Was Shakespeare right when he said “Neither A Borrower Or A Lender Be”?
Does that view still seem to be valid today?
Neither a borrower nor a lender be
Shakespeare said, in Hamlet:-
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
When an idea has been around as long as this one you must wonder if there is some truth in it but times have changed a lot since then so should we take any notice of it now?
It goes completely against the modern way of thinking. Few people still live by it’s mantra but the moral of what Shakespeare said is just as true today when related to loans from and to individuals. There are thousands of reputable companies to whom you will be safe to lend money to and you will be able to get your money back when you wish. Subject to the small print Terms & Conditions, of course.
Debt doesn’t just dull the edge of husbandry, it can destroy people’s lives. Perhaps only one in 100 but if you turn out to be that one then you’ll agree it’s one too many. In that 100 people there will be several who are severely affected by their debts, several more who struggle with their debts and quite a few who are uncomfortable with their debts who’s lives are changed because of their debts.. Very few will breeze through life without suffering from debt.
If you allow debts to become a significant part of your financial life you are leaving yourself wide open if you should suffer a change in circumstances. If there were a sudden interest rate rise, your additional income from overtime was reduced or a part time job disappeared. The greatest risk for most people is that of redundancy or ill health causing them to lose their job or having medical bills to pay. Could you still keep up the payments without your monthly income? Most people couldn’t.
We all live like nothing is going to change but change is inevitable. It’s one of nature’s irrefutable laws. You may never get sick and I hope your job will continue as long as you want it to but it is risky planning your life based on these assumptions. By living on continuous credit you are quite literally, betting the house that you will always be able to afford your debt. I hope it proves to be a safe bet but it would be wise to reduce your debts so that you could survive any difficult periods in your life.