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Borrowing: Better to Give to Friends than to Lend

Updated on February 3, 2011


Most relationships are fine until money comes into the equation. Friends and family are close to us and when we are in financial trouble, it’s natural we turn to them or the bank. It’s also natural for friends and family to want to help but many times it doesn’t turn out well.

Many times, our friends/family mean well but their situation doesn’t improve and even they feel bad that they can’t return the money at the time they promised. As much as they love us, it just can’t be helped.

A close friend of mine once told me that he never lends money to people anymore. He just gives a small amount out of the generousity of his heart and he doesn’t ask for it back. In view of many situations I have seen, I also adopt that attitude. So, if a friend asks to borrow £500 from me, I might give them £50 for keeps with an apology and hope they can find the balance.


Reasons it’s better to give than to Lend:

a) It doesn’t mess up any future plans you have for your money. Example, you might be planning a holiday with your family in a few months time, feeling confident that the money will be paid back.

b) You are able to keep your friendship and not fall out with each other. It’s sad when people have to take their friends and family to court for debt owed.

c) There honestly isn’t any guarantee you will get it back. Anything could happen. Situations even beyond their control.

I wonder what your thoughts are on this….



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    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 5 years ago from London, UK

      Hi Victoria - It's a pity relationships change. If we just give the little we can, asking them not to bother paying back, hopefully friendships will stay intact.

      Lovely of you to stop by.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is so true! I have been burned by friends. Loaning money, even if they do pay it back, changes the relationship. Great reminder--thanks!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks so much Fastfreta.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 6 years ago from Southern California

      My policy exactly, "don't lend, give." I like your list, and agree with all three. Very good Lady_E, voted up/useful/awesome.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Cheers Bruv Rossimobis

      Good to see you again. Thanks for the comments.

    • Rossimobis profile image

      Chibuzo Melvin Mobis 7 years ago from Biafra

      The title is magnificent and it reminded of what my elder brother once told me...NO BODY WILL GIVE YOU WHEN YOU ARE BROKE.

      "Better to give than to lend" nice one sis

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      @2besure - thanks for that encouraging advice.

      @Neverletitgo - Thanks so much for stopping and sharing your thoughts.

    • Neverletitgo profile image

      Abdinasir Aden 7 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Elena, it is good idea to give somebody some money but not lend and I know when lend some money, he/she may not come back your face. May be they can't pay it back on time or some of them don't want pay it back at all. This is really great hub with very nice advice. Thanks for sharing.

      Take care


    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Great hub on giving. I agree with you totally. I never lend money. I give it away. That way you keep a friend and get a blessing for being a giver. Voted Up!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      @FGual - Hello, thanks for sharing your comments. I am glad you agree.

      @Ruby - Hi Ruby, good to see you. Thanks for sharing.

      @Katie - Lol, I like the way you phrased it. Regards.

      @Hello Hello - Cheers. Thanks for stopping.

      @Dave Price - That's reassuring. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      @PlatinumOwl - True. It can turn out to be a horrible situation. Thanks for the shakespeare quote.

      @Eiddwen - thanks so much for those wise words. I see you've been there. :)Best Wishes.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      I agree one hundred per cent. Borrowing and never being paid back is too big a strain on any friendship so it is better to politely refuse. I f that damages a friendship well it couldn't have been that good in the first place.

      thanks for sharin g this one. Plenty of food for thought here.I'm pressing all the buttons here.

      take care


    • platinumOwl4 profile image

      platinumOwl4 7 years ago

      Was it Shakespeare who said "neither lender nor borrower be" I analyzed the statement and it makes great sense for the following reasons: If you lend to a friend they may not be able to repay you for whatever reason. If on the other hand you are the borrower, the person may need it back earlier than you expected to repay them. It's is a horrible situation it if does not work as either of you planned.

    • DavePrice profile image

      DavePrice 7 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

      I have lived by this principle for years, and can honestly say it has done my heart good. Better to give and forget - if anything comes back, it is a blessing indeed. Thank you for a wonderful word.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      A sensitive subject well delt with. Very good details.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Amen, Amen, give them the shirt off you back and forget it was ever yours. Well Done! Katie :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very excellent advice. The best way to lose a friend is to loan them money.

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 7 years ago from USA

      Hello LadyE, You are right, loaning money to someone is usually a bad idea. Why are they asking for a loan to begin with?

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      @Mentalist Acer - thanks for sharing your views. Regards.

      @telltale - its a pity that money can affect the best of friendships. Thanks for your comments.

      @Caltex - I understand you but if it's a huge amount, I wouldn't. For example, £5,000. For peace sake. Glad you stopped by. Thanks.

      @Awesome - thanks for your supporting comments

      @Philipo - Hmmmh.... you should keep it that way. I know all the bad issues that come with it in Lagos.

      @Lorlie - Aaaawh and you meant well by giving. Sorry to hear it affected your relationships and I hope with time, they will be restored.

      @Sima - Thanks for sharing those wise words. I hope the situation you referred to works out positively - eventually. Good Luck.

      @Vydyulashashi - Thanks so much for stopping and sharing your views. God Bless you too.

    • vydyulashashi profile image

      vydyulashashi 7 years ago from Hyderabad,India

      Money can even split up the best relationships.

      Very beautiful hub.

      God Bless You!

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 7 years ago from Michigan

      LadyE, you have adopted a good practice. I always say, If you can't aford to lose it, you can't aford to give it. I am sure there are lots of unpaid loans out there; and discention in friendships and family.

      I had a recent experience with this a week ago!

      On the other hand, it is good to be the giver! VOTE UP!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Hi Elena-this hub really speaks to me. I have lent (loaned?) money to friends and family alike, and nothing good has ever come of it. If nothing else, there has always been a strange undercurrent in our friendships, and some of those relationships did not survive.

      Thanks for the reminder.

    • Philipo profile image

      Philipo 7 years ago from Nigeria

      Lady_E - This is a useful hub. I stopped lending or borrowing money to friends and relatives because they hadly pay back. In order to stay out of trouble, its better not to borrow to friends and relatives.

    • James Agbogun profile image

      James Agbogun 7 years ago

      I think it is better to lend what you are ready to give.

    • profile image

      awesome77 7 years ago

      excellent practice and a very good way to keep friendship going. Lending creates problems and given is s better approach. Thanks!

    • caltex profile image

      caltex 7 years ago

      If you have the money to help out your friend who is in need, you just have to look at it that way - simply to help out, and then just be thankful you are not in their shoes. Lend the money, but don't expect repayment. Great if you get the money back, and if you don't, just consider it a good deed on your part.

    • telltale profile image

      telltale 7 years ago

      Of course, you are so right... that the fastest way to lose a friendship is to lend money. But if there is really a friendship I value, and that friend is in financial trouble, I will look at all the angles to see if there is a possibility of repayment from that friend before I lend the money. I will work out a repayment schedule for him/her so that the friendship can be retained. But if there is no possibility of a repayment, I will also give my regrets.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      If a person has a seemingly legitimate reason for borrowing the money,I'll lend,as you referred,a portion and if a friend is in financial trouble of any large amount will also get my regrets.;)