Or a least, that’s the way it should be, don’t you think?
If you are someone who has always had someone else take care of your money for you be it your parents, your spouse, or a financial planner you’ve hired, it doesn’t give you an excuse to be blissfully ignorant of what they are doing with your money.
A common belief I see, is that many people think “oh, someone ELSE will take care of my money for me”, and that is simply naive and absolutely not true in the least.
Sure, someone else will always be willing to take care of your money, but it’ll be for their own purposes and benefit, not for yours.
There have been too many unfortunate cases of (mostly) women who have entrusted their financial well-being to their husbands, who have always told them: “Don’t worry I’ll take care of you“, only to find out when the life situation changes (divorce or death being the most common), that their husbands were mismanaging everything and they were left penniless, scrambling to try and pick up a job (any job) to pay the mounting bills.
Even if it is your parents taking care of your money, they won’t be around for the rest of your life to hold your hand through every situation.
Don’t you want to take on the responsibility for your own finances and show them you’re a responsible, independent adult?
THERE IS NO WHITE KNIGHT COMING TO SAVE YOU
If you spend insane amounts of money and get into debt because of it, no one will show up to magically wave a wand and make it all disappear.
More to the point, no partner will show up to shoulder your debt onto their responsible shoulders, and honestly, why should they?
They worked hard to stay out of debt and to build their savings, and now you’re going to come along and knock down all of that?
Don’t rely on anyone else but yourself to clear your debt. It’s only fair. If they want to help, then be grateful for the help, but don’t expect it.
In my own family, the other women (I’m sorry to say) seem to be unaware of what it costs to run a household and where the money actually is.
My own mother went for years without knowing that my father never saved for our education, because she had assumed that since she asked him to set aside some money, he would have done so.
Today, she is slightly more money savvy, but she is still uninterested in financial matters, leaving it to my father’s discretion. This is an attitude I am slowly trying to change by asking her to find out on her own how much she owes, and to whom, and when she expects to pay them off (i.e. bank).
My sister-in-law, makes a great income but has no idea how much it costs to really run a household. She hates the word ‘budget‘, even though my brother sits her down ever so often to update her on their situation, and she thinks because she can see the cash in their checking account, she has a right to spend it however she wishes.
She has upgraded their lifestyle one too many times to the point where it is hamstringing their future because they simply haven’t saved what they should have, considering their fantastic incomes, and what do they have to show for it? Stuff. Lots and lots of stuff.
They don’t spend more than what they make, but they sure aren’t super savers.
The ones who end up financially secure and comfortable, are the ones who spend much less than what they make, and they bank the rest.
This old woman in China is still working well into her “retirement” age, and it isn’t for fun, I can tell you that.
DON’T BE A CLICHE: GET TO KNOW YOUR MONEY
You can’t bury your head in the sand and hope everything will turn out fine just because you wish it to be fine.
Plenty of people out there give up the reins of financial responsibility far too easily and willingly to others, and this is a grave mistake.
You don’t need to participate in the daily money transactions of paying each bill if you have entrusted someone else to handle all of it, but you need to at least know the following:
- What are your goals are for your money: low vs. high risk and funds
- How much you are making (net) a month or a year
- What the budget is for each month for housing, food, utilities and so on
- Where the money is actually being spent each month, in line with the budget
- Where you need to cut back
- How much debt you owe like on a mortgage or on credit cards
- What your debt repayment plan is and when you will be debt-free
- Where your savings for the short-term, retirement and emergencies are
- Where your money is being invested and how much it’s making
- When you are expecting to retire and/or what you want to do with your money
*Net means after taxes, so if you make $3000 gross a month but you really only get $2500 in your bank account each month, then you are making $2500 net a month.
You will feel better after you know what you earn, how you want to spend it (your goals and priorities) and where you actually spend it.
Just knowing your financial situation will make all of the difference when you go to bed and you have a plan in place to get on the path of wealth.