Making friends is hard. Keeping friends after you lend them money is harder. We know we haven't paid you for that concert you lent us money to go see nine months ago. We've been dodging your texts for a reason. Today Bank of America reminded us that we are good people, and even though we really regret seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, we're going to pay you back. Let's be friends again.
The trouble with living in a cashless society is that without fail you will end up at a restaurant, bar, museum, parking lot, etc. that does not accept credit cards. Like us, you know that is it important to have at least one friend that is more responsible than you. This friend honorably steps up to cover the bill. You commend them for their dedication to the greenback and promise to pay them back as soon as humanly possible. 4 rounds later and you've forgotten that your friend footed the bill, but they don't forget. You owe them money.
There are a number of reasons friends may neglect to pay friends back. Here are a few we can think of:
1) You simply forgot as time lapsed. You couldn't be trusted to bring cash in the first place, how can you be trusted to remember to get cash later? Let's make this right.
2) You thought you paid it back. It's not uncommon for us to order a round, or grab a dinner and think that things are even. It doesn't matter what you think, what does your buddy think?
3) You are a terrible friend and never intended to pay it back. Friends are not piggy banks.
4) Money is tight. If that's the case, keep an open line of communication. Everyone will respect the situation more if they understand what is happening, rather than having texts and calls avoided. If it's a significant amount of money, see if a payment plan can be worked out. If it is a trivial amount, offer to mow their lawn or babysit one night to make things even. Chances are they will hard pass since they are your friends, but the offer will help normalize your relationship.
If you are borrowing/lending anything significant from a friend, make sure you get the terms of the deal in writing or you may run into troubles later if your friend doesn't pay up. Verbal agreements are difficult to enforce and your (ex)friend could claim they thought the cash was a gift. Money can do odd things to people. Protect yourself.
Luckily for us, we live in a society of phone apps and instant gratification that will help prevent you from becoming the bad friend. Zelle is becoming the go-to payment processor for checking accounts. Over 30 banks have adopted Zelle, including Bank of America, Capital One, Citi, Ally, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and SunTrust. It's being adopted by banks in repsonse to Venmo. Either option does the job and we're glad they exist. Mobile payment apps have saved us many a headache at large dinners with friends. Gone are the days of being the friend that has water and a side of soup at dinner, and getting stuck with a $25 tab because the math checks out when you split the bill evenly.
So today, pay back your friend. As Rihanna once said, Friend better have my money. Pay me what you owe me. Like brapp, brapp, brapp.