Childfreelife’s Weblog

{June 24, 2008}   Words of Wisdom Lending and Giving

I had never been in a position to lend money. I was dirt poor at the time and I was actually the one getting handouts some of the time. I worked for this amazing man, a pastor actually, as his office manager. He was lending money to someone, and I asked him, what if that person never pays you back? And he said, “Never lend money you wouldn’t just as happily give away.” You have to be able to afford to give the money away, and you have to be able to not resent it if the person never repays you. I think this goes for families, friends, and life in general. This is a great way to understand forgiveness. You nip resentment in the bud by not expecting, not demanding. Now I don’t think this means you should let people walk all over you. But if you loan money to someone, you should be just as happy to give it to them just to see them get through a bad time or succeed in an endeavor. What a reward, to have helped someone out! The other reason not to lend money if you wouldn’t give it away, is that you put yourself at a huge risk loaning money that you need. If you can’t get by without the money you are lending, you really are not in a position to lend it.

Lending is a way of sharing and breeding goodwill. A childfree person might be asked to lend more often than his/her childed friends because she might have more money to spare. Make strong boundaries so that you don’t feel walked all over. If you will feel badly about how money is spent, resent lending or giving, or if you feel a lender borrower relationship would hurt your friendship, either address your own prejudices so that you can accept giving the money, or set down boundaries and say “no”. If you want to help your friend, but don’t want to lend money, you might help them find the money. I know some religious organizations help out poor people. Applying for welfare and food stamps can be difficult. Picking up food from a food bank can be hard when you don’t have a car. Getting a new job can be hard when you don’t own a nice outfit or have paper or a printer to make your resume. You might be able to offer help or take advantage of your networks to help your friend find help. These sorts of services are intended to help people get on their feet. And people should not hesitate to use them to become a success story. There is a tendency out there to believe there are only services available for families with children. While there are more services for families with children, there are food stamps, food baskets, and job finding help for childfree folks too.

I have found there are ways to help friends without lending or giving money. Finding ways to save money together is a great way to help out a friend. And you don’t build that sense of one friend owing the other. You both helped each other out, it is completely mutual. In my big chunk series I mention finding roommates and carpooling, both are ways you can help a friend and help yourself. Several times I have helped friends who could no longer afford their living situation by moving them in and charging them less in rent. That room was wasted space in my house that is now making me a little bit of money, and they are grateful for the reduction in their rent. Most recently, we moved a friend in who was paying $350 a month he could no longer afford and we charge him $200 a month.

I seriously believe in helping my friends, but I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I am suffering terribly for the money or resources I gave or lent out and be desperate for a payback. That sort of situation keeps people from getting on their feet. Get on your feet first have a little extra and then you can afford to start helping out others. It is a great feeling to be able to pay forward the help I received when I was down to a new set of people trying to get on their feet. When they get on their feet chances are they will help someone too.


cemeteryconsort says:

LOL, this is a nerve you have touched. We (husband and I) loaned money to a certain person known to both of us years ago. The first time it was a few hundred to get a car out of impound I believe. The second was ‘no questions could be asked’. It put a damper on our friendship when the repayment was slow and incomplete. We also lent my brother in law money when he was newly married and said he needed it to get an apartment. Then he sent us photos of all his brand new furniture. We didn’t have brand new furniture, which is why we had money to lend I guess. Also got shafted on the repayment. It’s long gone water under the bridge, in a sense. We are now doing well, and I don’t worry about money. But I wont lend money that I can’t just say goodbye to. I think that is a good way to think. I will never lend money to my BIL again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. As for the other person, well.. I don’t think I have to worry about that one. Another lesson learned.

childfreelife says:


Good to see you here! Yes, I know so many folks who have been shafted by loans. It would hurt so bad to see someone take the money I loaned to live better than me! I really just want to help people get a leg up. I don’t tend to become close friends with people who waste their money on new cars and fancy furniture, and I certainly would not loan more than a few bucks to a person who threw their money away unwisely. Those sorts of folks will have to learn to manage what they have for a gift to be of any use.

[…] 15 Painless Ways To Pay Yourself First posted at The Digerati Life. #2 – Child Free Life presents Words of Wisdom Lending and Giving posted at Childfreelife’s Weblog. #3 – mbhunter presents Pearls of financial wisdom for […]

[…] I was chosen as an editors pick in dollar frugal’s blog this week. My article Words of Wisdom: Lending and Giving made the Carnival of 20 Something Finances this […]

[…] 15 Painless Ways To Pay Yourself First posted at The Digerati Life. #2 – Child Free Life presents Words of Wisdom Lending and Giving posted at Childfreelife’s Weblog. #3 – mbhunter presents Pearls of financial wisdom for […]

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