neither a borrower nor a lender be

neither a borrower nor a lender be

Try to live your life without incurring debt from or accruing the debt of others, or else you risk spoiling your relationships with other people. Taken from Shakespeare's Hamlet, offered as advice by the character Polonius to his son, Laertes. My dad always taught me to earn my own way, to never ask for financial help or hang around those who seek that help from me. Neither a borrower nor a lender be, that was his motto.
See also: neither, nor

Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Prov. It is difficult to be friends with someone who owes you money or with someone to whom you owe something, so it is better not to borrow or lend in the first place. After losing several of my favorite books because I didn't have the nerve to insist that my friends return them, I learned that it is best to neither a borrower nor a lender be.
See also: neither, nor