I edit term papers and do research for college students who are too overwhelmed to do it themselves. I charge fair prices, but I insist on a deposit before I start the work and final payment prior to delivery. Except for one time. A relative was doing a group project and got stuck at the last minute doing everyone else’s portion. I know how that felt because that happened to me more than once. Because of the fast approaching deadline and that fact that I thought my relative was honest, I waived the deposit and the payment in full before delivery requirements and we agreed to a price of $300 which she agreed to put in the mail that night. Long story short, my relative received an A on the project and months later I finally received half of the cost of my work after numerous reminders to her for payment. So even though I was out $150, the real cost was to our relationship.
Submitted by: Lori
Mixing money and family is a very shaky situation in most circumstances. There have been many many instances in my own family where it was a horrible idea (they will likely end up on this site at some point). Even money between friends can cause great strain in friendships.
I don’t recall where I heard it, but I remember hearing advice about how to handle lending money to friends or family. Avoid it whenever possible, but if you cannot avoid it, don’t consider it a loan, consider it a donation. Expecting to receive the money back is only going to place a rift between you and the person close to you. Most of my friends and family have been made well aware (I’m usually a fairly blunt and straight-forward person) that I absolutely do not lend money. If they ask me, I will tell them that as plain as day. If someone was at risk of losing their home, things may be different, but it’s very circumstantial. And unfortunately, most circumstances are their own doing and I don’t feel that warrants my sacrifice to fix it.
I think the reader has already processed her particular situation and how she will handle them in the future. Stick to your guns, don’t let anyone walk over you, and contracts keep friends as friends or family as family. Treat them as you would a client when it comes to money (as in, no leniency) and it should help prevent these types of situations in the future.
Amount Flushed Down the Money Drain: $150
Do you have any tips for dealing with family/friends and money?