Call me stingy, frugal or just plain mean, but I have learnt the hard way that money can be a source of friction in relationships, which is why I believe that boundaries and expectations must be communicated early in a partnership.
My attitude towards money and men comes from extensive experience. I grew up in a family of matriarchs. My mother was the breadwinner (taking care of more than 10 family members). My sisters always advised me to have cash on me when I went out on a date. This was in case something happened – such as a guy “forgetting his wallet at home”.
Instead, I sang along to Destiny’s Child’s 2001 hit song Independent Women, which I also literally applied in my life.
You see, dare I say, I am a woman who brags differently. Everything I have, no matter how small, I earned without a man’s financial input.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being provided for and spoilt, I’m a woman after all and wouldn’t mind marrying into Patrice Motsepe’s family.
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But having a rich husband to solely provide for me financially isn’t a goal I have on my checklist.
Back to my earlier point. I am wary of some men when it comes to money. This is because I have experienced that some men enjoy being parasites who suck every cent out of you, leaving you broke and broken-hearted.
Just think of the alleged “Sandton Tinder Swindler”.
I once dated a guy who borrowed money to “register” to study at a college. A few months later, I saw neither any textbooks nor him stressing about assignments or exams. Not only that, I had to bail him out – twice – because he was arrested for various crimes. As wise people say, when the universe can’t wake you up with pebbles, it will sure hit you with bricks.
It took him being jailed for me to wake up and leave that relationship, but I was R10 000 poorer by then. This financial scar has left me frowning on other men – yes, even my current partner – who need financial help from me.
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This experience has made me open to an idea that I know some couples have embraced: just open a mjolo account into which you both contribute equal amounts.
This is one of the solutions to the money problems in relationships, as no one will be resentful for always contributing to the financial and romantic needs of the couple. Take it from me, relationships can and will have 99 problems, but money shouldn’t be one of them.