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Do you and your friends loan each other money quite a lot?
We all want to help out our good friends but the problem is when loans are not repaid if you get into arguments about what is owed, or if you let some slide, then this can cause tension or could ultimately break the friendship you were trying to support.
Good news -we have an easy solution using Microsoft Excel!
If you have ever got into a tangle of loans and struggled to remember who owes what and keep track of repayments, then you need this Excel spreadsheet.
The Loan Tracking Spreadsheet
Our solution allows you to keep track of loans outstanding to multiple friends. You can download it here. The file contains two sheets.
The first is the loans list and is where you store all the transactions (who made the loan, for whom, the amount, the date and any notes).
As people make loans, add who loaned what to the list, and as people repay loans record these transactions also with the names reversed to reflect the money being paid back.
Our second sheet keeps track of who owes what to whom, and is automatically updated to reflect any changes in the loans.
Obviously, there are a lot of geeky Excel bits and pieces going on under the hood. If you are that way inclined do check the code out.
Hopefully though the solution as it stands will show you it is possible to keep track of all the loans in your social group and reduce the fall-outs to a minimum!
My Take on Having Loans to Friends
Personally, I'm usually against loaning friends money (I'd rather give a gift), but Yoav offered a useful tool for those who do loan out.
It's very difficult to maintain your relationship when someone owes you money. If you want to help out, but not keen on loaning money here are some other options you can try out:
- Give a gift. Don’t loan, just give a little something. We’ve given amounts that haven’t damaged our budget with no expectation of getting it back. It’s a free and clear gift.
- Offer to help them with budgeting. You don’t have to look at their numbers, perhaps you can share your budget spreadsheet.
- Just say no. It can be hard to do, but sometimes it’s the best way to wake them up to their financial problem.
If you are going to give a loan out, please have everything in writing to avoid more stress. Yoav's spreadsheet solution can also be helpful.
Yoav is the CEO of a company called Cogniview that creates software to convert files from PDF to XLS. For more Excel tips from Yoav, join him on Facebook or Twitter.