How to Borrow Money (Without Brewing Resentment)

When dining with friends, if you can't pay your share, don't borrow the difference...Here's a savvy trick for Get-It-Done Guy to make sure that you don't borrow a side of resentment with your cash.

Stever Robbins
2-minute read

You and your best friend have gone to that amazing dumpling place in Chinatown for a dozen dumplings.

Not only do you love the food, but you love the fact that they only take cash. That way, even the NSA won't know that you've been feasting on delicious, pan-fried goodness. Additionally, there's no way for your shmoopie to find out. (Shmoopie would say "tsk tsk tsk" if he, she, or they knew you were taking a little break from your diet of steamed vegetables and tofu. And we hate it when shmoopie says "tsk tsk tsk.")

Unfortunately, when the bill comes, you discover that you're $3 short. You ask your friend to spot you $3, and your friend is thrilled to help out. "Just pay me back when it's convenient."

There's only one problem: In practice, it will never be convenient. You'll forget, your friend will harbor a secret resentment over the issue, and 6 years from now, it will explode into an emotionally messy scene that will end the friendship. But it doesn't have to be this way!

The reason it's not convenient to repay your friend is that it's $3. Who in the world has $3 exactly? We used to be able to withdraw $3 from banks, but now they charge us for using the human tellers (which makes me wonder why banks all have 10,000 square foot offices), so we get all our cash from ATMs, in $20 bills.

The solution: Instead of borrowing $3 from your friend, borrow $20. Then pay the bill as normal and take your change. Now you have some extra walking-around money, and the moment you and your friend pass by an ATM, you can withdraw a $20 and pay them back. It's much easier and more convenient than borrowing the actual amount you need to cover the bill.

For more tips on how to make your life more efficient and productive, check out quickanddirtytips.com/get-it-done-guy.

About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.