Yet, as with Shakespeare's plays, the practice of borrowing and lending money among friends hasn't gone away. Yet the Bard's oft-quoted "neither a borrower nor a lender be" is the same advice countless experts offer when it comes to the subject.
But what if it's too late - you already spotted your pal the cash to cover lunch or a small loan for car repairs? Getting it back isn't always easy, especially if time passes and your friend hasn't said a word. Money magazine offers these suggestions for making sure you get paid:
â€¢ Don't wait to ask for it back. Obviously you're not going to request repayment after a few hours, but don't wait longer than a few days. You want to do it when it's still fresh in both your minds. You'll actually avoid awkwardness that way.
â€¢ Don't apologize or make it a big deal. Ask for your money in a straightforward manner, and don't act as though you're sorry to be asking. You are dealing with a friend, after all. You can even try humor to lighten the tone.
â€¢ Send an e-mail. Asking in person or over the phone can make both parties a little uneasy, so send a short e-mail as a reminder. That way, if you don't get the money back quickly or if there's confusion over when you asked for it, you have a written back-up, as well.
â€¢ Give your friend some options to pay you back. Tell her you can pick up the money, or you can even set up a PayPal account if you're inclined. But if you've reminded your friend a number of times and still haven't been paid, it may be a sign that your buddy just doesn't have the money. Consider asking for small payments on a monthly basis, or ask him or her to pick up the check when you eat out together next.