Money and friends don't always mix well. Money can be a touchy subject because each of us has a varied perception of what it means and how to handle it.
And, as humans often do, we tend to judge others who don't share our views on spending, saving, and earning money. One way etiquette helps is that it appeals to your better nature. You learn to exercise restraint when facing sensitive issues.
Self-esteem and respect for others are critical concerns when it comes to money and friends.
We all like to go out of the way to support people we're close to, but lending money can be risky.
When a friend approaches you with a need for money, his feelings are considered up front and first. The larger the request, the more sensitive the situation.
Acknowledging that the request wouldn't be made if it weren't important is one way to let your friend know you want to help, even if you don’t end up loaning money.
If you are able and decide to help by loaning, there is technology you can use to set up a repayment schedule and issue payments. These “digital wallets” let you make and share payments with a friend, and serve as friendly reminders and easy conversation starters if things get off-schedule.
Regardless, arranging a schedule and method for pay back is important to keep things transparent and create a mutual understanding of expectations.
However, you may have people in your life with whom you are close, but know that lending them money is a lost cause.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't help them if a need arises. But it may be easier, in your mind, to consider any money you give them as a gift.
Odds are, they may offer to repay you. But holding the perception of this loan as a gift can help you keep resentment at bay.
Besides the sensitive issue of loaning money to friends, the question comes down to, “How do you create good etiquette habits around money?”
Etiquette involves what you do when you are with others. Ethics involves what you do as an individual. Appropriate money management requires you to consider both.
When are sensitive money moments likely to arise?
Splitting the Check
Office or Crowd Funding Charity Initiatives
Lending Personal Items
Lending Professional Advice or Assistance
When a Friend Won't Ask for Help
For some people, money is a source of anxiety and fear. For others, it is directly tied to their self-worth.
Because of its various meanings and personal nature, conversations about money require sensitivity.
It's a good idea to give considerable thought to your relationship with money in regards to your relationship with people. Knowing where you stand, and creating personal rules to abide by, will help you keep your money and your friends.