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I loaned my uncle $100, and i will not be getting it back.

by J. Money on Thursday, July 10, 2008

i will miss you $100This is part one of a two part series on loaning family money. This is the not-so-good part.

When it comes to mixing money & family, i’m usually against it. As it turns out though, i can easily be convinced ;)

People say they’ll loan out money if they trust they’ll get it back, but how do you know who WILL and who WON’T do so? Are your friends and family inherently trustful in this dept? For me, If i’m not sure I can trust you, I’ll at least test the waters.

my uncle’s situation.
He’s in his late 50′s, broke, and unfortunately barely living off unemployment, disability, and who knows what else. He’s been loaned money dozens and dozens of times (literally) by friends and family, and has rarely paid them back – if ever.

So WHY exactly did i loan him money? Well, when it comes down to it I love him to death. He’s always been the “cool” and “fun” uncle, and I REALLY wanted to give him a chance to redeem himself, at least in the eyes of his direct family. Of course, there was no way in hell i was gonna tell my parents this – they’ve lost thousands and have had enough.

He asked for $400 so he can finally move back to the area and be closer to all of us, and promised to repay it back within 2 months, but ESPECIALLY before our wedding. At the time, that was 3 months away.

Initially i thought Hell to the No! I need that money for the wedding, and the odds of getting it back, at least according to past history, was a good 10% – if that. But you know what? I figured i’ve never been burnt by him before, and it’s probably taken a lot of guts to ask for $ from someone half his age. And he MUST be serious in returning it ESPECIALLY because of the upcoming wedding.

Instead of the full $400, I agreed to $100 and blamed it on my lack of savings. I had to determine an amount that i could easily lose and still be okay with – and $100 was the magic number. We’d still be okay for the wedding, and I had just received a bonus so I could budget it in there fine. I also told him that if he paid it back on time, I will gladly loan him more down the road.

He understood, and was extremely gracious for it, so i dropped that bad boy in the mail hoping to one day see it again. And even more so to raise other’s opinion of him. It felt GREAT inside, and I forgot about it…apparently, he did too :(

my benjamin’s situation.
It’s now been 4 and 1/2 months, the wedding has come and gone, and the money is still “1 paycheck away”. And by paycheck, I mean the unemployment check as he hasn’t worked for quite some time.

The purpose of this post though isn’t to rag on my poor uncle (well okay, it is a little…but only cuz i need to vent somewhere!), but it’s really to help put things in perspective when this stuff happens. I’m definitely pissed i’m out the $100, but i have to remember that he needed it more than i did.

In all honesty, I can’t really blame anyone but myself. I knew full well that the odds were stacked against me going into this one. And regardless of his intentions or excuses, I at least accomplished my original goal – to give him a chance. It didn’t end pretty, but i’m gonna do my best to forgive and forget.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen @ Master the Art of Saving August 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm

It’s been 3 years since this post. Has your uncle paid you back any of it? Does he talk about it? I’m hoping that he still went to your wedding, right?

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2 J. Money August 2, 2011 at 2:59 am

HAH! No to the money, no to the wedding, and no to any other questions that may be brewing ;) But at least I gave him a chance to prove himself one way or the other. So now I know. Anytime I think about giving him more money, it’ll only be as a gift. He’s like a perpetual 16 y/o when it comes to money, stuck in a 60 y/o’s body ;) Love him to death though.

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