This is something that bothers me seriously and I just have to talk about it. I can understand people owing for certain reasons, to invest, start a business or maybe an emergency. Sometimes, some things come up and you really have to borrow or buy on credit. These people give you out of trust and most times, friendship. But, when it’s time to pay, and people start acting like they are being disturbed or harassed, that’s what gets to me.
I am not talking about owing various credit systems, where you have the arrangement to pay weekly, monthly or yearly with interests. People do that, and sometimes it helps. I am talking about when you buy stuff from people or businesses who give you some grace period to pay, and when that period expires, you still don’t pay back. I am also talking about when you borrow money, promising to pay back but you never do.
There’s this friend I have who sold some stuff to one of her friends on credit. I think everything cost N20,000. This lady refused to pay for the stuff and my friend kept calling back, but nothing. One day, when she called back to ask for her money, the woman started yelling over the phone, saying things like: “Is it because of common 20k that you are calling me to tell me rubbish? Why are you disturbing me because of mere 20k? What is 20k?”
I was dumbfounded. I didn’t even know how to begin my reaction. So, 20k is common but you cannot pay back? It is nothing but you have not shown up with it, very mere that you have still not transferred it to her account. Ah!
I also have had a couple of instances where I had to tell people owing me to just forget about it. I wrote off all the debt just for my own peace and for friendship sake. I didn’t want to go to bed angry with anyone. Because of such situations, I am now very cautious with lending. Honestly, I prefer to give money for free, than to lend. I have not more than three people that I don’t hesitate to lend money when they need because they never joke with paying back.
It is in some people’s DNA to owe. They buy everything without even thinking about it. They have outstanding debt but don’t hesitate to owe someone else. To make it worse, they start avoiding you or even become mean to you when you ask. I know things are difficult sometimes but having to owe all the time and not paying back is something that could be avoided.
You may think you are solving some of your problems by owing, but owing and not paying back creates lots of problems in return.
These are a few things that owing could do to you:
- Spoil your relationships: A lot of people are no longer friends because one person owed the other and couldn’t pay back, or simply refused to do so. Most of the time, when our family or friends sell stuff, they try to make us buy, and saying ‘NO’ in such situations is difficult right? Some people pick those stuff on credit because it belongs to people they are familiar and friendly with. Sometimes, you may have the money to pay immediately, but because you guys are familiar with each other, you say, “I’ll pay you later.” Then comes payment time. Payment all of a sudden becomes difficult or impossible for one reason or another. This is followed by series of unanswered calls and text messages. Then anger, bitterness, and grudge, followed by insults in some cases. This relationship is already in trouble at this point and trust is broken.
- Spoil your name: A very wise King, the wisest ever King Solomon, once said: “A good name is more desirable than great riches. To be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” If you are fond of owing, you will be given names related to an ower. Your reputation is going to be in serious trouble and no one will esteem you. You will be seen as untrustworthy and as someone who lacks self-respect. No one will recommend you or give positive feedback about you in relation to money. Nobody would even like to help you when you are in serious need.
- Steal your peace: You may end up losing your peace. You find out you are often anxious or depressed. You no longer like to see or hear from the person you owe because you feel he will bring up the debt issue. This makes you become a hider because of shame and embarrassment. You start avoiding the person like a bad headache. The funny and annoying thing about this is that even at that, some people still refuse to pay back even if it is in their power to pay back.
- Make you become a liar and a deceiver: Of course, you may start saying things that aren’t true just to buy more time, get away with it or avoid confrontation. Some people go ahead to deceive their lenders some more, by promising to payback on a date they know they wouldn’t.
- Stealing: Sad but true, a few people end up stealing from someone to pay another. It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
- More debt/borrowing: You may end up finding yourself in a situation of borrowing from another person just to pay back what you owe. And then the cycle starts all over again with the new lender.
How to avoid having owing
- Start saving: Saving is a great thing to do to avoid buying things on credit. Start saving money today so you can afford to buy what you need to buy tomorrow. You may say you never have enough to save but I think you do. Cutting down on unnecessary expenditure is a great way to start. No matter how little you save consistently, it will shock you just how much you’ll have later on. Tiny drops of water make a mighty ocean. Start saving money today!
- Keep off from things you cannot afford: Most people are in debt because they buy things they actually can’t afford. They imagine they could pay little by little, but some end up overwhelmed and so many important areas of their lives end up suffering because they really have to squeeze. It is simple, do not buy things you cannot afford. Cut your coat according to your size. If you don’t have any coat, wear the sweater you have like that, while you work towards buying a coat tomorrow.
- Don’t buy things just because everyone else is buying: Moving with the trend has put so many people in trouble. Just because everyone else is buying it doesn’t mean you should have it. After a short while, we all end up getting bored with such stuff anyways and want the next trending stuff. Stop it! It is unnecessary and it is killing you. Take off the weight of wanting what everybody has.
- Stop competing: Why are you competing with someone who doesn’t even know you exist? Because they bought expensive hair extensions, you make sure you buy the one next to that, or because your neighbor just bought a new car, all of a sudden your own car has issues and you need to change it. Stop wanting things just because other people have them and you will save yourself from lots of heartaches.
- Don’t let anyone bully you into buying: Learn to say NO without feeling bad about it. Don’t let a friend or family make you buy stuff just because they are the ones selling them. Saying NO now might save your friendship later. I know some sellers are a bit pushy. Even if you tell them you don’t have the money now, they’ll still force you to buy and tell you there’s no problem, you can pay later. Don’t! The person saying no problem will be the same person to disgrace you tomorrow if you don’t end up paying.
- Love yourself enough to not need material things to gain attraction: Be confident and comfortable in your skin enough to not be pressured into buying stuff to gain attraction. Don’t buy to impress. Run away from anyone who does not love you for who you are but for what you have. Be around people who won’t push you into thinking you need more stuff.
- Payback when you say you would: Even if you must owe, please try to pay back when you say you would. Keeping your word will be a blessing to both you and your lender. If you get the feeling that you might not be able to pay, simply don’t owe.
Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.
I am urging you today to try your best to pay back everything you owe and try to live without owing anyone. Yes, it is possible. With planning and discipline, a lot of us will be able to avoid owing.
What is your take on this? Have you ever had a bad experience with someone over this issue? How did you solve it? I would love to hear what you have to say. Please leave your comments in the comment box below. Don’t be afraid to speak because other people are reading your comments and you never know who you are helping.
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