We all need and can’t do without it and yet, or maybe because of it, money has single-handedly been the root cause of many a relationship gone down the drain.

Arguably, one of the worst situations you can find yourself in is in the position where you’ve lent someone money but the person in question either keeps making excuses or has gone completely AWOL.

It’s a tough spot to find yourself in because the last thing you want to do is deny someone the help when they’re genuinely in need of it. However, helping someone and being taken advantage of have a way of sometimes meeting in the middle of the road, so if you do want to assist someone, be wary of the following people:

Someone with an addiction

If you even remotely suspect that the person who is asking you for money has a gambling problem or drug addiction, then don’t, under any circumstances give them money.

Not only are the chances for getting your cash back slim to none, but the likelihood of them using the money to support their addiction is 100% guaranteed. If they try to reason with you, claiming it’s because they need help, rather give it to someone else who you know can be trusted to help them or offer to assist them by dealing with the money yourself.

People who are struggling with any form of addiction tend to put all their focus into fostering their addiction above their own personal health, so if you’re going to lend them any money, know that you’re pretty much guaranteed to never get it back.

The friend who always forgets his/her wallet at social events

You can generally judge whether or not a person is reliable based on how they act when it comes to social interactions that involve any form of monetary transaction that signals the end of an evening out.

That friend who always expects other people to pay for him or her (after ordering the most expensive item on the menu and conveniently forgetting their cash or credit cards at home) is the kind of person who would not even deign to acknowledge that he or she owes you money.

If they can “forget” their wallets at home, how much easier is it for them to “forget” they owe you money?

Unreliable family members

Lending money to relatives can be a tricky beast to navigate. There are plenty of articles that suggest that you should, generally speaking, avoid lending money to relatives, particularly if those relatives are the kind you don’t see on a regular basis.

Many relatives also have the idea that because you’re related, that there is a) no time limit when it comes to paying the money back, or b) no need to  return the borrowed money at all.

If you are going allow them to borrow from you, don’t be scared to set out some terms and conditions, especially if you know that they don’t have a very good track record to begin with.

People with a spiralling debt record

Look, at some point most of us have to deal with debt. Some of it is good, a lot of it is bad, so while we personally wouldn’t recommend that you lend money to someone who is struggling financially, this doesn’t always mean that you should never help someone who needs a bit of a bail out.

If the person is in debt because of their bad spending habits and because they’re deliberately living beyond their means, you should definitely think twice before lending them any money.

However, if the person is struggling for genuine reasons and are in need of basic staples to help them get by, then a little help would go a long way to help them get back on their feet.

Have you ever had a bad money-lending experience with a friend or family member? Share your stories with us – you can remain anonymous if you so choose.