How To Get Your Money Back
Money. It’s a pretty big deal, and if you don’t think so, feel free to send me all of yours. A lot of Hack College articles focus on how to make money, keep money, save money, and even how best to spend your money, and, while those articles are all helpful, this is a more college specific article on how to get your money back after spending it.
When you cover your friends, or get that pizza, or cover that round of beers, that’s the cost of living: but try getting all that money back afterwards and you’ll find it’s impossible. No one at the party wants to throw you the four bucks for beer that they should, so the question remains: how do you follow through on getting your debts paid back in college without looking or acting like an uptight jerk?
A website like Splitwise.com is immensely helpful for keeping track of debts inside a specific community. If you live in a house and feel like you’re always buying the toilet paper, use this site. Simply log in your housemates and put up the mutually used items (like electricity bills, toilet paper, mutual groceries) and watch the site do the rest. Any other method- not buying toilet paper, telling people its your toilet paper, etc- would be childish, weird and petty. Using the power of the internet, however, you can rest assured knowing your domestic debts will be paid.
2. Fight Fire With Fire
Getting money for the debts that you deserve can be immensely difficult. Cover a friend’s dinner and see for yourself: harassing a guy over nine dollars can make both of you mad at the other for different reasons. So instead of doing that, it’s much easier to simply fight debt with your own debts.
If your friend owes you for dinner, don’t bug him. Instead, suggest you guys get pizza. When the pizza comes- drat- you forgot your wallet. He wouldn’t mind covering you, right?
He’ll get the message after that, and, even if he doesn’t, he doesn’t have to. He’ll cover the pizza and you’ll get a good time having pizza with a friend. It’s a much more fun way to break even then harassing someone for cash.
Sometimes you’re going to be wrong.
You might be seething that Jacob owes you for the twelve-pack you brought over last week, but the truth is you forgot he paid for the pizza that night. Maybe Danny eats your food all the time, but you borrow his car and never pay for gas. The truth is it’s much easier to remember what people owe you then it is to remember what you owe them, so think carefully and gratefully before you decide who owes you what. Maybe you’re more even then you thought.
4. Bets and Challenges
If someone owes you money, and you don’t want to keep nagging them, turn it into a bet.
Try it: if someone won’t pay you the ten bucks they owe you, ask them if they want to go double-or-nothing with it on the Superbowl outcome. Or, similarly, tell them you’ll forgive them the debt if they can complete the cinnamon challenge. Giving people a fighting chance to reclaim their money is a good way to motivate them into acknowledging that they still have to pay it, and, in addition, bets and challenges are always more fun fun.