Since I was in the sixth grade I’ve had the same core group of best friends. We bicker, gossip, and lean on each other just like sisters. When we were younger we would always take turns paying for things. If one of us didn’t have cash, it was never a problem. They would buy the next time. This system worked for us and no one ever felt they were owed money.
Those were small purchases, a bagel here, a coffee there. When my friends skipped out on paying for the New Year’s Eve hotel room we split, it was a big hit to my bank account. Now, I’m struggling to find a way to ask my friends to pay me back without ruining those friendships.
How do I ask friends for the money they owe me?
Last month, I spent $1,400 in 4 days. Whoops! I’ve started to try to rebuild my savings so the money that my friends owe me would be really helpful. Between hotel and parking, they owe me about $200. I’ve asked my friends to pay me back a few times already but they keep telling me that they’ll pay me the next time they have cash or will just pay for my dinner next time we’re out. I can see where they’re coming from, as this is how we’ve always done things.
The problem is, that I’m going to be cutting back on going out (especially out to dinner) and would much rather have the cash. I’m worried if I press the issue my friends will be hurt or think I don’t trust them.
Here are some of my concerns and ideas on how to fix the situation.
1. If I don’t keep asking my friends for the money, they either never will or won’t for a long time.
2. My friends will be offended if I ask them for cash instead of going by our usual “pay-back” method.
3. If I do keep asking them to pay me back, they’ll feel that I’m pestering them or don’t trust them, and be annoyed with me.
My ideas to get my money back!
1. Remind them to pay me back before the next time we get together by saying something like, “Hey! Would you mind bringing me the money you owe me today? I’ve been running low on cash lately.”
2. Ask them to pay me back the next time we’re together. (I’ve already done this though and they haven’t had the cash on them.)
3. Just call them and ask. They’re my friends for a reason, right? Maybe being upfront and just asking is the best way to handle the situation.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that my friends should pay me back. I just want to make sure no one’s feelings are hurt in this process.