Ms. Meniscus:

I have arthritis but this question has nothing to do with my condition. It’s about my best girlfriend who has owed me $100 for more than a year. When I ask her about it, she says not to worry and that she’ll pay me. Then she makes a joke and says I know where she lives, so I shouldn’t worry.

I want my money and I’m getting tired of her stalling tactics.

-Starting to get angry.

Dear Starting to get angry,

There are actually a few tricks you can engage in to try and close this outstanding debt. First, you might consider that some of these tactics might have negative effects on your relationship with your best girlfriend. If you feel that your relationship is safe enough to push a little bit, you could get your money back using the, “you got me?” method while you’re out and about. It’s pretty simple. When you and your best girlfriend are around town, you can suggest that she picks up your bill until the tab is paid off.  This could be after dinner or at drinks or even at a neighborhood shop.  This could even amount to you getting more than your investment if you try this enough!

Another tactic is that you could tell her something you plan to use the money on.  Let’s use buying a new cell phone (they could be more or less expensive) as an example, but you could also consider paying off a bill or using it for towards a new set of shoes. Don’t say that you will use the sequestered money in question to purchase the new cell phone right away, but tell her about how your old cell is in serious need of a replacement.  Then tell her a deadline that you need to have the cell phone, which could conveniently coincide with a contract ending or a new phone you must have.  After convincing her about how much you need a new phone, your next step is to tell her that you planned on using the money she owed you to actually purchase the phone. 

In the end, if you do not want to engage in these tactics or risk your friendship, you might consider just writing off your friend’s debt altogether. If you really really need the money, consider going to her place of residence and initiating a peaceful sit-in, where you refuse to leave until she gives you the money.  If she does not have the money on her, you could even suggest that you will accompany her to place where she banks.

This might seem a little desperate though.  So I suggest you use your best judgment in how to implement these tactics.  Also, I have a 20% consulting fee she will have to include – of course, I am teasing.

— M

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