159: Don’t Be A Dependant

I was watching a slot on a tv programme the other week about managing household finances. One particular point came up with an older gentleman who was worried about his wife should he die before her and what would happen with regards to the finances. She freely admitted that if he died tomorrow, she wouldn’t have a clue how to manage anything financial or where anything was.

Just the day before I’d had a text from my mum saying that when I was home for Christmas, Dad wanted to run through all the household finances and bank accounts with me so that if anything happened to him, my mum would be okay.

My mother has never had to pay an electricity bill in her life, or manage anything beyond the odd catalogue account and the family allowance, provided to her by – yes you’ve guessed it, -my Dad. I realise this is a generational thing. They are in their early 70s now. Yet, instead of my Dad running through it all with my mum, he’s running through it all with me so that I become the financial keyholder of the house. My mum is happy with this. It’s all she needs to know. She does not want to know.

I have been in relationships. I have been married. I have lived with other partners. And at no point did it ever occur to me to let them manage the finances. Never trust anyone with your money, especially not your spouse. At best, I had the occasional joint account for shared bills, but I was always the one that made sure everything was in order, the account had enough money in it, and everything was debited when it should be. The fact is, I have never had a partner that was trustworthy with money or knew how to manage it properly. Not only would I never have trusted them with my money, or shared a bank account, I sure as hell wouldn’t have left them in charge of the household bills.

My Dad is the only person I know as scrupulous as me when it comes to spending and saving. I get all the responsible aspects of my personality from my Dad and from having to be self reliant from the outset. Mine is a traditional Dad, He’s always been the breadwinner, the DIY expert, the organiser. And I have taken on that mantle. My brother hasn’t.

This is where me and my mum differ hugely in personality and I think it’s one of the reasons I have never been afraid in relationships, or with getting out of them. I have always been independent of them. I think that’s been a survival instinct from the outset and probably why, in part, I made crappy choices in the first place. I was never looking for a provider. Perhaps I should have been. Maybe I would have chosen more wisely.

I read one of those trashy ’10 things you need to know’ the other day. But this one was spot on. 10 things you need to know before getting into a relationship with an Aries. Here is number 8:

Screenshot_2018-11-20 10 Things To Keep In Mind If You_re In Love With An Aries

This is absolutely me without a doubt. It’s not just a deep emotional well. It’s a practical and organised one as well. But it comes with practice and I’ve learnt some tough lessons along the way.

I hope the new generation of women don’t sit back and let their partners manage everything like my mum did. I hear mixed reviews on the ability of the next generation. By letting go of the reins so completely, if things go wrong, you’re kind of stuffed. How do you know what’s really going on in your bank accounts if you don’t help manage them? If something were to happen, could you organise yourself, sort the direct debits, know the pin codes, even know how much was in the bank? Would you know if your partner had been stashing money?

This may sound like a negative eway to start a relationship, but with so many people less transparent than they used to be, and less invested in a secure relationship, you need to keep your wits about you, and even if things do come crashing in around you, knowing how you stand financially, is one less thing to worry about.

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2 thoughts on “159: Don’t Be A Dependant

  1. I totally agree about financial autonomy. I will never again share finances such as a bank account, a mortgage or a loan. I started my adult life financially responsible and then married young, with shared everything including money. It was always a tension because I was the responsible saver who paid all the bills and managed the household, and he was the childish spendthrift who thought money grew on trees. When we separated 5 1/2 years ago he had to learn for the first time how to manage alone and make his meager income last. Most women from previous generations are like that and it’s scary and appalling. My mum probably is to some extent, but not as bad as yours. A close friend is British (she’s over there now) and her parents are exactly as you describe. Her dad is teaching her and her sister all the details because his health is now precarious, but their mum doesn’t want to know. I find that unbelievable – like living in a fantasy world where you are never truly an adult. Managing your money is part of being a responsible adult and that is that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess it’s a generational thing. If you’ve never had that expected of you, I suppose you wouldn’t consider it. My mum went straight from living at home with her parents to marrying my Dad, and though she worked and contributed from what she earned both at home and after marriage, she was never dealing with bills or other money management. Ironically, now and thanks to a recent will, mum’s accounts are well topped up but it’s still my Dad managing it and investing it. Between them they’ve done pretty well, from what I saw of all the spreadsheets over Christmas. When the time comes for me to decipher it all, it’s going to be a lot of work.

    Liked by 2 people

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