Alan Dee: I’m not in control, but I’m quids in
It’s always nice to be ahead of the times, setting the trends that the rest of the world is set to follow.
Well, that’s what I tell myself, because otherwise it might seem a bit embarrassing.
But there’s no point in beating about the bush – I’ve got certain responsibilities in our house, and looking after the money is not one of them.
Now according to some new research, women are increasingly taking charge of the family finances and now control the purse strings in the majority of households where couples are under the age of 45.
The clipboard and questions brigade reckons that females will be making the most important long-term financial decisions across all age groups within the next eight years.
Been there, done that, didn’t get the T-shirt because she said we had to be a bit careful this month.
I know my place. When it comes to simple bits of DIY I am the go to guy at Dee Towers. Setting the central heating time clock, emptying the hoover, reaching up on to the tall shelves where her collection of vases lives – that’s me.
Putting the bins out, programming the telly box to record the lastest costume drama or American import that catches her eye, I’m your man.
But as soon as we start talking savings plans, budgeting, pensions, utility bills and the like, I know my place – which is sitting quietly in the corner and every now and then signing bits of paper.
Why do I surrender control of my exchequer to someone who, let’s face it, struggles to read a map and collapses into a trembling heap whenever a spider finds its way into the bath? Well, in any relationship you play to your strengths.
So we both earn the money, she works out what we can afford to spend, and I carry the shopping.
There’s obviously a bit of give and take when it comes to day to day purchases.
She’ll turn a blind eye when I slip a couple of new CDs into the house, I tolerate her constant expenditure on greetings cards for every occasion.
She won’t purse her lips when I treat myself to a nice bottle of wine, I will always make an approving comment when she gets her hair done even though you could feed a family for a week on what it cost.
It helps that neither of us have expensive tastes and are naturally nervous of spending on big ticket items, and were both raised to regard credit as the work of the devil and any interest payment as money down the drain.
But I look at it this way – she knows where all the money is, and nothing makes her happier than working her way through the cheque book or the online account to make sure the pounds and pennies are adding up properly.
Me, I’m happy as long as I know that when I stick a card in a hole in the wall and play cashpoint bingo, I’m going to be a winner every time.
And as long as she still needs me to check her oil, hoist her hanging baskets up onto the wall brackets and finish off the quick crossword in the mornings, I’m quids in.