A friend once told me:
“Lend to people only the amount you can afford to do without”
In other words, if the request is for an amount that you know you will need back soon or it will hurt you financially…. DON’T LEND IT!!!!
I say this because I realise that the simple rules of finance or budgeting seem to escape the most people in this world. People can take one look at someone and hit them up for money without batting an eyelid. Some people would rather go through a debilitating stroke than ask for help from someone ( Me) while other people seem to not know when to stop being a leech on their friends.
This blog is not because of any recent experience with anyone but it jumped into my head when someone contacted me out of the blue just to chat. The chat was cool but in the back of my mind I kept thinking that they would ask for money. They didn’t. They were actually just calling to let me know how my advice had actually made sense when they stopped being stubborn. Strangely enough it didn’t bring a smile to my face to hear this.
While I pride myself on being a forgiving person, alas I can’t seem to forget and as a result I believe that the people who did me harm in the past will strike again if I let my guard down. A sad state I’m in…
Anyway, this blog is really about the hazards of lending money. It would never be about the good points because those memories will never scar you. What scars you is the correspondence that follows when it is time to collect what is due to you.
I would normally tell people not to lend at all. Give a gift to the person. While it may not be the amount the person needs, it will be the amount you can comfortably part with and not worry about getting it back. You won’t forget that you lent this person money but somehow, it seems to slip their minds. So avoid all that drama. If they want $1000 and all you can spare is $200, then give it. If they don’t want it (yeah right), then no love lost and a friendship is not ruined.
Please don’t get wrong, but there are circumstances when it actually works out when you help people out. That circumstance is as rare as good acting in a Twilight Movie. No one is immune to it. Ignore the old line that your reward is in heaven stuff. When I need to pay bills, I can’t walk into Flow and tell them, Jesus will pay it all after the rapture. That doesn’t work within their corporate plans.
Then there are those who…..well let me tell you some stories:
GET IN YUH SECTION
Chastity needed money to pay down on a front-line costume in a Harts but at the time her car was acting up so she needed a quick bailout as she didn’t want to lose the costume. She asked for me to loan her $2,000 to cover the expense and I would be paid a month before carnival. It didn’t sit right with me to lend this sum but I had no reason to doubt her intentions as I have always known her to be a very responsible person. My first hint at trouble should have been when I called her to tell her I had the money and she told me to meet her at Morevino , where she was liming with friends.
Umm why can’t you come for it?
Oh gosh Stef, be a darling nah!
I was a darling and dropped it off. Two carnivals came and went and all I received during that time was $800 in total. Please do not assume that this money came all at one time. $500 came one day after much prodding and when she handed it to me she said without batting an eyelash:
“Umm I can’t give you the same amount next month as I have some friends coming into the country and I want to lime with them.”
I smiled and said nothing. I felt my blood boiling but it served me right.
I don’t beleive in striking anyone no matter what the reason, but I understand!
Charles apparently had gotten into an accident with his car two weeks before his annual car insurance payment was due to be paid. Both expenses could not be handled and so a request was made to borrow $4,000.00 from the First National Bank of Stefan.
Unfortunately, Charles never got approval for the loan from the Bank because that amount way exceeds funds available from the Bank and Chastity had already caused the bank’s lending limit to be reduced considerably. Charles gave Stefan the silent treatment as a result. He did however get the money from two other sources that were told they would get it back within two months.
By the end of the first month Charles had moved to Canada and it was revealed that the “alleged” car accident never happened as the car was sold to pay off his loan months before.
Charles is now back in Trinidad. (I assume unknown to these people as I met one the other day and he was still cussing about the incident that happened 3 years ago)
MARY MARY QUITE CONTRARY
Mary is a very lazy girl. She has hardly ever worked in her life and has relied on the funds from her numerous (all rich) boyfriends to fund whatever she needs. Strangely enough, her parents never question when she brings home new items such as laptops, clothing etc even though they know that she hasn’t held a job in over 5 years.
Cut to break-up with rich boyfriend number 231, Mary is going through a slump as her reputation has preceded her and it is getting harder to trap a new one. Months pass and no new boyfriend and it seems like Mary may have to start paying for school or just drop out of it like she normally does.
Then her world starts to unravel. She starts getting calls about outstanding bills that she thought her ex covered. Turns out he never paid her bills as she asked and so letters are appearing at her door and she has no solution.
Get a job you say? Well despite not having much in the way of qualifications, Mary is not going to work in any fast food establishment, clothing store, book store or anyplace where her “so-called” friends can see her and laugh.
So much pride for someone with not a leg to stand on.
Anyway, when Bailiff number 3 came calling about some overdue credit card balance, Mary began to panic as the collectors were starting to appear where she lives and God forbid Mummy and Daddy find out that she is in debt. (Umm if they are used to seeing new stuff in the apartment and they know you are not working, I don’t think this would surprise them.)
So I get a secret call on my work phone (so that the number can’t be traced) asking for help in the region of $500 as she is desperate and I am sworn to secrecy. She says once she gets a job, I will be the first person she pays back.
First National Bank of Stefan approved the loan with a 6 month repayment period. Seems fair right? Mary defaulted on the loan and the debt remains outstanding two years later.
Mary has a job at a calling center now. She is forced to sleep with recycled “low-lifes” who have no money but can offer her a “top up” and “snack box”. My request for repayment is met with my name being brandied about for doing all sorts of nasty stuff , including telling people I tried to force her to have sex (as if I would ever touch a petri dish with that much bacteria in it).
Saw her in the gym the other day. Hmmm I guess she could afford the gym but not to pay back my black ass!!!
The old Stefan would say leave them to Karma , but karma has a way of not allowing me to see or hear of their demise. Where’s the fun in that?
There are more stories that one can tell but some involve scenarios like family members running up telephones bills calling all over Trinidad when they are NOT employed and they strangely have no remorse about what they do. Or one in which a family member wanted to throw a barbecue to raise funds to buy a car but wanted me to buy the chicken and ingredients while he printed the tickets. Can you believe that?
Those stories are not interesting at all but just goes to show that people have no respect for the value or use of money and just think of themselves and not the people that are affected by their actions.
No one wonders or care, if after lending them money that my new diet might be channa and water for a week or two or if I might have to siphon gas out of a lawn mower to get to work. Nor do they care. They assume because I am plump that I am eating well but they forget that most fat people come from depressed areas and it is their diet that has them fat. It’s what they could afford.
Oh well, as I continue along my road of being thrifty or “cheap” as some people might call it, I pray that some lessons in finance will rub off on some people.
• A Car is like a child. It is expensive to maintain no matter how proud you are to have it.
• Credit Cards are the devil. Stay away from them.
• You don’t need to drink every time you get paid. It relaxes no one and it is not treating yourself
• If you take a loan to go on vacation, you don’t deserve the vacation!
I held your hand, is this the thanks I get ?
I took you in, is this the thanks I get ?
Half a chance, the thanks I get ?
A twist of plans, is this the thanks I get?……Erik Hassle – The Thanks I Get