Keris Stainton‘s fortnightly column on married life…
Ah the money issue. According to Dr Phil (and I’m not going to argue with Dr Phil), it’s the number one cause of divorce.
When me and David first lived together, I insisted that we keep our (paltry) finances entirely separate. This seems to have based on the fact that my male family members were always telling my female family members to get off the phone. I wanted to know that I could talk on the phone for as long as I wanted without David coming in and tapping his watch.
Eventually, I accepted that this wasn’t a great reason not to combine finances and so we did.
After we’d been married a few years, I gave up work to go to university. I remember a friend asking me if I felt bad not working, but still spending David’s money. In one of those a-ha moments, I realised that I still thought of it as *my* money. Not even ours – mine. Even though I wasn’t working. I suppose that’s what controlling the pursestrings does (which I always have done – David’s just not interested).
Because we’re still not even close to comfortable financially (we’re in a better position than we’ve ever been, but we still live paycheck to paycheck – and I never dreamed that would be the case in my late thirties), I’m trying to work out what the issue is. We seem to attract financial incompetence and, since I believe in the law of attraction, I know like attracts like, so… something needs to be done.
I realised not long ago that I have no good money memories – when I was about 13 my dad was made redundant and my parents really struggled, but even before that: one of my earliest memories is of my mum crying because her purse had been stolen just after she’d picked up the family allowance money from the post office.
I didn’t have a hope really, did I?
I’m determined this will be the year we sort it all out. Not just establish one of those emergency savings funds everyone’s always going on about, but stop being financially irresponsible. Stop going “Woo-hoo!” on pay day and then wondering, a week later, where all the money’s gone.
I want to teach my son about financial responsibility, but I also want to teach him about abundance. I don’t want him to grow up the way I did, always thinking money is a problem. Wish me luck.