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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's all about communication!

Oh how I laughed!
The set up here is that I hold the purse strings, call me a control freak...because I am! We tried it the other way with H being 'in charge' and it didn't work, H was not good with money.
I say he was not because he wasn't and now? I think he might be, sort of. Can't be sure because things work well this way, why try to fix what ain't broke, as they say.
All our money goes into my account and I deal with it, I pay bills, make decisions ( although big things like a car, which is the only 'big' thing we have ever bought) is done together, I think, persuade, discuss and then we buy ( what I choose, obviously!) Often I have to persuade H that he wants exactly what I want and he always agrees, there are times when I have to tell him to trust me and he does and then " Hey! Look at that..we chose well!" Like when I bought the leather sofas and he was distinctly not for that idea and I told him that he would be, as soon as he saw them and saw how grand we would be and for heavens sake would you just see how I bought them for £235 on Ebay and they cost 5 times that new!! And just as I predicted, he was so proud of our thriftiness and smart auction buying ways.
Anyway, I know that when I have had times where I am not in control and have no money at my disposal I am very unhappy, I am of the belief that every adult needs to have some money that is theirs to spend, even if it is a small amount, enough to buy a magazine, cake from the bakery or a daily newspaper, it is enough to save the soul. Having no money, at all is soul destroying.
So, every week H has some money that is his to spend, he can buy whatever he likes and will never have to answer to what it goes on. He actually rarely spends it ( annoying sometimes!) he buys things like packs of go-go crazy bones for little boys that have done extra homework, he will take 3 little boys into town on a saturday I know! all 3! at the same time....give the man a medal you won't catch ME doing that I tell you what! He takes them to the library, to the aladdin's cave that is the pound shop and they go to Warrens the bakery and buy a cake each.
He buys basketballs galore and that is his job because they must be specific basketballs, not colourful ones that look good, oh no.....I gave up even thinking of buying basketballs, not worth the scathing looks I got thankyouverymuch.
He lends Sophie money....even when I beg him not too, he is a softie and is rather more fond of her than he used to be and she is quick to tell me that she doesn't even bother to ask me anymore, she goes right to him. When Sophie is paid, her money goes into one of my accounts ( hark at me! Yes I have multiple accounts, 3 in the UK and 1 in the US of ask me how many have money in them...I dare you!)
So her money goes into my account, I take out whatever she owes, divvy it out and off we go.
Last week, Sophie said " Did you give H the £50 I owed him? Only he said I still owe him £50 and I know I don't because you paid it to him, didn't you?!"
Oh arseholes.
I took it out, put it aside, paid for her ticket to Boston ( 3 weeks time we will be there!) I Robbed Peter, to pay Paul.....phew done. Until then when she reminded me that I took it out, put it to one side and then spent it, on who knows what but it wasn't anything fun, I guarantee it. Oh fluff under the bed as my dad would what? Now I had to find that as well as the myriad of other must be paid crap this month has thrown at me!
Anyway I told Hwhat I had done and we laughed and I said "so, I'll give you that back, when we've got it...heh, you know.....eventually!" All was well.
Then ...without going into boring detail, all hell broke loose on the money front and the trip is looming so gloriously close and I wailed and worried and then had the glorious idea of handing the reins to H....a bit.
Marvellous, if I go to Asda for bread, milk and carrots I spend £40 at least and occasionally I actually remember either the bread, milk or carrots....if H goes he comes back with bread, milk and carrots.....amazing isn't it?
So, I went to the cheapest supermarket there is, bought heavy and bulky goods like tins, toilet paper, washing powder and then I gave H £40 and said that I wasn't going near a shop, it was up to him....and I meant it.
Wow....thursday...nothing, friday....nothing, Saturday a loaf of bread, monday....nothing but some cream cheese, tuesday..."H, can you give me £5 for vegetables, I need to make some soup..."
" You want me to lend you some?"
"No...give it to me, out of the housekeeping I gave you"
"what housekeeping?"
"The £40 housekeeping I gave you to do shopping because you buy what we need and I buy what we want....and we have to save money"
"Oh, that's what that was? I thought that was the £40 from Sophie!"
See? He listens to everything I say.
I have never seen our fridge so empty, I was so good though, I didn't whine about how mean he was being because I was hoping he would be! He was even better at it than I thought he would be and all because he hadn't listened / heard a word I said!
He had a great day on wednesday though and spent the rest of this weeks housekeeping so I didn't say something like "hey you only needed £10 this week, cool here's this weeks tenner!"
This week I didn't even go and buy the heavy stuff, I handed H £60 and he is on his own, I am not going near a supermarket which is hard for me because I do love to shop.
H is marvellous, everytime he buys something he puts the receipts on the fridge, now if I were in his shoes I am pretty sure that is not what I would do, I would shop as cheaply as possible, try really hard to make sure some of that money was left and I would count that as my bonus.
I am told I am like my great Nana, who was married to a bit of a meaner, he would ask her the price of various foods, have her make up a list of everything she would need for the week, add it up and give her the exact amount. She then would buy ( for example) pork sausage instead of beef, small differences like that and she would save what little she had managed to knock off the balance and when she had saved enough, she would buy herself some jewellery. That's my kind of girl!
H is so into doing the shopping and I am finding little memos to himself of things he has noticed are low...I think we may hang onto this new plan, when I get back from Boston and don't have to count every penny, I think we will still share the shopping because he loves it as much as I do and it really does save money. I can't resist a bargain, I buy things in bulk because I like to feel I am saving money, sometimes it does save, sometimes I just end up buying stuff we simply do not need.
I am very ready for a shopping spree, I can do this whole not spending thing, the scrimping and saving, the look but don't buy...but only for so long! I am ready to christmas shop, Target shop, any kind of shopping. Bring it on.
5 weeks until Christmas, that's close isn't it? 3 weeks to Boston and today H said grandpa is hoping to visit before Christmas. I hope he lets us know when very soon, I love that H will get a day or two in London, he is due a break and he loves to go and meet his dad, spend a day in London and then bring him back. It'll be lovely to have grandpa here again, he hasn't seen this house and hasn't visited us here for 2 years or so, I can't wait to have him here again.
I don't even feel nervous about flying this time ( yet) I have my drugs and they worked so well last time I know that if I feel scared I shall take one of those marvellous little tablets and wake up an hour or so into the flight! I'll even have Sophie to nudge me if I snore, perfect!
3 more weeks, that's all. Marvellous.

