Four months ago, almost exactly, I lent my friend “Jackie” $5,000 even though I swore I wouldn’t lend to a friend again (to save on troubles, heartache, relationship stuff, etc). But she was going through a temporary hard spot and had a plan of paying me back, so I caved and decided it was worth the chance. And I was right! I am now 2-1 in the “loaning money to friends” department, and it’s never felt better ;)
But, I think I really have learned my lesson this time. Not that anything horrible happened or anything, it didn’t, but it was just “weird” at times and not worth the stress of getting freaked out here and there. The 2 months turned into 2 and 1/2 months, and then into 3, and then finally into 4 – and I’ll admit I started having my doubts. The entire time Jackie kept me in the loop and ALWAYS was super diplomatic about things, and I have always trusted her throughout our entire relationship, but as soon as a little seed was planted in my head that there WAS a chance of not getting that money back, I started getting scared.
And that’s never good in a relationship no matter what kind it is. Money should never come before friends or family members, and every time I was agreeing to those loans I was opening up a world of possibilities. It feels GOOD helping out your friends, but it’s def. not fun ;) And one thing I’ve learned from YOU guys after all these years, is that if you’re gonna lend out the money, you might as well call it a “gift” and NOT expect it back.
I think that’s the right way to go. And I also think I’m not *there* yet to be able to do that. I WANT to be at that point, and never think twice whenever a friend’s in need, but deep down I still struggle with letting some of my money go. Even when I give to charities and projects of my own (*ahem* Love Drop). But I do, every single month, in hopes of becoming BETTER at it and really learning how to pay it forward when others out there need it so much more than ourselves. I guess life is always a work in progress, eh? :)
As for my friend Jackie – she’s unfortunately in the same position we left her at 4 months ago. Still one of the smartest people I have ever met in this entire world, but financially it’s just not going her way. All the job prospects went out the window, and she’s still out there hustling and trying to make things happen day after day (and I still don’t think she has a credit card btw, though not sure if that’s good or bad at this point?). I know she’ll eventually recover, and I’ll be by her side throughout it all, but I think for now I’ll stick to the emotional and there-for-you support, over more of the financial. I’m too afraid of the possibilities of hurting our relationship again :(
Anyone else going through something similar right now? Either on the giving or receiving end?