Roqqett Blog

August 9, 2021
Author: Alexandra Hurst

Why am I so awkward when I need to pay people back?

Why do we feel so uncomfortable when we owe someone money, or even worse when they owe us money?

Quick Summary

1. Five reasons why you find it awkward asking for money back.
2. Four solutions to stop you feeling uneasy about asking for money back
3. We suggest a solution, the Roqqett app.


Ok, so owing money is never fun. But being owed money is worse. You feel awkward about asking for it back, and it’s playing on your mind. We’ve dug behind common reasons why you feel awkward. 

Reasons you may feel so awkward asking for money back:

  1. “I don’t want to appear ‘tight’” 

We’ve all been there; you bought a coffee for a friend. That Venti Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino was not cheap. It’s still weighing on your mind, and they are still taking forever to pay you back. Some feel it implies you aren’t generous enough with your purchases, but put it this way; you did them a favour to make it easier than putting through two orders. You’ve done your good deed, but hey, money doesn’t grow on trees!

  1. “I don’t want to make a deal out of it.”

So you are trying to pick your battles wisely, which seems sensible, but where will this get you in the long run? By asking your friend calmly and politely, you ensure your boundary is evident. This will also make it easier for it in the future, and you may even not have to ask, as your boundary has become apparent to that person!

HOT TIP #1 Send them a payment link via the Roqqett app, so you don’t even have to ask directly! Download Roqqett here  

  1. “I don’t need the money back; I want the money back.”

In short, you don’t want to appear as if you need the money to survive. But let’s be realistic, you’ve earned that money, and if you do not need it, that person should understand and not question your judgement. Remember all those times friends have asked you for cash back? Did you ever think about their financial stability or if they’ll be able to pay their bills? No, you didn’t, you knew their claim to a refund was fair, and you didn’t question it. 

  1. “It’s been too long to ask for that money back.”

Ok, let’s spin this. Does this mean that all debts you pay have less importance the less you address or acknowledge them? Nope, it is still essential, and it doesn’t change if you have left it a week or two. Repayments are repayments, no if’s or buts. 

  1. “I don’t think I should have to ask.”

You might be better at re-paying your friends, but you can’t assume they will repay you as efficiently as you. Sadly, with life on life’s terms, paying you back isn’t at the top of everyone’s to-do list; it’s ok to give them a polite nudge. We all need reminders. Just because it’s money, it doesn’t mean it’s any different!

Enough with the excuses; how can you prevent feeling this way in the long run? Here are our suggestions to start cultivating money boundaries. 

A few tips for when you next kindly loan money to anyone.

  1. Time is of the essence.

Provide a date. This sounds serious, but it can causally be mentioned. Try some of these suggestions:

  • “Can you pay me back today?”
  • “Could you transfer me by tomorrow?”
  • “Can you send it when you are home this evening”

If they haven’t made your deadline, make sure to remind them within 24 hours. This prevents you from feeling irritated down the line and gives a polite nudge to them, as it may have slipped their mind!

  1. Set your boundary 

Make sure you make it crystal clear to that person that you would like to be reimbursed. Where there is ambiguity, there can be irritation, so reduce the possibility of confusion. Try some of these suggestions:

  • “I’ll get this round, and you can send me the money.”
  • “Could you please send me £X, for the coffee”
  • “The coffee was £X; let me know once you’ve sent it.”

  1. Make it easy for them.

Let’s be honest; typing in bank details for any amount is not exciting. We suggest you use a simple payment method. Use an app like Roqqett so that you can be repaid via Bluetooth, QR code or a payment link. Cash is unhygienic and irritating, so get paid directly into your bank account securely! 

Download Roqqett here  

  1. Don’t give them reasons why they should pay you back.

Resist the urge to add phrases like “I’m so broke right now” or “I’ve got an expensive weekend coming up”. In short, they don’t need to know, and it’s not their business. You’ve kindly lent them money, and they are in debt to you. Don’t beat around the bush. If they give a reason why they can’t pay you back, make a new boundary and negotiate when they can pay you back. 

Key Takeaway:

Sending a polite reminder is never a bad thing, it often gives them the nudge to pay you back. Setting your boundaries around money is a skill you need to cultivate, and it’s ok to want to be repaid for money that you lent. 

HOT TIP #2 Send them a payment link via a message, so they can instantly pay you back, and it’s on their mind. The best app for sending a payment link is Roqqett, and it will notify you when they’ve paid you back! 

Download Roqqett here  

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