A little bit of a PF rant

Not everyone is smart about money. I get that.

BF comes from a financially illiterate family. Draw from that conclusions what you will. I find it frustrating to hear him say “Oh, ______ got a flash new TV!” But of course, that flash new TV is on hire purchase at an exorbitant rate. Saving up for things is unheard of, even scorned, for the most part.

I’m trying to teach him differently. I doubt he’ll ever be able to handle credit responsibly, at least not for a long time. He’s a cash-only kind of person. I’ve also managed to scrape together a small EF for him, which I’m willing to bet is more than anyone in his family could say the same of.

I would never, ever dream of deliberately having a child and going on welfare. If I was going to have a child, I would have a plan in place. And yes, I know accidents happen. If an accident happened when I was more established in life, I suppose that might be work-round-able. But right now? No way. No possible way. I would condemn anyone who brought a baby into the world, barely able to make ends meet themselves, with no established career or fallback, and I certainly wouldn’t do it myself.

BF says things that I really don’t like sometimes. I know he doesn’t actually mean them, especially when we’re both on the downers, but still. For example, we were discussing the above situation; he said something along the lines of “oh, that would be okay, I’d just get a crap job, you’d get money for the kid, etc”.

That’s just unfathomable to me. A life of always struggling, always worrying, never having enough, always being at the bottom of the ladder. I hate that he can even say something like that – I know he wants much, much better for us in our lives. So it frustrates me when he comes out with lines like that.

The middle brother of his family has just moved out on his own, with the one car the family had. Originally he had a scooter, but he ended up taking the car and driving to and from work every day. Now the car is with him, the scooter left behind with the family, who now have to rely on others to help get them around.

That totally bewilders me. I mean, I don’t have kids. I don’t know what it’s like. But to send off a kid, working full time with a pretty decent income, with the car, putting yourself in a really difficult situation? And the kid, to take it? It’s not like he can’t afford to buy his own.

I said that to BF. I pointed out that obviously Brother is capable of saving; he went to Aussie for Christmas after a few months of socking money away. BF gently said that he knew him much better than me, and that he would have only saved exactly as much as his mum told him to, and not a cent more (and then blew a whole lot more $ while over there).

Gah. People frustrate me. I hope I can impart better to my kids. I don’t know how yet, but at least I have plenty of time to figure that out.

5 thoughts on “A little bit of a PF rant

  • Reply FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com July 5, 2009 at 23:28

    That DOES sound frustrating. I mean really, it’s like you want to slap ’em and make them see reality for what it is.

    Maybe what they need is just a little prodding, like “well, why don’t you start a fund to save up for the car?”

    I dunno. Sounds ingrained.

  • Reply Jessie July 11, 2009 at 02:54

    Wow – that sounds like a really super frustrating conversation… That sounds like something very difficult to overcome.

  • Reply Enza July 12, 2009 at 11:05

    Life is much easier when your lover shares the same “world view” as you do, whether it be politics or personal finance or whatever. I once had a partner who couldn’t understand my obsession about paying down debt. He seriously thought that I should be paying the minimum and enjoying life! Compounding interest? Not a concept he was familiar with.

    “Teach him?, you say?” to sound somewhat Yoda like. Is your role to “teach”? Good luck with that. Not that I’m saying this applies to you, but I’ve tried to “fix” the odd boyfriend in the past with limited to no success. Bad habits are developed in formative years and by that I mean 0-9 years of age. Trying to “undo” that is a near impossible task. In my case trying to “fix” someone quickly moved onto trying to limit my exposure (financially and emotionally) to them i.e. I had to bail to save myself!

    “I dunno. Sounds ingrained” says the wise and wonderful FabBroke. Sounds ingrained indeed.

  • Reply eemusings July 12, 2009 at 15:57

    I totally am aware it might seem I’m trying to “fix” him and in a way, I guess I am. But as long as he is happy and willing to learn…Nobody else in his family has had anyone to show them examples of “another way”, which is sad.

    Personally I’ve seen so many stories of people running up thousands and thousands in consumer debt, who’ve turned their lives around – many who come from total poverty and/or financially irresponsible parents. I don’t think people can change who they are, intrinsically, but I believe their values and outlook and attitudes can (mine certainly have just in a few short years). He’s only 20 and he is a hard worker – didn’t want to go on the dole, but in the end that’s what it came down to. Not something either of us anticipated, and he wanted to hold out even longer than I did – a matter of pride I guess. He’s seeing what kind of freedom money can bring – paying cash for our car, allocating money for irregulars, saving for little trips away. Although I stress a lot about money, when I stress about having ‘no money’ I don’t mean literally being at zero dollars. In the checking account, yes, but I always know that I have a safety net to fall back onto.

  • Reply Enza July 12, 2009 at 21:06

    These are hard economic times and there is no shame in being on the dole, especially since he is keen to get work. When I was 23 (which is many, many years ago) I was on a benefit for 9 months. That’s the only time I’ve ever been out of work but it allows me to empathise with your boyfriend’s situation. I remember it all too well: the feeling of inertia; wary of other friends “getting ahead” and not knowing when things will get back on track.

    I regret my previous post. It was insensitive and “informed” (to use a word I dislike but now use all the time) by my own experiences and probably has little to do with your situation. “Only 20” yes, so young. My dole experience turned out to be a good one in the end: it made me work hard, to accumulate and be in the comfortable position that I’m in now.

    Anyway, it’s almost time for me to fill my hottie and go to bed.

    You write well, by the way.

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