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These 10 Things Will Happen After You Lend Money To Friends

These 10 Things Will Happen After You Lend Money To Friends

If a friend comes to you for help, lending money seems like a sensible option at first. That’s especially true if it’s someone very close to you who you think would never let you down. But, even though there are some upsides to lending money, it’s hard to justify the risks. Here are ten things that will happen when you lend money to friends.

1. Your friend will appreciate you.

It’s always nice to feel appreciated and, especially at first, your friend will be grateful to you for lending the money to them. It gets trickier when it’s time for them to pay you back, but at first it can make your relationship stronger.

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2. You’ll feel good about yourself.

A selfless act like lending money to your friend is sure to give you some warm fuzzy feelings. It’s nice to be able to help out someone close to you, and the satisfaction of doing a good deed is often worth the sacrifice.

3. You don’t earn any interest on the loan.

Let’s consider reasons why lending money might not be good idea. One less-than-selfless reason is that whereas at a bank you accrue interest on your money, when lending money to a friend the value of it decreases over time due to inflation. That means even when you’re paid back in full you’re still in the red.

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4. You might want the money.

We all want nice things. Chances are, you’ll be able to buy less nice things after lending money to a friend. This is less than ideal, though hardly enough of a reason not to be lending money to someone. The reasons that follow, though, will make a much more convincing case.

5. You might need the money.

Fortunes can turn very easily. Yours might if something unexpected happens like a medical issue or the loss of a job. At that point, you might really need the money you loaned your friend in order to support yourself and your family. But, even if your friend is now in a better place financially than you are at that moment, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be you’ll get your money back when you need it.

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6. The due date tends to shift.

This is if you have a due date at all. If you ignore this advice and lend money, at least set a due date. But even if you do, the problem remains that your friend will feel less pressured to pay you back because of your prior relationship. That’s natural; your friend might not realize how big of a deal returning the money is to you. They feel like they’re waiting to do it when it’s convenient for them. Heads up: it will never be convenient for them to return a significant sum of money.

7. Your friend is more likely to ask for a loan again, or a loan from others.

A lot of the time lending money just encourages people to rely more on others than they did before. That’s not their fault; it’s very easy to becoming dependent on others instead of shouldering all the burden yourself. If your friend does fall into this all-too-easy bad habit, they might even ask you for another loan. If you don’t grant it, they’ll move on to others who might.

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8. It’s a hard subject to bring up.

It’s uncomfortable enough for a creditor to call someone up and request payments, it’s another thing entirely to broach the subject if someone close to you isn’t showing any inclination that they’re going to pay you back anytime soon. That money might create a wedge between the two of you. That’s why lending money leads to further problems than just a hit to your checking account.

9. It can ruin your relationship.

This is one of the most significant risks of lending money to friends. If your friend can’t pay you back or, especially, if they won’t pay you back, you’ll start to resent them. Even if you don’t think you will, you will. That resentfulness isn’t worth it when there are likely other ways you can have their back.

10. You can help your friend in other ways.

Lending money isn’t the only way to solve someone’s problem. In fact, throwing money at a problem can oftentimes (though not always) be the most shallow way to take care of it. To pull out an oft-quoted metaphor, don’t give your friend a fish. Teach them how to fish for themselves. With your professional and personal help they might be able to benefit in ways like landing a better job or developing healthier spending and saving habits. There are definitely some dire situations when lending money to friends is the best choice (such as if you’re in debt to a loan shark), but if lending money can be avoided, you should steer clear.

Featured photo credit: Money Wallet/401(K) 2012 via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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