Frump is a five-letter word, but it could as easily be a four-letter one if you ever tell a woman she is one. Some recent research shows us though that unfortunately, more than half of us our FRUMPs – Friend Rich but Ultimately Money Poor – because we are too generous with our money lending to friends, and too embarrassed to ask for our money back.
A whopping 66% – two thirds of women – who have lent money to friends or family do not ask for it back, because they are fearful of impacting the friendship, according to the app Payfriendz. To compound the problem, women are also 20% more likely than men to lend money to their friends in need, with a third saying they will pay for a group meal. On average, four friends owe each female friend money, but in the 25-34 age group the average rises to six friends.
Even if us girls are brave enough to ask for our money back, it seems four out of five of us baulk at asking face-to-face, preferring instead to text our friends, yet one in 10 women admit they no longer talk to a friend who has not paid them back, and one in six of us will not even ask for the money back that is owed.
The North East of England is the worst affected – the average amount owed to women by friends is a massive £583, with the national average at £330. Londoners are owed on average £197.
The thing is, if you are prepared to lend money then you must either only lend the amount that you are prepared to lose – if indeed you are prepared to lose it – or have the gumption to ask for it back. Helping out a friend in need is a kindness that should never be repaid with a contempt for you, and it is not at all unreasonable to ask for that money back. Yes, it is embarrassing, no doubt about it – but so what? If it means you are going to get as much as £583 on average that you are owed, then surely that is worth a bit of an awkward moment to get that money?
Of course, if you are someone who has been lent money by a kind friend in the past, then take this as your cue to pay it back. Come on, you know it is the right thing to do. Or if you do not have the money right now, then at least make it clear you are going to pay it back, and give your friend a deadline. Paying money back in installments is just as effective as giving a lump sum.