Lending money to a co-worker

Q: One of your co-workers borrows $5 here, $10 there—and never pays you back. What can you say the next time?

A:...if she's higher up on the totem pole?

"Make her aware of her delinquency but defuse the awkwardness for both of you with humor—for example, 'You know, if I were a barmaid, I'd have to cut you off—you're running up quite a tab!'"
Faith Salie, host of the public radio show Fair Game from PRI with Faith Salie

"The co-worker is not being fair or responsible. Get repaid, and then don't loan another cent. Never hesitate to ask for the money back."
Jack Marshall, president of ProEthics

...if she's lower down—and you know money's tight?

"Her financial situation shouldn't influence your decision-making. Write off the money that you've loaned in the past. Going forward, just say, 'I'm on a budget; sorry I can't help.'"
Michele Warholic Wetherald, executive director of the American Association of University Women

"I was always told, 'If you loan money to a friend, you'll collect it from an enemy.' I give money only if I can afford never to see it again without resentment. Next time, just apologize to your co-worker for not being able to make the loan."
Rudy Rasmus, pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in Houston