It’s happened to the best of us… your friend has left their purse at home, so when the bill arrives, you offer to pay. But how or when do you ask for the money back? Outstanding IOUs can be awkward for both people and to avoid having an uncomfortable conversation or being out of pocket, Paym, the UK’s mobile payment service has provided its five top tips for friendly finances.
- Decide who’s paying beforehand - Before heading out with friends or family, decide how you plan to split the costs. For example if out for a drink with mates, do you each buy a round, pay for what you drink, or split it evenly? By having these conversations upfront, you can avoid tense conversations when it comes to the final bill.
- Keep track of payments - Paying your bit when it comes to household bills or food shopping is part of sharing a home; whether you’re living with your friends or a partner. Work out if you’re splitting these evenly each time by paying for yourselves, or if you’re taking it in turns make sure you’re keeping track of whose turn it is.
- Set a date - If you need someone to pay you back, check your calendar for the next social plan you will be both be heading to, or make a plan to catch up again soon, and let them know that they can pick up a fair share of the bill then. That way, you both have a clear idea of when you want the money to be given back to you.
- Avoid IOU awkwardness - Contrary to what many people feel when they’ve lent money, reminding the other person about it won’t have a negative impact on your relationship. Paym’s research found that those who have borrowed money actually want to be reminded about it so they don’t forget and can keep the friendship open and honest about ‘who owes who what’. You can even be indirect in bringing up the subject, "I've got to pay my car insurance soon so that money I lent you would be really useful to put towards it, thanks.”
Take advantage of tech - If you have forgetful friends, see if they have their mobile on them as they could be able to pay their share via Paym, the UK’s mobile payment service. All they need is your mobile number to send money straight into your account quickly and easily. Paym is offered by seventeen banks and building societies through their banking apps, meaning it’s widely available and secure.