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:
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.