Purse Strings…

In my house or should I say, our house, money is a delicate subject.  Being British it is one of the taboos of conversation, in fact it should never be a subject of, or even brought up in, polite company.

Consequently we all assume a lot about money and prefer to carry on and not mention it which leads to a lot of misunderstanding.

I think I should just buckle down and let go of the purse strings.

After several months, nay years, of having no formal discussion about money, I know the ins and outs of the bank balances and the value of the hidden cash under the mattresses, but Hubs is getting a little sticky around the t-shirt collar because he wants to know if there is any left over for a project or two…dare he ask?

My technique, consisting of vague calculations, blowing caution and budget to the winds and then pouncing, like a hawk on a rabbit, on monthly statement reconciliations that send me into a depressed funk every time, is good for no-one’s blood pressure.

I may not enjoy talking about money…well I don’t mind it’s the others in my family who prefer not to look it squarely in the eye…I am the financial manager of the household.

Curiously, no matter where we are on the monetary scale life goes on much the same, we don’t squander, we re-use, we purchase needs, rarely wants and we’ve now got antiques in our house that started life as newbies, and I’m not talking about the children.

I am an incorrigible saver, even if it’s just £1, remembering my mother’s oft quoted proverb,

“If you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves,” I have prospered in my own small way with no apparent effort on anyone’s part…except mine.

Money has always been the bane of my life.  I fret about it: lack of money strikes fear into my heart; I worry about not having enough to retire on; an abundance of money sends an anxiety attack calling; I shudder when I contemplate sorting out my parent’s estate.  You see, I generally waste a lot of my energy obsessing at the altar of pounds, shillings and pence instead of being ecstatic that I have got this far without plunging us into homeless shelters.

“Fixed Income!”  has become my battle cry when I log onto online banking.  Hands still rise to ward off the unwanted truth and stay the subsequent ‘little chat’.  Behind the mock horror their eyes giggle, you see, somehow they still don’t believe me, money airings are not taken seriously!  Is there a money tree in the back forty?

My relationship with mulla is gradually getting better.  I understand that hubs needs to be able to be magnanimous every once in a while, show up occasionally with generous handouts that apparently come from no-where…obviously he has access to the allusive money tree in the back forty!

My youngest has wealthy friends,

“Who,” she observes, “do not spend their money as we do.”  It is a compliment, she is still on the receiving end of  how we spend our money

I had a wealthy friend who’s parents were so tight with their money life was a hardship, forever haggling and arguing about buying things, even food!  He would take me out for a coffee, produce a £50.00 note and I’d have to pay since they never had change for such a large bill!  Back in the day!

My parents did not spend their money, they lived modestly and well and saved and saved, deriving little or no pleasure from their hard earned nest eggs.

What pleasure are they reaping from the other side of their graves?

What pleasure, I ask myself, can I broadcast by being a careful steward of the money?

I am going to make sure we can continue to live in the manner to which we are accustomed; I am not going to be swayed by the past.

I am going to show my children that they can stand on their own two feet; I’m not going to be dictated to by the present.

I am going to experience the joy of giving; I’m not going to be afraid of the future.

In faith I will endeavour to further the Kingdom of God on earth in the only way I know how to.

By handing my grip on the purse strings over to God.

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