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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

No cash please, we're mates!

Your friends will be borrowing £1 coins off you: beware
As we start 2012 with a whimper, carefully nursing our battered wallets back to financial health by not spending on anything except reduced lines baked beans and bread, let us not forget those whose friends are responsible for their penury.

Yes, friends. I'm not talking about lending money to friends - although I would no longer advocate this as you never know what situations may happen to prevent your friends from repaying you in full, in the time you needed. It can affect the dynamics of a relationship or, like Charlie Sheen's character Charlie in an earlier-than-Ashton series of Two and A Half Men, mean you get stung in an elaborate plot that involves you sleeping with your step-sister-in-law-to-be, lending her $50,000 and buying a Ferrari you didn't want.

What I am talking about is the Cash Converter friend. The friend who turns to another for all their coinage and notage needs. The friend who gets the bus with you and has not got £2 for the fare. The friend who does not have anything smaller than a £20 when it comes to paying tips. The mate who suggests getting a taxi but somehow does not carry anywhere near enough money to foot the bill.

According to a Capital One survey, Brits have been forking out £562 million a year as a result of ‘subbing’ friends.

More than 43 say they never receive a penny of this borrowed money back.

Now you have been warned. Next time you go out with friends, ask them to make sure they have some cash. Or don't carry any yourself and make sure you recoup your 2011 losses in 2012!

Capital One asked respondents which items they had paid for on behalf of others who did not have cash in the past three months:
Drinks in cash-only bars/restaurants
Items bought in cash-only stores e.g. markets
Tips in bars and restaurants
Taxi fares
Charity donations and fundraisers
Items purchased with cash due to a minimum card spend
Tolls and one-off/unexpected charges