Lizzy and her boyfriend Jake had been dating for three years, and in those years, they never had money issues. They were both working in the financial sector and contributed financially to the relationship. Trouble started when Jake lot his job during a mass retrenchment exercise at the bank he worked for. Things got difficult for him and Lizzy often helped to chip in; while he sought another job. After a year of futile job search, Jake decided to start a fast food business; he had some money saved, but it was barely going to be enough. He enlisted the financial help of his girlfriend and Lizzy gave him all the money she had been saving for a new car. The agreement was that he was going to pay back in four installments, starting from the sixth month of start up. To Lizzy, it was fine putting off buying a car if it meant her boyfriend found his feet again; after all she went to work with the staff bus and was silently getting wary of Jake’s dependence on her.
Unfortunately, Jake had not properly thought the process through, had done no market survey and had no Unique Selling Point (USP). He rented a space at a location that wasn’t great for business, and the balance he had left was unable to put finishing touches and buy the necessary equipment. He started rallying around for more money and was able to get two friends to loan him what he needed, so business started. Business however was really slow as most people went to other fast foods in the area and the cook Jake hired didn’t really have anything great to offer. Eventually, he struggled to barely keep the business afloat and was unable to pay back the monies he borrowed for more than two years. By this time, Lizzy was already pissed and really wanted her money back. The staff bus had stopped taking her route, so she was jumping bus everyday to get to work. Jake refused to admit that he made bad business decisions, and this caused even more problems for their relationship, until Lizzy got tired and demanded for her money.
Jake started paying her in tiny installments, so much so that when he was finally done paying up, she couldn’t do anything tangible with the money. Frustrated, she broke up with Jake, took an advance loan from the bank, added savings and bought herself a car. A lot of people criticized Lizzy for leaving Jake, but I advise not to judge if you don’t know where the shoe pinches. I do not blame Lizzy for lending Jake money, because she would have seemed wicked if she went ahead to buy a car while her boyfriend was sourcing for money to kick-start his business. However, I wish she had asked some stringent questions before giving him the money. If she had asked for a written business plan, she would have seen the loopholes in the deal and advised her boyfriend appropriately. Love should not becloud financial wisdom, and we should still be happy to ask financial questions, to make sure that our hard-earned money is put to good use.
I have seen relationships that both partners loan each other monies and have made huge dividends out of the investments. For example, a friend of mine Felix once had a cousin who desperately wanted to sell a plot of land. The deal was a good one, but Felix did not have enough money to pay upfront, and it was his girlfriend Tessy that loaned the money he needed to complete the transaction. The difference was that Tessy went to great lengths to ensure that Felix wasn’t being duped. She knew they were going to have issues if it ended up being a bad deal, so she got the Lawyer and Quantity Surveyor that looked into the property, and even contacted a friend that worked at Ministry of Lands to ascertain the real owner of the property. Satisfied, she gave Felix the money he needed, and as God would have it, he not only paid her back in due time, but also built their family home on that property when they got married.
Lending money to a loved one can sometimes be bad news, and it is quite a dilemma when you have the money your boyfriend needs but you are wary of giving it to him, because you are scared of the issue that could arise. Money easily manipulates our emotions, and when it is not returned at the time initially promised, feelings can flare. Another concern is what if, before you get the chance to get your money back, things go awry in the relationship? Walking out of the relationship could mean you losing your money entirely, but should you stay in a bad place, simply because you want your money back? What if he realizes that you are being held to ransom by the money he owes you, and uses that to keep you hostage in a relationship you are tired of? At what point do you draw the line? What can you do to protect yourself?
In dealing with money issues in a relationship, it helps to remain unbiased and objective. It would help if you only loan money that you know you can get over easily, if things go wrong. DO NOT splurge your life’s savings on a boyfriend! If you are going to loan a huge amount of money, please don’t make sure a decision with your heart; go in with your head. Set the agreement on paper, stating the amount being loaned, the names of both parties, the agreement on payment and the witness present. That way, he takes the money seriously and would work hard to pay you back as agreed, and you can also take up action if you end the relationship and still want your money back. If he gets upset by your suggestion of a written agreement, then you know he has devious plans never to pay back. If he is sincere about what he wants the money for, and when he would pay you; he won’t have any issue putting the agreement in writing. A lot of women have ended up scorned by gold diggers that they dated, so be wise and stay smart.
Jacy is a single mom in her late twenties. She works as a brand strategist in a Communications & Brand company during the day and as a writer at night; when she is not helping her daughter with homework or drawings. She is cheerful, friendly and spiritual. She is currently not in any relationship but she has a few love interests. Her world revolves around her daughter, church, movies and her career.