor do I call it a “loan.”

A while back my mechanic asked if he could borrow some money to pay his property tax bill as the city was about to take it away. My family has known him since I was a kid so it was a fairly easy decision to help him out. To hand over money knowing that I would never see it again was hard, but it felt good to be able to help the guy out. He had had a couple of tough years and had spent a good amount of time and money into fixing up his place so it would be hard to see it taken away from him.

A few months later, my mom’s car broke down about an hour away. My mechanic drove out to pick her up and fixed her car. When my mom tried to pay him, he refused and claiming he was returning a favor. We ended up working out a deal where he would continue to service our cars in exchange for paying off the money he borrowed. It became a win-win situation for both of us.

Does the “situation” make a difference when loaning money?

In one short answer “YES.” I’ll say it again, “YES! YES! YES!!!

Take this incident. One day there was a text from Crystal asking to borrow $20. My response, “Please stop asking for money.” Harsh? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Crystal is a woman in her early 30’s, a single mom, no job (nor the desire to get one), uneducated (not even a GED), surviving completely on welfare. She smokes regularly (both legally and illegally) and drinks. She is what I would call a drain on society.

Why would anyone in their sane mind loan money to this person? What would the $20 be used for? Will it significantly change their situation in life? No. I suppose my point here is that I want to know that my money would go toward something important like preventing a hard working man from becoming homeless and not wasted away to continue someone’s bum lifestyle. I worked damn hard for that money and I want to see it used wisely.

When I told a friend about this, he tells me that he would just ignore text messages like that. Do you think this is the way to go?

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