How to Get Your Friends to Pay You Back

by Stacy Tharp 27. February 2013

Empty Wallet

It's happened to all of us: that awkward moment when you are dining out with a friend, and when the bill arrives your friend informs you that he has conveniently left his wallet at home or has forgotten to stop off at the ATM. At this point the only way to avoid the dine-and-dash is to pay the bill in full yourself.

You might not think it’s a huge deal to pay for someone’s lunch from time to time, but if you lend money to a friend, you have every right to expect your friend to pay you back. You shouldn’t feel bad about asking your friend to pay you back, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an awkward conversation to have.

Here are a few tips on getting your friend to pay you back the money he owes you as un-awkwardly as possible.

Use Technology to Get Your Money Back Right Away

The longer your friend owes you money, the more difficult it becomes to get your friend to pay you back. So, have your friend pay you immediately with a person-to-person payment service such as Popmoney®. Your friend may have forgotten his wallet, but as long as he hasn’t forgotten his smartphone (and who forgets that these days?), he can send you money electronically through an email or text.

Popmoney® is conveniently located within our Mobile Banking App; however, your friend doesn’t have to bank with 1st Mariner to enroll in and use Popmoney®. As long as your friend has the funds available in his bank account, person-to-person payments are a great way to get paid immediately.

If your friend doesn’t have the funds available, keep reading.

Give Friendly Reminders

If your friend tells you he doesn’t have the money right now, but he will on Friday when he gets paid, give him a friendly reminder on his payday. You can send him a request through Popmoney® to avoid giving the awkward reminder yourself. If your friend was being honest and fully intended to pay you back, chances are this friendly reminder is all he will need. Otherwise, move on to the next step.

Have a Serious Talk

Now you have passed the point in which your friend should have paid you back. If you want your money back, it’s time for the awkward conversation. Sit your friend down, make sure there are no distractions around, then ask him why he is having a hard time paying you back. You can offer him options such as making staggered payments or give him an extended deadline, but make it clear that you do expect your money back. If this doesn’t work, you are pretty much down to two options.

Forget the Debt or Consider Persuing Legal Action

Ever heard the saying, “If you lend someone $20 and never see him again, it was probably worth it”? If it was only a small amount of money that you lent, it might be easiest to just forget about the money and reconsider the friendship.

If your friend owes you a large sum of money, you may want to consider pursuing legal action. This option isn’t right for everyone, so make sure you do sufficient research to make sure it would be worth it to go down this route.

The last few options are not fun ones, so I recommend using Popmoney® to get your money back instantly!

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The Cost of Love

by Stacy Tharp 12. February 2013

Falling in love can be easy or it can be a rough and bumpy road. Either way, it comes at a price - literally. Just how high is that price? We looked at how much time and money is spent on average from beginning the search for that special someone to walking down the aisle and saying, "I do." Here is what we found:

I Do...But Maybe I Don't Want to Share My Money

by Stacy Tharp 10. January 2013

Combining Finances in Marriage

So you've decided to take the plunge and get married! You may be perfectly willing to share your hopes, dreams, living space and deepest, darkest secrets with your soon-to-be spouse…but sharing your money? If you are like many couples, no matter how long you have been in a relationship and how well you know each other’s likes, dislikes and quirky habits, your finances may have remained fairly private from one another.

Traditionally, when couples get married they immediately combine all of their money into joint accounts. However, we’ve all heard some statistic or another about the correlation between finances and divorce. That’s not to say that immediately combining all of your assets into joint accounts is always a bad decision; it’s simply not the only choice out there.

If you’d like to join accounts but are reluctant to go all in when it comes to your money, here are a few options that modern couples are opting for these days.

Divvy Up the Bills

Using this method, you and your significant other would compile a list of all of your bills and split them up however it makes sense. For example, if one person likes to crank up the AC, that person might take control of the electric bill. Or if one person insists on getting a large cable package with all of the premium channels, it might make sense for that person to be in charge of paying the cable bill. This is a great way to be able to enjoy your indulgences without your partner nagging you about the bill.

The “Divvy Up the Bills” method is also great for people who enter into a marriage with debt. Being in charge of your own car payments or your own student loans is a good way to avoid arguments or resentment.

Separate but Equal

In the “Separate but Equal” model, you have one joint account and two separate accounts. Add up all your bills, split the total evenly down the middle, and both partners contribute that amount equally. The rest of your income is yours to spend, save or do whatever you want with.

This method is good for independent couples in which both partners make a decent living and want to be able to use their hard-earned income however they choose. It helps avoid feelings of dependence or control.

Separate Accounts in Marriage

Equal Slice of Pie

This method is similar to the “Separate but Equal” approach in that you have one joint account for bills and two separate accounts for everything else. The difference is that instead of contributing an equal dollar amount to the joint account, each person contributes a certain percentage of his/her income.

This is a good method for couples in which one person makes significantly more money than the other. That person might want to enjoy a nicer lifestyle than his/her partner would be able to afford without assistance. This gives both partners a fair way to contribute to the bills and still have some money left over.

The Imaginary Salary

Remember our blog post about the imaginary mortgage? (Quick recap – you “pretend” you are paying a mortgage on a home that you do not yet own as a way of preparing yourself for the monthly payments to come while saving up for a down payment at the same time.) Well, “The Imaginary Salary” is similar. Using this method, the two of you live off of one person’s income and save the other person’s income.

Besides this being a great way to put away a large sum of money, this method is great for people who plan on living off of one income in the near future. Think about it – how great would it be to stop working and not have to change your lifestyle? This is also a good method for couples in which one person has an inconsistent income.

These aren’t the only options you have when it comes to combining your finances, and of course you can combine techniques or change your method at any time. As long as you and your partner both agree on a method and are honest with each other, you are off to a great start!

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Money Management in Your 20s: I Just Graduated from College, Welcome to My Private Jet

Money in Your 30s: Manage It, Don't Be Managed by It

The Imaginary Mortgage: Fake It Til You Make It

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