What are friends for?

So, you get a call, a request, an email from a friend. When you need money, what do you do? Do you repeatedly depend on friends to solve your cash flow problems if you have them? Or do you find other ways to meet your fiscal needs. This is a dilemma. I'm not talking about the type of crisis where you need some money to pay the rent, buy the groceries, feed the kids, but the type of crisis where its just not clear. And if you find yourself there, do you find yourself there over and over again?

Let’s say, I have a legal problem. I need a lawyer. How do I get the money together to pay the lawyer’s retainer. And let’s say I've been here before. You know what I would do? I’d save it. Maybe ten bucks a week if that was all I had and just wait until I knew could pay. It might take a long time, but that’s what I would do. Is this where you are?

But now, let’s say I couldn’t save it. Then what? Would you try to sell something? Anything? Drum up some business if you are a freelance type, get a loan from a bank, hock your jewelry? Hock someone else’s jewelry? Is this where you are?

Would you ask a family member for some cash and at what point? Before or after you tried one and two above? Would you ask them to give it to you or would you ask them for a loan?

At what point, if any, would you ask your friends for money? You have food, and a place to stay, you aren’t going to jail and there is no life threatening illness, let's be clear.

At what point would you send out and email and ask for mass donations? Do you think you would get them?


Hit me up, and let’s discuss this. This happened to me and I had very mixed feelings. I was hurt that they would ask actually, especially since I’m sure they would sense my discomfort. We’ve been here before, but then I felt almost obligated to help because this person is my friend, right, even if we don’t talk very often?

I also felt too embarrassed to tell them that I felt abused. Its a rough thing to tell a friend no about touchy things like cash, right? But according to Suze Orman, it makes no sense to give away cash in times where you have a credit card bill, light bill, whatever, that isn’t completely paid off. It costs you something, right?

I’d like to hear your opinions on this? When is this okay? Is it ever okay?

Comments

The Jaded NYer said…
I would never ask a friend for money because it IS a touchy matter. (I had a friend offer a loan once and I refused until I saw I really had no way out so we had an agreement on the table regarding the money that made sure our friendship stayed intact)

I'd borrow from a bank or sell stuff off before I'd do that.

Family... only in a dire situation would I ask family...

But for me it's a total pride thing; I'd hate for anyone to know that I needed anything, let alone money

I understand your embarassment and hurt because it puts you in an awkward position, especially if you have kids
Nina Foxx said…
Interesting. What do kids have to do with it? I'm lke that too. I'm not good at letting people know I need things.
The Jaded NYer said…
re: the kids- if someone has kids it's a given, to me at least, that a majority of their funds go to care for those kids, so to ask them for money, especially in THIS economy...

I don't know, I couldn't do it. I'd feel like I was taking food out of their kids' mouth, and if I was the "Loan Officer" I'd see it that way, too- money loaned to this person is money taken away from my kids.
Blns said…
I would never ask a friend for money, it complicates things too much. I would try every other option I have and I agree with the jaded nyer when she said "only in a dire situation would I ask family...”
Brandie said…
and on another note, Friends are not ATM machine!!!!
Anonymous said…
I agree that your friends shouldn't be your ATM. A good friend will share your problems, love you where you are, and if they think they can help and really want to help, they offer support (moral, financial, helping you pack boxes and move furniture and stuff). But the friend must offer that, it can't be solicited. When it is solicited, the friendship becomes a business arrangment and you have to be very careful when you mix your personal with your professional because those boundaries are very difficult to maintain and once broken, they are very difficult to build back up.
Nina Foxx said…
You sound like you have some experience with the boundaries issue....
Anonymous said…
I have lots of experiences and lots of boundaries...I also have lots of issues, so it's all good.
James Elam said…
Be very careful on both sides of that equation.
Pam said…
At some point in life you just have to cut some people off. I would give a friend money, an organ, blood, you name it in a time of crisis. But you eliminated those things from the equation, so it just appears that the "friend" is just being trifling and trying to pimp you. Since I am a mom, I have lots of practice saying no to someone I love. If the friend is true, then they will get over it. If not, it is a reality check... time to cut them off.
Anonymous said…
I think it depends on the friendship. Me and my bestfriend have known each other since 8th grade and have been through alot with each other. She was there for me when I was going through some emotional problems, wasn't working, etc. And now she is going through some health problems and isn't working and needed some money to feed her kids and pay her phone bill and I had no problem giving it to her so that she could eat and stay in touch because she lives in another state. I know for a fact that once her situation gets better she will repay me even more that what I gave her it is not an issue because she is like my sister. However I wouldn't loan more than $20.00 to someone who isn't a close friend and again that would be on a case by case bases. Larger sums (100 or more are out of the question unless it was my mom, uncle, grandmother or uncle because I know they would pay me back and they would do the same for me if needed.
Peter Alford said…
OK...so I'm late getting to read this. However, I had that "experience" last night. I got an email form a co-worker of mine...and we're not that tight...saying she was in London and lost her wallet and need X amount of dollars to get home. It took me three responses to realize it was a hoax. However, I'm the giving type of person and was trying to find a way to help her out.
That said, I'd do my best never to ask people for large amounts of money. I've been there before when I was much younger...and it ain't cool. But, I will ask for amounts under $10. Generally they may just give it to you, but for that small amount, I'm not gonna have a problem repaying it.

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