Vutomi Tshabalala is a 23-year-old divorcee, single mother and compliance officer. She writes motivational articles in her personal capacity.
Imagine having a sick child at night and feeling helpless, because you do not have money for fuel nor a taxi fare. Not because you are bad at financial planning, but because a friend you borrowed money when they were in financial distress did not pay back the money two days ago as promised. Maybe this is a little bit too complex, now imagine arriving late at a job interview with your heart rate pacing, as you spent the past hours borrowing money from different people because your once financially distressed friend kept saying they will pay back the money “any moment now” and they never did. These two people could have borrowed money from each other and now the cycle of the one person struggling causes an unintended discomfort for the other.
Moral of the story is that life is unpredictable, we make plans and promises based on our current emotions while the reality of the matter is just the opposite. Love your friends enough not to borrow money from them. Avoid putting them in a corner whereby they have to accept your broken promise for whatever reason, as you also do not know their initial plan for the money to begin with, in fact it is none of your business.
I could cry myself to sleep not knowing where my next meal is going to come from, because this has been a tough month (Such happens, it’s okay). Then I swallow my pride and borrow money from my friend with the promise to pay it back next week, knowing very well that my salary would not have been paid by then, but the idea of short term borrowings sort of cover-up my true level of suffering, because reality is that it’s been a tough last couple of months. My friend may need to go for special tutoring classes in the next week as they are struggling to cope with being a working class and a student, another struggle that they themselves keep to themselves. My friend may now have to borrow money from their friend who was hoping to buy their siblings winter clothes. All these feelings of disappointment from the one friend will eventually fuel up emotions of anger, hate and jealousy.
Never for once take for granted the smile on someone’s face, as we all have battles that we are fighting underneath and are not communicating. It just happens to be easier to share a smile, than to have other people see your pain. I might wear nice clothes and post proper pictures, but I could just as much be struggling to make ends meet, maybe I even bought those clothes when finances were all good, so stop assuming. Never for a moment prioritize your own problems and needs over those of a friend when it comes to their own money. Yes you are struggling, so go to the bank for a loan. Yes, you have nothing to eat, tell it like it is so that I may have the choice as to whether I will be able to accommodate your struggles or not.
Borrowing money ruins friendships because more often than not, one person is suffering and the one person expects the other to understand their situation, which is unfair. This needs to stop, no friend needs to inherit your problems. Even if the person has the spare money to share, for as long as you went to them with the presentation that you are borrowing, then you need to pay it back at the promised time. Even if a person prioritizes to buy a fancy new pair of shoes over lending them, do not catch feeling, it is their money. When I start calling you demanding my money, you get angry “Blah,blah, she doesn’t I’m broke.” STOP IT.”Blah,blah, she is calling me non-stop as if I borrowed a million rand”, STOP IT. “Bla,Blah, now I’m not even supposed to buy myself a Banana because I owe her R2,STOP IT. If you love someone, protect and respect your relationship enough not to borrow money from them. Only borrow money from someone you will be forced to payback (Loan shark) or a person you are willing to lose should the unexpected happen.