It’s a moral dilemma that everyone faces at least once in their life. You’ve got a best mate who drops you a text message out of the blue, and after a little deciphering you realise that he or she is fishing for money.

It’s unfamiliar territory and may even be the first time that money has been discussed between you. We all know that financial conversations are pretty much awkward throughout most walks of life, but the first time you come across this type of conversation with a friend can be particularly awkward. You’re left conflicted. Do you hand over your cold hard cash with no questions asked? Or do flat out refuse, safe in the knowledge that you’re saving your friendship in the long term?

Important Factors To Consider

Do You Even Have The Money?

This is a no brainer, if you’re struggling for money yourself, there’s no WAY you should be lending money to anyone else. Not only will it make you even further out of pocket, the fact that you don’t know when you’ll get the money back makes things even worse. If you’re having cash flow problems yourself, explain it to your friend, a good friend will understand.

Are They Reliable?

It’s OKAY to be a little judgemental when it comes to lending money to a friend. When you’re really close friends with someone, you’re both overly aware of eachother’s best and worst points. Therefore sometimes it’s a quick judgement call, is the person asking for money, likely to be able to give it back? If they are the kind of person who have often made and broken promises or you know are constantly bad with money and you don’t trust they’ll be able to repay you, don’t risk it.

How Much Are We Talking?

The amount of money a friend asks for is also something major to consider. Under a hundred pounds and you might only think that they’ve got temporary cash problems. They might just need to pay a utility bill or make a credit card payment. A couple of hundred or even thousands of pounds might indicate some serious problems. If a friend is asking for a significant amount of money, be sure to question what it is for. You might find that your friend needs more than just money to help them out.

Why Are They Asking YOU?

This is one of the most important considerations. Take a step back and consider why your friend is asking you. Typically when it comes to finances, we turn to our immediate family before turning to friends. If their family has refused, or is your friends family unable to help them? Both of these questions need answering before you step in to help. Sometimes, as pessimistic as it might be, we can all cross the line and take advantage of the good nature of our friends. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Is There Any Other Way You Can Help?

It all comes back to that old saying, ‘Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’. If you can find out the root of the problem, you might just be able to help your friend on a long term basis. Do they need help organising their bills? You have to be careful how you approach this as you don’t want to come across like you are abusing their trust in asking you, but there might be an alternative solution than actually having to give them money. The most important thing to remember here is that friendship lasts a lot longer than money.


Peter has received many accreditation's including many from the Times Online. As founder of You Could Save (2005) , What Stationers (2007) and more recently, Peter Millikin (2018). Peter regularly helps consumers and national organisation ‘save money’. He believes that the only successful way to bring people together online is to provide an open marketplace where people can all work together in a friendly, unbiased environment.

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