Pay Up, and Learn Your Lesson

By Dr. Robert Wallace

September 28, 2020 5 min read

DR. WALLACE: I needed $100 because I asked a girl I was trying to impress to go out on a date with me. The tickets to the event I planned were $50 each, and I paid for them, but I needed an extra $100 because I was going to take her to a very nice restaurant for some gourmet to-go food that we could eat together in a park first.

My parents refused to lend me the money because they feel I spend too much on unnecessary expenses and they think I should save more of my money. I decided to ask my 14-year-old sister for a loan because she saves every penny from her allowance. She is a good sister, so I was convinced she would loan me the money, and I would pay her back once I got paid again from my part-time job.

When I got my paycheck, I kept my word and gave her the $100 I owed her. She took the money, smiled and gently said: "Not so fast. You also owe me $5 interest for that loan." I told her family members don't charge interest to other family members and it was both immoral and unethical. She said the only reason she loaned me the money in the first place was because she wanted the interest on the loan. She said if it was a no-interest deal, there would have never been a loan in the first place. I agree it was nice that she loaned me the money, but I don't think I should have to pay her interest — especially since we didn't talk about any interest at all before I took the money. What side are you on regarding this sibling dispute? Should I have to pay her interest or not? I told her that paying her an extra $5 is like her taking $5 worth of gasoline out of my car's gas tank! — Siphoned Sibling, via email

SIPHONED SIBLING: Your sister indeed helped out when you needed financial assistance quickly on short notice. You wouldn't have been able to impress your date if you hadn't gotten the money you needed, correct? Wasn't it worth $5 to impress your girl? I think it was, especially since you spent a whole lot more than $5 on your extensive outing that evening. Give your sister the extra $5, and tell her it was the best $5 you ever spent!

But get something for your money here. Ask her to negotiate any situation with you involving finances, work or favors in advance and with full disclosure. This way, you'll avoid any unpleasant surprises. And this goes not only for your sister but also in all of your future dealings, especially financial ones. If you heed this advice, the $5 you spent with your sister will indeed be a very good investment for you over your lifetime.


DR. WALLACE: My three best girlfriends lost their virginities this summer. They are not what you would call promiscuous teens, but all three have recently told me they are glad they are no longer virgins.

They all said it wasn't as great as they thought it would be, but they were glad to have experienced it and "gotten it over with."

My closest girlfriend of the three said that she would not have sex again with the guy who was her first partner. All four of us girls are very close to turning 17 years old.

I'm not going to go out and have sex so I can join the crowd, but somehow, I feel weird, like I'm out of the club. I know that I shouldn't feel this way, but I do.

I know you will tell me that remaining a virgin is virtuous, which is why I'm writing to you. I trust your answer will make me feel better about missing out on all of the "action." — Not in the Club, via mail

NOT IN THE CLUB: When it comes to tobacco, drugs, alcohol or premarital sex, being a teen who is "out" and who forgoes peer pressure shows intelligence, integrity and, above all, self-respect.

Being tempted happens to all of us in life. Teens are especially susceptible to being tempted by a variety of things on a regular basis, especially in this day and age. The weak succumb, but the strong overcome. Congratulations, young lady, you are strong!

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: andibreit at Pixabay

Like it? Share it!

  • 1

'Tween 12 & 20
About Dr. Robert Wallace
Read More | RSS | Subscribe