Down on his luck

A friend of mine is in a real slump at the moment. He’s running out of options and he’s got no one to turn to. There isn’t anyone left who is willing to help him out and he doesn’t know what to do. His life is going downhill and there shows no sign of sunshine in the upcoming days. What’s a guy to do when he’s on his last leg? Does he give up or does he continue to fight?

I’m encouraging him to fight and keep going. He doesn’t have many people to turn to but he can turn to me. I shouldn’t even be helping him out in the first place. He hasn’t done anything to help me when I was in need. All he’s done was take and take while I keep on giving. But it’s not in my character to leave a friend hanging in his time of need especially when he has nowhere to turn to.

A few years back, this friend borrowed money from him to buy a sound system and a security system for his car. The total came out to $1500 but he didn’t have to pay until the following year. He was making almost three times as much money as I was so I assumed that he would be able to pay for it before the interest kicks in. His credit rating was poor so the retailer wouldn’t give him the deal. I was originally supposed to co-sign for him but instead I became the primary buyer. I didn’t think too much of it since there was plenty of time to pay for it. I figured that if he makes $100 payments every month, he’ll have majority of it paid for.

Every time I get the bill in the mail, I would forward it to his house. But as the months pass, I saw that no payment was being made to the bill. I was starting to worry that my credit could be affected if he didn’t pay. I was only working part time so I was in no position to be making payments for an item that I didn’t purchase.

Then finally one day I get a call from the creditors. They asked me why I haven’t been paying my monthly bill. I informed them that my friend was the one that bought the item and he was supposed to be making monthly payments. The creditor told me that no payment has ever been made and it didn’t matter if my friend wasn’t paying them because the bill was in my name and I was responsible. I didn’t want my credit rating to be affected so I started making monthly payments. I managed to get everything paid for in about eight months. A bit of interest was accumulated but it wasn’t too much.

This friend has always been in some sort of financially dilemma and he’s been borrowing money from a few people. It’s gotten so bad that no one will lend him money any more. I wouldn’t blame them. Why would anyone want to lend money to someone who’s not going to pay them back? I feel sorry for him for being in this situation. I don’t think he brought it on himself but it just seems that he got bad luck. It’s either that or he’s really bad with money.

A couple of nights ago, he called me out for coffee. My girlfriend warned me not to give in and give him money. She didn’t have to warn me since I had no money to give anyway. As much as I wanted to help him, I couldn’t. I’m not in any position to be financially helping someone when I have problems of my own to worry about.

When I met up with him at Tim Horton’s, he looked like shit. He appeared to have lost some weight. His eyes were all red and he didn’t look like he’s getting any sleep. He told me that he hasn’t eaten in a couple of weeks. That’s insane! I don’t know why he would do such a thing to himself. I don’t know if he has anyone he can turn to but it seems like I’m the only one. He doesn’t want to go back to his parents since they kicked him out. I think it’s really stupid of his parents to do that. I told that to him to his face. No parent should abandon their kids like this. I don’t know the whole story so I can’t blame them entirely. I just think that you should be able to turn to your parents in your times of need, no matter what’s happening.

I couldn’t stand seeing him in this condition so I got him some food. It was the least that I could do. I didn’t have any money but even if I did, I wouldn’t give it to him. I bought him $20 worth of food and hoped that it would last for a while. It should late him two weeks if he rations it but I don’t know if that’ll help. He’s already late on his rent so I don’t know where he’s going to go when he gets kicked out and the winter month is rapidly approaching.

In times like these, if you can’t turn to your family and friends, you’re out of luck. It’s a cruel world out there and you need all the help you can get. No one with family and friends should be living like this. It makes you feel so alone in this world. If it’s one thing that I’m afraid of, it’s being alone. This world is so big and we’re so small. It’s a scary thought knowing that we’re isolated in our own little world with a population of one when there are six billion other people on this planet. Out of all those people, if there’s one person that give lend a helping hand, that one person can make all the difference in the world.

2 thoughts on “Down on his luck

  1. Wow.. It seems to me like your friend is having financial problems because he’s spending more than he makes. I also agree with you in the fact that parents should always help you out if you need the help and that most of the time but I also think that most parents would want their kids to live at home as long as possible. But like you said, we don’t know what might have happened between your friend and his parents so we can’t really say if it was right or wrong for them to kick him out.

