Easy Ways to Repay a Friend or Family Member


by Susan Melony, ©2018

Image credit: rawpixel at Pexels, licensed

(Sep. 6, 2018) — There comes a time in everyone’s life when they owe a friend or family member money. From picking up the tab at the bar to paying rent, we all rely on each other for a little extra help from time to time.

Offering to pay them back is important, but you should think a little more carefully about how you’re going to pay them back. Cash and checks are two options, but they aren’t necessarily very convenient, and they aren’t very heartfelt.

Here are a few different ways to pay back a friend or family member that are just as easy as they are meaningful.

Send Them Money Electronically

Pulling cash out of the ATM means they have to wait until you’re able to do that. Writing a check means they have to find a time when they can deposit it into their bank account. If only there was an easy way to pay them back right away.

There is!

Using online payment services, like Remitly, you can repay friends and family in an instant. They’ll appreciate that you were so prompt in repaying them!

Offer to Pick up the Tab Next Time

Getting together for dinner can be a lot of fun, but who picks up the tab can be awkward. Especially since some relatives downright refuse to let you split the bill!

Instead of sneaking cash into their purse when they aren’t looking, offer to pick up the tab the next time you go out. Not only is it a great way to repay their kindness, it also eliminates the tension that’s common when the bill arrives and everyone at the table wonders who’s going to pay!

Offer to Do Something Nice for Them

If a friend or family member gifted you the money with no expectation of repayment, or if you simply don’t have the money to give them, you can still do something nice to repay them for their kindness. A few ideas include:

  • Watching the kids
  • Housesitting while they’re out of town
  • Doing chores around the house
  • Spending more time together

What you offer will depend on the person who gave you money. For example, a sibling with kids would appreciate free childcare, while an elderly relative may like it if you stopped by to visit more often.

Buy Them a Great Gift

For those who are truly stubborn and insist that they don’t need to be repaid in any way, you can always get them a gift. Just make sure it’s a good one!

There’s a real art to buying gifts, and it all starts with thinking about the recipient. You don’t have to buy the gift either! Some of the most heartfelt gifts are ones that are handmade.

No matter how awkward, it’s always a good idea to acknowledge when a friend or family member gives you money, pays a bill, or buys dinner. With this list, you can acknowledge their kindness in a way that makes them feel loved and appreciated!


Susan is a writer, blogger, marketer, and entrepreneur based in Kansas City.

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