DEAR HARRIETTE: I borrowed money from a friend years ago when I was down and out, and I wasn’t able to pay it back. This caused a rift in our friendship; I knew he didn’t have much, but he still shared what he had with me. Now I’m doing better in my life and have a stable job. I don’t have much, but I do have the money to pay back my friend. It has been a long time. There’s a chance he won’t even remember, or worse, that me bringing it up with dredge up old feelings, but I feel like I should do my duty and pay him back. What do you think? -- Pay It Back
DEAR PAY IT BACK: By all means, you should give your friend the money you owe him, even though it’s from years back. If you are still in the same town and still connected, arrange to see him and give it to him personally. Otherwise, write him a note and a check. Tell him how grateful you were way back then when he was able to help you and how sorry you are that it took so long for you to reimburse him.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)Read more in: Money | Friends & Neighbors | Etiquette & Ethics