Updated: September 27, 2016 (I usually don’t update past journal entries unless it’s for spelling or grammatical reasons)
For the purposes of this journal entry, I will be focusing on these nouns and verbs (I probably will not use some of these words in the actual entry):
- Gift (noun): a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present
- Present (noun): a thing given to someone as a gift
- Borrow (verb): take and use (something that belongs to someone else) with the intention of returning it
- Loan (verb): borrow (a sum of money or item of property)
Note: The definitions were obtained via Google.
Also, I have no intention of naming people in my post because I want to keep identities confidential.
When it comes to the photos that I take, I take those without asking for payment because I continuously acknowledge that there are people that can take much better photographs than I can. Additionally, I have mentioned on multiple occasions that I largely only want to focus on getting better at photography so I can take better pictures of my niece. However, when it comes to people borrowing money from me, that is a completely different story.
Myself, I am guilty on misusing the word borrow several times in my past. Some examples of me misusing the word borrow are below:
- May I borrow a piece of paper?
- May I borrow a pencil?
- May I borrow a French fry?
However, when it comes to money, I make the distinction of borrowing money and gifting money as a present pretty clear.
Some people know that I rarely ask to borrow money because I do not like having to inconvenience people. However, on those rare occasions where I am in a position to where I need to ask if I can borrow some money, I will pay the person back as soon as possible. Now, over the years, some people have known me as pretty reliable and will occasionally ask if they can borrow money from me. Sometimes, when some individuals borrow money from me, some will actually pay me back, and I am perfectly fine with it.
However, the increasing problem that I have been experiencing over the years is when some individuals (unfortunately, I can think of multiple individuals in this circumstance) ask to borrow money, and I am not paid back.
For some people, I will make excuses for because they are not in a position to pay me back right away. However, when some individuals know that they owe me money and ask if they can borrow more money (once again, I can think of multiple individuals that this would apply), then it is a problem because they are increasing the amount that they owe me and are causing me to gradually lose faith in them ever paying me back the amount that they owe me.
Personally, part of this is my fault because I tend to look the other way quite a bit and be somewhat optimistic that I will eventually be paid back what is owed to me. As a result, I enable people to continue this cycle. However, while I do blame myself for letting it happen, I was silently blaming the other individuals as well (of course, as you can see, with the post being made public, my thoughts are out there in the open) because the money that I let them borrow could go towards many other things:
- Gifts for my niece
- Bills (I continue to carry a $2,000+ credit card bill that I am still working on paying off)
- A 4 to 6 TB Western Digital Black Desktop Hard Drive
- New camera equipment
- Some equipment for my other hobbies
- Car repairs (I have some break pads that need to be replaced, an exterior hatchback latch that needs to be fixed, a gas tank latch that needs to be fixed, and the Check Engine light will illuminate on occasion)
- Saving enough money to start a Roth IRA
- Saving enough money to start purchasing furniture
- Saving enough money to rent an apartment
Now, I am not saying that I do not like helping people out. After all, I have helped people out with rides, advice, gifts, and I continue to offer my photography services for free. However, it has become increasingly frustrating when someone asks for a favor, because the first thing I think about is whether or not they are going to ask if they can borrow money. I really do not like feeling that way, but honestly, it is the truth. Unfortunately, it has become such a problem, that I have reached the point to where I have recently announced on Facebook (and on my Website, of course) that I will no longer let people borrow money from me all together nor will be giving people money nor gift cards (physical or electronic) as a gift/present if they ask (immediate and extended family members will be exempt from this, of course). If it ultimately boils down to me being down to my last few dollars that are earmarked for bills and letting someone borrow money, I will choose the former because with some of my bills, if I either late or miss a payment altogether, it can negatively impact my Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports and also negatively impact my FICO credit score.
To put things into perspective, if the situation was reversed and I was asking someone if I could borrow $2,000+ to pay off my credit card bill, I honestly do not know who would lend me such a large amount of money.
Plus, you also have to keep in mind that the vast majority of my friends that I went to elementary, middle, and high school with have long since moved out on their own. Furthermore, many of the people that I have met over the past few years that are adult age (many of them younger than I am) are also living on their own. Myself, I am thirty three years old and still living with my mom.
Getting back on topic, if people are needing money, I did find an article on The Penny Hoarder titled 32 Legitimate Ways to Make Money at Home. This article lists many different ways that people can earn some extra income. Of course, depending on their FICO credit score and information in their Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports, they can apply for a loan at a bank or credit union. Furthermore, there are peer-to-peer lending companies (e.g., such as Prosper or Lending Club) that people can use that tend to have some lower interest rates (once again, this will largely depend on information in their Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports and their FICO credit score). Of course, if some people want to try their luck and risk their funds, if they are of legal age to gamble, they can try to win some money at a casino, try to win money via scratch-off tickets, or try to win money via buying lottery tickets.
I really hate to act like a bad guy regarding this, but letting people borrow money and rarely getting paid back is starting to become disheartening, making me lose faith in some people, and rather insulting to me because I feel like I am being taken advantage of. I rather not feel like this because my friends mean a lot to me, but at the same time, I have to take better care of myself, and letting people borrow money without paying me back does not help the situation at all.
See You Space Cowboy…