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Neither a Lender Nor a Borrower Be!

04/06/2015 04:06 pm ET | Updated Jun 03, 2015

If you haven't heard this saying; you probably live under a rock or haven't experienced the disappointments that come with leading anyone money. This saying was originally coined by Shakespeare, the great Poet and Playwright.

Polonius, the main character in his famous play, Hamlet, counsels his son, Laertes against becoming a money lender or borrower. According to Polonius, and most likely concluded from his own experience; a loan often loses both friend and itself.

This genius of a man definitely knew what he was talking about. He could have advised his son on the dangers of practicing unsafe sex or breaking up with a pyscho girlfriend but chose to go down the pitfalls- of- lending- money route instead.

Nothing sours a relationship or friendship faster, has the ability to change even the healthiest relationship dynamics or can cause mistrust and bad blood between people like a money "deal" gone wrong. You don't believe me? Catch an episode of Judge Judy and see for yourself. There's just something very touchy and ugly emotion-inducing about money.

These are some of the observations I have made when it comes to money lending:

  • If someone isn't financially responsible with their own money, you have no business lending them yours. People who don't know how to handle their own money will never respect and value yours or understand how hard you've worked or the sacrifices you've made to earn it.
  • Creditors definitely have better memories than Debtors. People seem to have selective amnesia when it comes to money they borrow but rarely with money they lend. Most people will conveniently forget about the $1000.00 they borrowed from you last month but always somehow remember the $20.00 they lent you in 2001.
  • Never, ever, I repeat, never ever trust anyone who promises to pay back a loan with money they expect to receive from their tax return, a lawsuit settlement, bingo winnings or anything of that nature; this rarely happens. The chances that they will use this "new found" money to buy 1000 puppies or a one-way ticket to Siberia are higher than you ever getting your money back.
  • Some people seem to think that they need your money more than you do and won't hesitate or feel bad about inconveniencing you so that they can conveniently meet their needs. Your needing the money for a root canal pales in comparison to their needing the latest pair of Jordans.
  • Tracking down someone on America's Most Wanted list seems easier than getting in touch with someone who owes you money. You really don't know what it's like to be avoided until you realize they have changed their phone number on you and un-friended you on Facebook
  • The type of relationship you have with the borrower plays a huge role in determining how soon you'll receive your money back, if at all. If the borrower is your child, you better believe they feel entitled to your money and believe you are responsible for them since you essentially brought them into this world. If it's your spouse, you wouldn't be wrong in assuming they have the "what's yours is mine" mentality and don't feel like they owe you a damn thing. After all they brought home groceries from the Organic Store last week.
  • The more you get into the habit of lending a particular person money, the more entitled they feel to your money. It doesn't matter how many times you lend them money and how many loans they fail to re-pay; you best trust that they will resent you the day you finally decide to no longer be their personal lender.

I have come to the conclusion that the only way to ensure money doesn't ruin your relationship(s), is to gift the borrower whatever money they are borrowing, if you can. As long as you don't expect to receive the money back, you will be free of any hang-ups that might result were they to fail to re-pay the loan.

Whatever the case, I guess it's safe to say that just like with love and hate, there's definitely a thin line between money and hate.

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