No one likes to talk about money, having it or not having it, and I understand that but I read a wonderful post this week by the delightful Sara Tasker who blogs at Me and Orla, Notes on having money (from someone who never did!), and I really wanted to share it because it was so honest and I agreed whole heartedly with the content, particularly No.1. “People who say money isn’t a big deal have never struggled for it.” The idea that having money doesn’t help you out in life is one that is regularly trotted out by those who have never experienced the fear of the knock on the door from the bailiffs, living in a house where the gas and electric have been cut off because you can’t pay bills, a home that has one chair and a mattress with no other furniture because you have no money to buy it, I have experienced these things, as a child, and I tell you, having money would have bloody helped. I am sure my mum would agree when she had to give up meals so I could eat. As an adult I now have enough money to pay my bills, I buy myself clothes I like and indulge in take away coffees and I tell you I sleep better at night knowing that I can afford food.
There is nothing wrong with having money, it is lovely to be able to pay for things, one shouldn’t be ashamed of that. There is a certain amount of independence to be gained from having money and no, it doesn’t stop bad things happening but when my husband walked out on me and I was literally left holding the baby I would have had less sleepless nights if I hadn’t being worrying myself sick about how I was going to pay a mortgage alone.
No one has the right to judge you because of your financial situation, be you wealthy or poor, but please lets stop pretending that having money is not better than not having it.
The seasons feel like they have finally changed and I now actually feel like spring has sprung. Daffodils are brightening up the grassy banks in my town and they are cheap as chips at Tesco so I can buy loads of them to brighten up the house too.
Unfortunately I have not been filled with desire to spring clean but I do find myself unable to pass interior decorating magazines without purchasing at least one. This could also be to do with the really exciting news that Lulu and I now own our very own home for the first time ever!! I know!
It was part of the divorce agreement that my soon to be ex and I had drawn up. We bought the house Lu and I live in together 5 years ago, tore it down and built it back up, one floor board and ceiling at a time – in an exhausting 12 week period. We saved ourselves stupid to buy this place, sold our things, lived off baked potatoes and finally had a good deposit after 12 months. I love this house so much but all good things must come to an end and when my husband left it looked pretty likely that the house would have to be sold and Lu and I would have to move to a rented flat but after a lot of negotiating he and I reached a financial agreement that suited us both. Then there was lots of form filling, appointments with the bank, an anxious few weeks waiting my own mortgage to be approved and now the whole thing is mine all mine, as is a massive heart pounding mortgage but I try not to think too much about that part.
My mum brought me up by herself, and has always drummed into me the importance of paying your rent first out of all the bills, or a mortgage payment as is now the case. You can live without gas and electricity – you can, really. When I was a child we did, money was a little scarce so a battery powered radio, a camping stove and candles would do the trick, almost romantic except we were in basement flat in London with no carpet or furniture but hey, it could have been worse!. The most important thing was that the rent was paid so we had a roof over our heads and that practical lesson has stuck with me.
I’m rather proud of myself for being able to reach this stage, but I didn’t do it alone. My mum always has faith in my ability, my friends keep encouraging me in my bid to re build my life and now I think that I am very nearly there. The final step in compete closure of the practical elements my old life will be the finalisation of my divorce. Its pretty much just a paper exercise at this point but I like to have everything sign, sealed and delivered before I crack open the fizz, then maybe, just maybe, I will able to have the first good nights sleep in a very very long time.