Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I'm Just a Girl Who Cain't Say No

I'm a saver.
I always have been.
In fact, there's a cute story from when I was around 5 or 6 that my parents like to tell ad infinitum:

My older brother and I were rough-housing in our bedroom, and I pushed him off the bed [a year or so later, he would get revenge by pushing me face first off the top of a sliding board]. In the process, his glasses broke. As punishment, my parents made me pay for half of the cost of fixing his glasses.

In tears, I went upstairs to get my cigar box stuffed with cash. As I slowly counted out the money, tears streamed down my face and I said, "I love my money."

And I still do.

Now, though, I have a lot more bills than I did when I was 6, so saving is more difficult. I force myself to save by having money automatically deposited into my online savings account. It's not much (usually $100/month), but it adds up.

After buying my home in November, and pretty much depleting my savings for the down payment, I have finally built those savings back up to an (almost) comfortable level [which for me is 2 months' living expenses].

Today, a friend asked to borrow a fairly substantial amount of money. He told me he could pay me back next week. I had to think about it for awhile, because this month has been a little more expensive than others. I already had to transfer some money from savings to checking to insure that my bills don't bounce. And, this friend has a reputation of not always keeping his promises.

In the end, I am a girl who can't say no. I'm not using the money, and I won't miss it if he never pays it back (although I'm sure he will pay me back ... eventually). So I wrote out a check and transferred some more money to savings to cover it.

Maybe my attitude towards money has changed some since I was 6.


  1. You're brave and fierce. Plus, since I'm broke you should be too. Yay, you!

  2. What is this concept called "saving" of which you speak?

  3. I love IngDirect!

    Hm about the friend who asked for a loan... I guess I'm proud or something, but I wouldn't ask a friend for a loan unless I was half a step from losing my house. I'm just that way. A co-worker who I'd known for years (and I knew he had chronic money trouble) asked me for a loan of a few hundred dollars once. I gave it to him but I made it so difficult (I put it in writing) that he never asked me again and went back to hitting up other co-workers.

  4. You've got the right outlook going into the transaction, not to mention the fact that you're a good friend. :-)

  5. I once had to ask for some money from someone. It's the most degrading experience ever, so I do feel sorry for the "asker" in that repsect.

    However, the potential "loaner" that I asked, (someone that had told me they'd always help me if they possibly could) turned out to be

    a) a lying shit
    b) an inspiration.

    Although I'd only asked for an absolutely tiny amount (It was one of my customers and my outstanding invoices to him alone outweighed the amount I asked to borrow! But I needed the money that day and my invoices are on monthly terms.)

    He is a millionaire and the money I needed to borrow was only 4 figures. OK, I'll be brutally honest, I needed £2000 while I waited for a cheque to clear. He said no.

    His excuse? (This is the bit that made him both a lying shit and an inspiration): "When my grandfather was layed on his death dead, he said to me, 'Never a borrower or a lender be, if you can do this my grandson, I'll rest in peace...' and then he sighed and died."

    I felt so moved at him saying that I felt a shit for asking a guy with over £1 000 000 in his account for the loan of £2000 for 2 days. I'd even offered to pay back £2100 and do his next call out (normally £350) for free.

    After my grovelling, which made me feel like the poorest person in the world, he came back with that. And it made me feel even shitter than the asking.

    But I've learnt from it. I think in retrospect it was a classic excuse which no one with any heart can argue with.

    It takes a lot to ask for money. If the "asker" can plea in the face of that you know they must be really desperate.

    I couldn't. I already felt like a broken man when I had to ask for the loan in the first place, when he told me his reason for saying "No" I felt like a thief too.

    Then I discovered both his grand fathers were alive and well. That's when I realised he was a shit and why he had over £1m in the bank.

    I got my revenge. I charged him normal rates the next time he called me out. Over the years his coaxing and promises of things like "If you ever need a loan..." had dropped and dropped his invoice rates. Apparently his next one (applied at normal rates) almost gave him a heart attack!

    I hope his grandfather turned up to the hospital and said "Never a shit or a liar be my grandson..."