It happens al the time – you loan some money out to someone, either as a loan or you pay for things whilst you are out together, and they forget to pay you back. You would really like your money back but it's a tough conversation to have. Then you get into a cycle of leaving it for ages and it becomes an even bigger issue to ask for the money back. If some time has passed then your friend might have forgotten or just not know how to bring it up. Here are some ideas about how you can ask someone for your money back.
Can they afford to pay you back?
First of all, do you know that this person can afford to pay you back? If you know that they are facing financial hardship then you might want to consider whether it is right to ask them for the money back. That is a call that only you can make based on your own financial situation, how much money you loaned out and your friendship.
This seems so simple, but if some time has past then your friend might have forgotten that they owe you some money, or they feel too awkward about bringing it up again. You can ask them outright for the money, either face to face, with a text message or email
“You get this one”
If you aren't comfortable asking them directly for the money then learn to love the phrase “you get this one”. This works well for something like a movie ticket, a coffee or a meal out. By simply reminding your friend or family member that you got the last one and asking them to get this one means that no money needs to change hands and you don’t need that awkward conversation. If you are worried that this will put them on the spot whilst queuing to pay then mention it when you make the plans.
Set a time limit
If you have an upcoming holiday, a large bill is due or Christmas is approaching then this gives you the perfect excuse to set a due date for your payment, and it is ever so slightly less awkward than asking outright for the money.
It reminds your friend that the money was a loan and it gives you both expectations. If your friend doesn't think that they can pay the full amount by that date then set up a repayment agreement between yourselves.
Set up a repayment agreement
Paying back a large amount of money in one go can make a massive dent in a weekly or monthly budget, so consider having a repayment plan.
Set an amount that your friend can realistically pay back, but also an amount that means the payment will be made in a suitable time frame. Being repaid £10 every week for 10 weeks is much better than never seeing your £100 again.
If you have any great tips for asking for money that you are owed then please leave a comment below, I would love to hear your suggestions.