This week I’ve been thinking a lot about money. It was after I finished reading Midlife Money Makeover by Kim Potgieter. What I lurrrrrve about this book is that she talks a lot about the psychological aspect of money. One part that stayed with me is what she calls your money story – the stuff you tell yourself about money.
So, I was thinking about my own money story…as previously mentioned, my father was on the less generous side of the giving-out-cash spectrum. The man lived through the Great Depression and it never really ended in his mind. You know those little stainless steel milk jugs? Well, he once boiled an egg in one of those to save water. Completely f*cked up the milk jug and that was the story of his life. Penny wise and pound foolish.
My mother was on the other end of the generosity spectrum and would (literally) give you the clothes off her back. She would also give the clothes off her children’s backs, I remember her once giving away one of my favourite dolls to the “poor children” after telling me I had enough dolls. I was also told to “eat your cabbage, think of the poor, starving kids in Ethiopia.” It was on the tip of my tongue to suggest sending the cabbage to the children in Ethiopia if they were really that hungry, but I wasn’t in the mood for getting a good klap.
So that is my money story…and because I loathed the way my father was with money, and I generally find stinginess a major turn-off, I tend to be more like my mother, I guess I want to prove that I’m not Scrooge.
What I do try to do is not give away my kids’ stuff though because it used to irritate the crap out of me when my mother did it to me.
Aside: my mother would also say shit like, “Oh, there are these three Belgian nuns coming to Joburg for three months. Do you think you can put them up?”
Me: “Mom, I would really love to, but himself says no.” (The husband was a v convenient scapegoat).
I used to not do a budget, I think I was on some kind of bury-my-head-in-the-sand-and-maybe-it-will-all-go-away vibe, so when I needed more money, I would just write another script. But I’ve since realized that it’s very necessary to keep track of your money which doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself – but the loot does just magically disappear if you don’t keep tabs on it.
Saying ‘no’ to my kids when they want cash is one of the hardest things for me – because it reminds me of my Dad – but I’ve learnt that you don’t have to be mean about it (shouting things like: I’m not a bottomless well, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, money doesn’t grow on trees etc… is not helpful), you can just tell them that you don’t have the cash for X, Y, Z – remind them that we are living through a pandemic – and if they’re old enough encourage them to get a job themselves to earn their own money.
Kim also says: “What you believe will come true because you will live it.
How you see things will show up in your choices and behaviour and the results.” I LOVE this and I have found this to be true in my own life. Remember when I said I was feeling old, and like a has-been? Well, guess what? I started acting like it and apologizing for my age and that’s how peeps started treating me. It became self-fulfilling. And this idea of retiring? I can’t stand it because I adore working. According to Kim: “Retirement is defunct – you can work and add value for as long as you want…” Yeah, baby!! We don’t have to retire, we can carry on working until we drop dead which might sound horrible to other people but sounds perfect to me. I NEVER want to stop working. I want to be writing until I pop off to that big fat book launch in the sky.
One of the things I’ve often felt bad about is being a “working mom”. Okay, first up, I hate that phrase because to me, staying at home with a couple of toddlers is waaaaaaay harder than going to an office. Also, do we ever talk about “working dads”?? Nope. Both my kids have spoken about how much I work (“mummy works” was one of the son’s catch-phrases) and it makes me feel guilty. It probably makes me feel more guilty because I also LOVE my work.
But it was my son, who often gives me a new perspective on things, who told me to switch the narrative and see my working as a positive thing. Yes, I work (a LOT) but according to him, I have set a good example for them (he might just be blowing smoke up my ass but I’ll take it) and because I work from home, I’ve always been available to them and since their dad started working from home, he’s done most of the lifts and cooking so it’s shown them how a marriage can really be an equal partnership.
There is so much more to discuss about money; becoming a mentern (mentor-intern), having a vision board, planning your dream life, talking about shame and blame…get the book, I can’t recommend it enough and have now given it to the husband to read. Midlife Money Makeover by Kim Potgieter.
Other book recommendations for this week: A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins. We have waited with bated breath for Paula’s latest and it doesn’t disappoint. I adore her writing, and I find myself rereading her books and enjoying them even more the second time around.
TV recommendations: I feel I was a bit harsh last week about Click Bait. After ep three it actually improved, there were some very nice moments and it had one helluva twist at the end. I also gave in and subscribed to Apple TV just so that I could watch The Morning Show. Jen Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are sublime and Steve Carrell is fab. I highly recommend it.
Last thought for this week – change your narrative, change the story you tell yourself and you can change a lot that isn’t working for you in your life. Have a great week everyone. Happy reading! xxx