July 12, 2013 - submitted by JD, Germany

One of my - not anymore - friends still owes me money. It's a super long story involving festival tickets (Coldplay were headlining) - it happened two years ago, we haven't talked since and probably won't ever again and she'll never pay me back. The sum we're talking about is more than 50 and less than 100, (a lot of money for me).
So my question is - is there any way I can get my money back somehow? Not from her directly, but in some sort of creative way. If I remember correctly, James Blunt wrote his song "Billy" because said Billy owed him money and writing/releasing the song "was the only way to get it back". Any clever ideas like that?

The Oracle replies:

I'm not sure if the money you are owed is for the festival tickets or not and whether she attended but if it is, maybe you should just post a cheeky note asking that she buy tickets for you the next time. Look, you're probably right, I doubt you'll get the money back but there is no harm asking for it - after all, it is yours. I don't think it's worth trying to be creative either but maybe send a photo of you & her from the festival or Coldplay headlining and put something like, "remember this?" and a note asking if you can talk. If she says yes, you can make small talk before broaching the subject. But if she said no or didn't reply, soon after, get in touch again and explain you're strapped for cash and would appreciate her paying something towards the cost or ask if she'd give you something of the same value that she no longer wants that you can sell.
A direct approach is probably better. You could even suggest she pays you back in installments but however you ask, do try and ask. Be very calm and friendly in your approach. If there's any confrontation, let it be on her part. I wish you luck as I have been screwed over many times over money. Sometimes there's no point looking back as it will just eat away at you. You just have to draw a line under it and move on.
Over to you.

In my opinion it's not worth it after all these years. Ask for the money, but you can perhaps sell things - desserts, do a garage sale or maybe just stuff you have saved and do not use. So you'd be saving money and taking back what you lost.
Greetings from Argentina, Lucia.

Maybe write a book involving one of the main characters owing you some cash where he or she keeps loaning off you but never paying you back - kind of a paranormal romance book. Keep it interesting but this money issue is a problem the character has. I don't know if it works then you are winning by far. Marcial.

There are many clever ways to get back the money she owes you. But, the best thing you can do is to make up with your friend and forgive her, then it wouldn't be so hard to get back the money she owes you. Nikhil.

Well, I dont know your true talents and I don't think Blunt's first inspiration was how to get his money back, but still unpleasant experiences, whatever kind of they may be, often can cause the kiss of a muse. I would probably take a keyword out of it - trustiness, friendship, forgetfulness, e.g.- think about what it means to me and then get creative. The other thing is - you won't be alone with this problem. Did you check out if there's any community to share it? If not get creative in this way, maybe a website or something. Good luck. L.Q.

Same happened to me and it's taught me to never wait for money. I now make sure people pay me immediately. If you buy tickets for a gig and they haven't paid before the date of the show, sell them on to someone else! I'm sorry but you'll never see it again. Boonie.

I think you should try and make a joke out of it. Find an invoice (online maybe) and send it to her but change the wording so it's all silly and fun. Put photos in it and memories and tell her you hate falling out over something like money and you want to put it behind you but preferably with some money back!
I hope you get it but I'm sorry, I doubt you will. Dave.

Money lending and friendships do not mix! I don't know how old your friend is but if you really think you'll never be friends again, go round to her house when her parents are in and ask for it on the doorstop really loudly! Hopefully she'll be shamed into paying you back. Not much of a friend really so you're better off without her sponging off you. Olivia.

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