Continuing with yesterday’s theme (basically my excuse to dispense useful advice), we all have been in situations with our pals that make us think twice.

A few more lame lines and how to counteract without being a jerk (oh and since I haven’t gotten permission from friends to use their pictures, more of me and the dog, which I have every right to exploit):

Lame-o Line Four: “Can I borrow your favorite CD/that book/$300?”

Meandsadiedog The borrowing of things is a complicated and deeply personal issue. That said, I have a few rules.

1) Karma Money: Anything $5 or less between good friends I consider karma money. Small amounts aren’t to be repaid back but are gifts to the universe. Sure, your buddy is short today but she’ll probably get you a coffee next week anyway. This is my personal philosophy but feel free to subscribe.

2) To Loan or Not To Loan: To decide this (assuming I’m loaning something important), I have two “tests” the person should pass.

Sleep test: Sleep on the idea. Wake up in the morning and think of the idea again. How do things feel in the pit of your stomach when you think of saying “Sure, you can borrow my car”? Listen to that gut!

The Sadie Test: If you have a kid or a dog that is important to you but a dependent being, think of loaning them to the person you are loaning your lawnmower to. Do you trust this person to care for your dependent for any length of time? Or will they return your object broken, late, or cranky?

There, that takes care of should you loan or not loan. Now what if you have loaned and aren’t getting your thing/money back?

Nicole-with-hat-003 You need to nag at increasing frequency and try not to be psycho so much as insistent. To remind you to nag (if it doesn’t come natural to you), try an email service like Sandy. Sandy functions like the reminder system of Microsoft Outlook but it does the reminding over email, meaning it doesn’t matter what computer you’re at. (Either Mrs. Micah or Sense To Save tipped me off on this service so thanks to them).

Ok, they still aren’t budging. If you have to, use multiple means of communications, involve other people, or just stop by their house to pick it up. At this point, you’ve made it clear you want your item back so they need to get it to you. They have also stepped beyond the line-o-civility.

By the way, if you are going to loan someone money, make a payment plan first and have them agree to it. This doesn’t make you a jerkface, it makes you responsible.

That said, only lend what you can afford to lose. Because there are no guarentees…

Lame-o Line #5: You should get that bathing suit/join that club/do this with me.

Mewithshades It’s natural that your friends encourage you to do things. They want to be supportive, interested. But perhaps they are pushing you do do something you can’t afford or don’t want to do.

Just say no. ( Ha Ha, just kidding, I mean look at how successful that was for a generation of kids!) Seriously though, before you go somewhere with Pushy Friend Who Makes You Spend Too Much, have a set amount you are willing to spend. Take only that amount with you. Lead yourself not unto temptation.

In short, friends are the grilled cheeses of our lives: warm and comforting and great late at night when you’re starving. Knowing what to expect with friends and finances, you can just enjoy the gooey goodness and not expect a stomach ache after the fact. Ok, mixed metaphor but you get my drift.

Have I forgotten any Lame-o Lines? Or perhaps you handle it a little differently?

Missed Part I of this series? You’re in luck! Here’s the link.

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