When I had just quit my job and started out as a freelancer I got in a lot of trouble with friends who knew how much I was earning from certain projects.
Every time my friends asked me how much I was earning from a project I would become my honest self and just spill the beans.
Until the beans started burning me, I had this particular friend who had made it a habit to get problems worth the amount of money I was supposed to earn.
Every time I would discuss with her the dates of payment she would call me on those days one day in particular she called claiming to have suffered an accident.
I was really concerned but unfortunately I couldn’t release the amount of money she needed because the cheque had been delayed I had to wait another week.
I really felt bad that I couldn’t help out but promised to relieve her debt burden the moment the money came in. I asked if I could visit her but she always gave me lame excuses until I gave up.
Lucky enough I got another project immediately after that and traveled out of Kampala for a while, when I came back I was so happy to see her.
We discussed my journey and again I was asked the most awkward question, how much are you earning on this one and I gullibly mentioned the sum again.
This time she got a problem which summed up all the money I had worked for on both projects. She called me daily and I felt even funnier (like a cartoon) because I also had dreams of my own and needs that I wanted met immediately without delay.
I needed a website designed, I wanted to buy a domain name, camera….basically I had a lot of needs.
But she kept up the charade until I felt like I was being unfair to my friend when she needed me the most. Part of me was empathetic, my friend had all these problems and my role was to be a supportive friend which role I wasn’t playing very well.
So my first instinct was to release the money to her pronto again but my gut feeling told me to seek for a second opinion so I decided to seek my mother’s wise counsel since I have found it to be real wisdom and this is what she had to say;
The ultimate test of friendship: If your friend is really genuine, she wouldn’t be looking at borrowing money from someone who doesn’t have a salaried job because that is your only hope.
That money is your last chance to make amends in your future by setting up a business, looking for investment opportunities or squandering it on a wardrobe that would help you land your next job.
But if you keep insisting that she is a good friend and you trust her and you are certain you want to give her all your money.
Just ask her if she is willing to put her signature on some paper work which stipulates that she pays you a 15% interest on the loan in a given period of time considering the amount of money she wanted to borrow was huge.
If she allows then that means your friend is a true friend who understands your situation in life right now.
But if she refuses that means she is being unfair to you and wants you to hold off all your dreams as she ties down all your money un taxed to service her needs while you wait for the day she decides to pay it back and chances are she won’t pay you a lump sum it will be in bits, which bits are often useless.
Of course you all guessed what happened when I told my friend what my mother had suggested, she ditched me and told me the most poisonous negative words I have ever been told by one person in a phone call. That hurt a bit because I felt misunderstood but I guess older wisdom served me right.
From that day forward I vowed never to discuss money with personal friends unless we are looking at investing in a business together but short of that I don’t.
You might say well Sarah how then do we avoid this questions if a close friend or relative asks you how much you earn, please don’t avoid the question, answer it…you earn just enough for the job you do.
Do you have a friend like that or have you ever faced the same problem like I did, how did you deal with it?