Financial management isn’t just about budgeting, investing, and keeping an eye on your retirement plan. Correct financial management involves making sure you have all of your bases covered; which can be tricky, especially when it comes to money that you’re owed.
There’s no doubt that being owed money is an uncomfortable feeling. There’s ingrained politeness in us all that doesn’t want to make a fuss or demand we be issued with refunds or compensation; doing so is not something that comes naturally to most of us.
However, if you genuinely want to get a hold of your finances for good, understanding what you’re owed is an essential part of that. Below are three common scenarios you may find yourself in, all involving being owed a financial settlement– read through for advice on how to navigate each issue, so you can apply the same tactics to whichever scenario best fits your situation.
SCENARIO: You loan a friend money
We’ll start with one of the most common issues that people face: lending a friend money, and that friend not paying that money back. There’s no doubt this situation is very uncomfortable, but it’s one you’re going to have to fight through if you’re going to get what you’re owed.
Here’s a step-by-step plan on how to do it:
- Your first request for payment should ideally be made in a casual, relaxed way. An email or a text message, just asking your friend if they could pay you back. It’s worth adding in something about how you have a big bill coming up, so you need the funds available to you as soon as possible.
- If they can’t pay you back right away, agree on a date when they will pay you back. Ideally, you want to have this in writing; an email will suffice.
- Wait for that date to arrive. If they don’t pay you back, then you should again ask them to repay the money as agreed. You do not need to be overly careful about this; you have now reached a point where they are ignoring your requests, so you have a right to be irritated.
- If step three still doesn’t elicit a response, then you have a choice– you can let the matter go, learn your lesson, and promise yourself you will never lend to that person again. Or, you can proceed to a small claim through the courts. This step is expensive, and should only be reserved for large sums of money.
If you loan someone money, you have no reason to feel awkward asking for the money to be returned. You’re not a bank, you have bills to pay too, and your friend should honor that.
SCENARIO: You’ve been injured in an accident
Thousands of people find themselves in the horror scenario of being injured in a road traffic accident every year. If you have suffered injuries or expenses from the trauma, you may find yourself wondering if you are owed compensation for the incident. Here’s how to tackle this problem:
- You have to ascertain if you have a case, which means contacting a legal representative. Doing this is relatively simple, especially when companies like Craig Swapp & Associates will even come to you to discuss your case. A licensed professional can help determine whether the accident is fit for a claim.
- You can’t just claim for any accident; there needs to be a fault from the other driver. Before you begin investigating the legal route, you need to be 100 percent confident of the circumstances of the accident and your role in what happened.
- If your lawyer believes you have a case, then you can proceed as you see fit. Most good accident lawyers will take the work of the case for themselves, so you don’t have to do much besides providing information.
- However, if your lawyer disagrees that you have a case, it’s probably wise to let the situation go. You may feel aggrieved, especially if you have suffered expenses due to the accident, but you also have to accept their professional judgment.
- It is not wise to move forward with legal proceedings by representing yourself. If a licensed professional doesn’t think you have a case, they’re probably right.
If you have suffered physically or mentally as a result of another person’s action or inaction, claiming compensation can be the best way to recover from the financial loss, and also give you a sense of justice.
SCENARIO: A company owes you a refund
If you are owed a financial refund, most companies will tell you when this amount will be paid. They will usually say that you’ll receive the money within a particular timescale; anything from seven days to a month is relatively standard.
If that time passes without a refund, you’re going to want to consider the following steps:
- Send an email asking what has happened to your return. There’s every chance it’s just been a simple processing error, so be polite and friendly.
- If you do not receive a satisfactory response to this query, you should raise an official complaint. You can usually do this on a company’s website, but if not, call and ask for the complaint email or postal address.
- Send a written complaint, detailing why you are complaining, and how you expect the company to rectify the issue. You should also issue a deadline for the refund (plus compensation if you wish to ask for it) to be paid.
- Wait for a response. If you get the refund after this stage, great. If not, move on to step five.
- You should now escalate the complaint to the head office, or even send an email to the CEO of the company. You can find CEO email addresses on CEO Mail; you should receive a prompt response should you choose to go down this route.
Emailing the CEO or head office should always be the last resort, but if you need to escalate to that level, you should do so. Such a step should remedy the problem once and for all.
Hopefully, you have found the above steps useful in obtaining any money you are owed. Good luck!