My First Money Manifesto: Never be in the dark about your money

This is a rule for myself that I created when I was starting to get out of debt. I had turned to my mom to ask her for budgeting support and help, and was not surprised when she said that my dad handled it all.

Considering that my dad is not the best money manager as you may recall from my way earlier posts, I knew I had to learn how to deal with my money on my own.

But my little short-lived conversation about money with my mom made me realize that it wasn’t just her — it was a LOT of people (women in particular) who are in the dark about their finances, living and spending blindly from day-to-day.

I read countless stories about women suddenly realizing after some tragic event that they were up the creek without a paddle, financially speaking.

My heart broke for them, to hear them recount their stories about being completely lost, and I never wanted to be one of them.

So the following is what I told myself and my lessons learned when I first started clearing my debt.


Don’t just hand over control to anyone else and say: “He/She will take care of it, and I will never, ever have to worry about the money again.”

It’s your money, and no one else has a more vested interest in what you spend, save and invest in.

Don’t be one of those women who wakes up one day after a nasty job loss, disability, divorce, separation, death, or all the bad things that do happen in life and says: “I don’t even know where to begin to figure out what to do.”

No one has a better interest in your money than yourself, and I don’t find it an acceptable excuse to say: “Oh but my ______ always took care of it for me.”

It’s fine to let _______ take care of your money for you, but YOU better know what they’re doing with it at a higher, big-picture level.

Always ask why they’re choosing to do something, like put your money into dividend producing mutual funds.

Don’t just take for granted that it is just what you do and you trust them wholly. Research it for yourself, and just become well-informed, if not, involved.

If anything happens – you’ll know why, or at least be able to take over with a small learning curve.

Princess routines are just self-loathing pity parties

I have done a couple of these, but they’re just an unproductive waste of time.

The reason why I am being so tough is because that sort of helpless woe-is-me princess routine doesn’t really hold any substance when you are faced with the prospect of having to eat cat food to survive, and working until you die instead of enjoying your golden years.

“I didn’t know!”, is not a good excuse any more.

People may sympathize in exceptional circumstances such as having to take care of another family member and therefore not having any income, or an unexpected disability – those are things in life that happen out of your control.

However, if you spent your whole life carelessly spending every dime and living life to the fullest because you couldn’t “take it with you to the grave”, we are not going to be as forgiving.

Especially if we’re the ones who worked hard and saved, and are not going to be open to bailing you out if you haven’t lived conscientiously.

Lower your expectations about someone or something swooping in to save you from your money mess, and save yourself.

The reality is you can really only depend on yourself.

People grow apart, break up, and leave our lives in all sorts of ways and we are the only constants in our own lives.

I am not saying that along the way you won’t meet wonderful people who will help you and do all sorts of neat and great things – I am saying you should prepare for the worst on your own instead of expecting the best to be handed to you on a silver platter.

The latter just creates inevitable disappointment.

So enjoy your money ……responsibly

It’s just a tool. Money doesn’t do anything – you are the one who can make money work for you or against you.

Nor am I saying that you will have to scrimp every penny and never enjoy a dime of it in fear of being a bag lady in a coffee shop eating lithium on on ice cream.

Just prepare for the worst, the best way that you possibly can with the resources you have available.

Some of us have more, some have less.

The key is just to do something about it for yourself instead of wasting your time comparing yourself to others — you live differently and within the constraints of what you have, and that’s it.

So that’s it. That’s what I told myself when I started and I am still following it to this day.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.