I try to adhere to this rule more often than not: Don’t lend anyone money. I tend to stick to the idea that if I don’t have it to give, I don’t have it. I find that this eliminates all of the potential problems that can come with lending money to anyone, both friends and family alike. I will say that there are exceptions to every rule, of course.
I have helped a few people in the past and noticed that our relationship took on a very awkward tone. It becomes a “thing” in the relationship. If the person hasn’t paid you back and then they go and buy something new, it creates a rift in the friendship. If the person doesn’t bring up why they weren’t able to pay you back when they said they would, it creates tension. If you have to repeatedly ask for your money back, relationships fall apart. What I’ve done to eliminate the issues related to lending money is to not do it.
Sometimes the relationship is more important than whether someone owes you 100 bucks. If you’re able to, forgive the debt and move forward. If you’re unable to, you have to do what you have to do. But the moral of the story is, if you don’t have it to give away, then you just don’t have it.