Priorities

How could I say no? She was my friend and she was in need.

I knew her since college; we’re practically sisters. We’ve looked out for one another and she has even helped me out when I was starting out in freelancing. It was a no-brainer to help her when she wanted to borrow money. But then one instance turned into two, then three.

I know that she earns relatively well. She’s a middle manager in her company and takes on several freelancing projects. I often call her the queen of side gigs. That’s why it came as a mild surprise when she came to our home, asking me if I could her lend her money. Her mom got sick and she was still waiting for her advance for a project. I obliged, no questions asked.

But then a few months later, she came knocking on our door, again, asking if I had extra money left lying around. Her pay was delayed and rent was due. Again, I obliged. She promptly paid her first debt so I thought there was nothing wrong. Odd, perhaps.

And then she borrowed money one more time. That’s when I figured out that something was wrong with her and how she handled her finances. I confronted her when she posted that she bought a new phone to replace her current one. My current phone, which I’ve had for almost five years, still runs on Gingerbread.

It kind of hurts when you lend people money and you see them splurge. I’ve got no problem with lending money. I know what’s it like to have nothing. I’ve worked in retail and that face you make when you purchase something you like is a familiar sight. I do enjoy splurging on clothes, shoes and toys, but only when there’s spare money lying around and I’ve got my partner’s go ahead to shop.

What I do have an issue with is if you are currently struggling financially and you still do not know what your priorities are. I’m a proud person and it will take a catastrophe for me to borrow money from someone.

After my first job, I made it a point to save a portion of my salary. Until now, I regularly practice that. Or should I say, that my partner does that for me. She handles our finances and we’ve made it a point to save at least 20 percent of our monthly income for emergencies. By no means am I a financial expert. But I do know that I’m doing at least one thing right.

The last time I talked with my girl friend, she said she was planning to restore a car she bought for a song. And oh, she regularly posts video games and whatnots that she bought. She’s stopped borrowing money after our talk about the phone she bought, but I know she hasn’t changed her ways. I always cringe when I see those posts, knowing that she could do better, considering the fact that she earns better than me and she really has nothing to show for it.