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Blogger Cathy said...

My mom, God rest her soul, use to do the same thing. She would shop with coupons and save what was left over. Not for herself. Always for the grandkids. Before she passed away, she told me she had some money saved under a rug in her closet. It was to be used to buy all 3 of her grandchildren their Christmas gifts. She passed away 2 weeks before Christmas. There were $12 under the rug. I bought spent $4 on each grandchild. She didn't have enough time to save a good amount of money.
Thanks for that memory hun! Put a smile on my face. can we get those darn 3 weeks to move along quicker and then slow down time when you are here?

12:20 am  
Blogger justLacey said...

Having no money really is soul destroying, and now you see why I went back to work. Working is not fun at all after the first month or so, but payday is. Perhaps a new job will be more fun? What do you think?

10:49 am  
Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

3 weeks cannot come soon enough...
L&M you muches & muches! xoxoxox

2:13 pm  
Blogger Jenn said...

I am good with Money - because I am typical Scottish thriftyness and hate to part with it. My hubby is not so good with money - because he spends it far too freely. But I agree - a little pocketmoney makes you feel better. I can have 10$ in my wallet and keep it there for a week - without spending it. Such is the sad little life I lead.......
Can't wait for 3 weeks - i will cut loose (just a bit, because our dollar is still horribly low, and I still have trouble parting with that money - but it's for stockings which will be fun!)
oh 20 day countdown you are on!!

3:33 pm  

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