Oh Wow, this is Awkward: Reminding a Friend Who Owes You Money.

It’s an unfortunate reality but for the most part, women are uncomfortable discussing money. Whether that be negotiating a raise or balancing one’s personal finances.

A little over five years ago, I was an intern earning well below the federal level of poverty.  However, I was always befriended by people who out earned me (tremendously.)  With that, I was often invited to dinners, galas, performances and events that would have required me to spend more than my net earnings for the month.   

In the “Oh Wow, this is Awkward” series, I will confront uncomfortable money scenarios and how to address them.

As always, merci beacoup to everyone who voted on theses topics via my Instagram poll.

Scene: You and a friend have met for coffee/lunch/drinks/etc. When the bill arrives your plus one realizes that they have forgotten their wallet. After suggesting they CashApp (or any other e-Cash transfer) they inform you that the particular card with available funds is not linked to the account (or insert any other reason why an instant repayment isn’t possible.)

You pay the bill.

Days have passed and your friend has not paid or even mentioned the repayment.

What do you do?

Reminding someone that they owe you money is not the most delightful conversation (which is odd, because you didn’t do anything to feel uneasy about.) I am guilty of leaving my wallet and I have admittedly forgotten to repay someone. It happened once, and after having the uncomfortable “hey you owe me” conversation, I now set a calendar invite reminder the moment money is lent/received.

Setting a calendar reminder the moment you lend or receive funds ensures that you both are reminded without verbally having to mention it. Another strategy I use when lending is to causally say “I’ll send you a CashApp request in case I forget to remind you.” Sending a cash request not only reminds the lendee but it also expedites repayment. We seemingly have the world at our finger tips, lets use it to organize, remind and maintain finances.

If a calendar invite or e-payment request has not produced satisfying results, it is time to have the conversation, verbally. Texting is not an appropriate method of communication because tone cannot be detected. How you initiate this conversation is truly contingent on the relationship you have with the lendee.

Hopefully the conversation can be short and sweet:

“Hey dear, I’m uncertain if you received the payment request for ________. Do you need more time to repay me?”

We live in an overly stimulating world. At any moment we can all have trente tabs open in our brain and one million more on our phones. With that, something as seemingly small as $25.oo may genuinely slip someone’s mind. I say seemingly because we never know a persons financial space and how lending $5.oo or $25.oo has affected them.

The biggest factor to focus on is a promise was made. When we give someone our word, we must always deliver on what was promised. If for any reason funds cannot be repaid, the lendee is completely responsible for initiating the conversation.

Have you been on either side of this uncomfortable conversation? How did you handle it?

Of course I’d love to hear.

Ciao for now!