Saturday, January 14, 2006

Cash, lending, polls...

My post the other day about wallet cash seems to have been very popular, with quite a few interesting comments about how much money people carry and why. The poll results surprised me, with most people voting for $20 and under.
Well, that means most of you will probably be horrified to hear that today I have $226.70 in my wallet. This was actually unintentional and resulted from a $175 loan being repaid to me in cash. What is it about a long-standing loan being repaid that makes it so awkward? The etiquette seems to be to pretend that it was no big deal and say "oh thanks" and stuff the money away as quickly as possible without counting it, even if you're inwardly thinking "thank God that's over with!"
I tend not to get into money-lending situations with friends or family. I think this was the largest amount I have ever loaned to a friend. I once lent my mother a larger amount-- I can't remember but I think it may have been $500 or $1000. I kind of blocked it out of my mind because I knew I wouldn't get it back and I never did. She asked me for money a second time some years later and I said no, because it was an amount I couldn't comfortably spare. I also thought she was inappropriately asking me to take sides, as she wanted the money for a lawyer and an apartment, so she could divorce my dad! I still have some doubts about that one-- it's not like she needed to get out of an abusive situation but as my parents had a pretty traditional marriage, she didn't have much money of her own and was in a tricky spot. I didn't want to be unsupportive of her and it bothered me that she ended up borrowing money from one of her friends. But I think my father would have felt like I was taking sides against him. So it was really hard to know what was the right thing to do. Maybe it's worth another poll...






What would you do if one of your parents wanted to borrow money from you to pay for a divorce?
Yes, I would lend the money.
No, I would not lend the money.
I would say "gee, I'd love to help but I spend all my spare cash on therapy!"


  

Free polls from Pollhost.com

10 comments:

Harsha said...

Just Surfed in..nice blog..

personal finance advice said...

I beat you with about $420 in my wallet, but that because I'm in Japan where a lot is still done in cash (plus it's outright expensive). - when I first got paid in Japan, my salary was given to me in cash. Credit is used a bit more these days...

SMB said...

Was this the person that bought the fancy belt when she owed you money? ;) Glad it's over with, for your sake.

Madame X said...

No, this was not belt-girl!

thc said...

I find myself carrying less cash all the time. I've always used credit cards heavily (paid the balance in full at the end of the month) and now ATM cards are accepted everywhere. When I get cash at the ATM it's usually only $60-80 bucks an it lasts awhile.

Bitty said...

I deliberately didn't take the poll because my situation seems to be a little different from yours. My siblings and I would take up a collection in a heartbeat, no payback required, if only our mother would divorce my stepfather/their father. To get the answer to the kind of question you seem to be asking (would it be fair to take sides by loaning this money...) seems to presume that the children love their parents equally because the parents are equally deserving of that love!

Madame X said...

Bitty-- absolutely, I probably should have specified that the questions assumes you don't think either parent is an awful person or particularly to blame for the marriage falling apart. In my situation, it is really just a question of mutual incompatibility, and they've both been good parents to me.

Big Mike said...

I always take $200 to $300 out of the ATM machine, so I will often have that much in my wallet.

It's really dumb only carrying $20 with you. You will waste a lot of time going to the ATM machine all the time. Time is money. Don't waste time.

Q. McFarlan said...

Bah, loaning money to family is the worst. I'm out $1200 and counting currently, probably be ages before I see it again, and I really can't afford it. Bleh.

Listen Kindley said...

Shhhh! I hope you don't mind but this is too good to keep quiet about and I need to tell someone. I have found a website that is giving out FREE information about credit repair