    I’m going to be a bit harsh right now, but I think it’s because I don’t really have much patience for people who have financial problems because they have a spending problem. I mean, I am an understanding person and if you have financial problems because of other reasons (student loans, unexpected emergency bills), it’s understandable, but if you have financial issues because you have a spending problem… I’d probably smack you to get some sense into you.

    It seems that your friend is living beyond his means. Did you discuss with him why he is having financial problems? If a person works 8 hours a day and doesn’t spend their money on like $40 dinner everyday should still be able to get by. Maybe not living the life that they would like, but they’d have enough money for rent and food.

    Also, credit cards are evil. They make you think you can get things for free. The mentality here is when you spend cash, you can tell that you’re spending money because you give the cashier the cash (you don’t get it back) and you get your item. But when you pay with a credit card, it doesn’t seem like you are spending anything because you give them your card, and then they return it to you with your item. Some people are conscious about this, but some are not.. and those are the people who have tons of credit card debt. I mean, a credit card is really good for emergency situations, but it shouldn’t be something you are using regularly if you don’t have the money.

    Lastly, I think that stereo/alarm system on the car was probably ridiculous. I know it’s this whole guy thing to want to get a nice car and then probably supe it up.. but seriously is it really necessary to damage your ear drums with a “sweet” stereo system? While I was reading this and I saw that the bill was $1500, i was like “Oh Don, don’t tell me you paid for this!!” because this is not necessary for life. What would’ve been more helpful was if your friend canned the stereo/alarm system and put that money to paying rent and food. I mean, he obviously did not have the cash to pay for it, so that means he shouldn’t be able to have it. Just like how none of us have enough money to live in a mansion. I mean wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a mansion to live in? But we don’t have the money to pay for one.. so that’s just too bad. Live in your regular old house and deal with it. If that’s really something you want, you should work hard, save up.. and one day you’ll get it. (Just like how you’re teaching your bro how to save for an xbox). Come to thinking about it, if you cannot afford to keep the car that you want, you can even get – *the shock of your life* – an HSR Public Bus Pass. No? It won’t get you the ladies, but it will get you from point a to point b.

    You were right not to lend money to him Don. I mean you’re not a bank and he still owes you money right? Do you ever think you’re going to ever get your stereo/alarm system back? I mean technically it’s yours since you paid for it. Wow, I sound like a bitch, but this is my stance on this topic lol. If you knew that your friend was like this (meaning a person that only ‘borrows’ money and never returns it) and you had lent him some money, you would’ve been a sucker. Friends are friends and I know you should help them out when they need it, but it depends on the situation. The thing that I would probably do is let your friend try to tough it out and if he’s not going to win this battle, then you should probably help him. But in these serious financial predicaments, major expenses must be cut. (ex. cell phone, car, internet) Those alone could save you $100/month. I mean, it seems like “Oh my god! I can’t live without those things!” but people do all the time. They replace them with a home phone, bus pass and a book. Oh and about the parents – if you humbled yourself and went to your parents house and begged them to take you in, i’m sure they would. No parent would want to see their kids on their knees begging for help. Well unless of course you did something totally unforgivable (homocide, rape, etc.) and are deemed a danger to yourself and others. So put away that pride and sense of independence because if you gotta go back to your parents, then you weren’t ready to go out in the first place.

    LOL ok, so I’m a bitch. Don’t ever borrow a huge sum of money from me if you have no intentions of giving it back. lol.. damn that was a HUGE rant.

    So there’s my opinion. I think you were right to not lend out the money and that one must learn the pain of falling before they can walk boldly on their own. Ok, I’m done, i swear.

  2. That comment is a blog post in itself…

    For some people, it’s hard to resolve a financial dilemma. I’m in a predicament myself with this whole financial thing and I’m trying to get out. But the thing is, it’s not my debts but others. I could easily get out of it but rushing the other people to pay me back right away could lead them into further problems.

    As it stands, I can afford to pay for this debts but in doing so, I’m sacrificing my time. I’m working all these hours at work but I have nothing to show for it. So in the end, I’m losing.

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