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If you Have $30 Cash…

One of the fill-in-the-blank questions that I asked last week (to a very tepid response), was

If you have $30 Cash but owe your friend $20 you ____

Now the correct answer really is “you don’t have $30 Cash you really only have $10” (this is a great quote from the website Brotips, well worth checking out). Given what I keep hearing about how it should be much easier for everyone to borrow money, and the government continues to make it very cheap as well, here are a few possible (dumb) answers that some folks might suggest:

  • Borrow $10 more from your friend that way you have $40!
  • Borrow $20 in a pay day loan to pay your friend off, that way you don’t owe your friend money.
  • Refinance your house because you have so much free capital

As you can see, there are many stupid responses to that question, none of which is “correct”.

Let’s ask the question another way:

Your friend owes you $20, but he tells you he has $30 cash so you should ___

The correct answers that I would accept on this one are:

  • You shouldn’t have loaned him (or her) $20 in the first place
  • Ask for your money back (since they already borrowed money from you, so they aren’t likely to have spare cash in the near future).
  • Call a collection agency to get your money back (OK, that costs money and should only be done if you feel you can get on TV doing it, or you are a spiteful vindictive person).

Polonius (in Shakespeare’s Hamlet) did have it right,

Neither a borrower nor a lender be, For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

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