You are the Master of your Money

You are the Master of your Money

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. But there’s no point writing when I’m busy – I’ll just do a poor quality job. So here’s a (hopefully good quality) new post.

I was standing at the bar ordering a drink, tapping my toes impatiently as I waited for my turn in the unordered throng. The bartender stood adjacent behind the tap, hurriedly tripping overĀ  as he tried to fill the orders of the thirst wedding punters at the tap. I looked around idly, bored, listening in to some of the conversations around me, longing for some gossip (don’t judge, you do it too, I’m sure). A high pitched voice floated over to me, catching my attention with its shrill whisper.

‘Yeah, I know, right? It’s gonna be like double the size of our current place.’ The speaker was clutching the end of her long-stemmed glass with one hand, flicking her hair back from her face with the other. Her companion was holding onto their glass with whitened knuckles, as if calling to it for strength.

‘Oh that’s great.’ The companion said. The first speaker continued.

‘But we’re gonna need to fix it.’ She nodded to herself. ‘I mean, it’s like ten years old, and there’s a solid stone benchtop in the kitchen! How antique! We’re gonna rip it up and take it outside.’ The companion nodded and stifled a yawn that the first speaker seemed oblivious to. She looked around the room, and then, with an almost passive aggressive stab at changing the tone of the conversation, she asked:

‘How are you going to pay for it all?’ The question was forthright, but the answer was better.

‘Oh, you know, I don’t worry about that stuff. I just leave the finances to Phillip. He’s better at it than me!’ She trilled off in a laugh.

BANG. Right there. Three sentences that can ruin your life.

Responsibility is not a Dirty Word

Why?

You are the master of your money. This means that you have responsibility for your own money. Yes, you. Now, I’m not picking on you, I’m pointing out a fact. A truth.

This point is often made more politely, along the lines that no one cares more about your money than you. I’m scrapping that language. Why? If you are the master of your money, you have power over it. You have power over your own money. That may sound frightening or empowering to you, depending on your circumstances. It’s still the truth.

Now I’m not going to get into who needs to have financial control in a relationship, or even how that cash is spread out (I’d generally suggest shared finances for long-term relationships, but there are exceptions of course, including blended families). Every relationship is unique, and generally there will always be one partner (or partners, if you’re polyamorous) that loves spreadsheets, and another that would rather poke themselves in the eye with a needle than look at their bank account (have a guess which one I am!). However, there is a huge difference between getting excited about saving $5 on last week’s grocery bill and having no idea what your finances look like.

This is the crucial point: you need to know what is going on with your finances. I don’t care how great Phillip is, how much he loves you, or the bargains he can score. I couldn’t care less how great Leslie is at saving challenges, what wonderful investments she chooses, or what gifts she buys you. You need to understand how much you earn, what your financial position is, what insurances you have, what your money is invested in, and where your savings are.

Stuff the details of the spreadsheet, they’re not important. You need to know, and be an active part of developing the plan. You are the master of your money. Not only is it ok, it is essential for you to have that power. Take it. Master it.

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