Posted in Family life

My Dysfunctional Relationship with Money

I’ve figured out that I have a dysfunctional relationship with money. This hasn’t come about because I’m inept or unsuccessful, it’s apparently come about because I’m a woman. According to recent studies most women tend to deal with every other hurdle in their lives other than finances. I’ve got to agree that I must be one of those women.

It dates back to our grandfathers not letting our grandmothers have control of the family finances and even though this generation have more control they’ve never been taught how to deal with it. What’s an option? Is it the same as a share? I honestly have no idea. Do you?

It’s embarrassing to admit this but many women don’t let on that they don’t know. They want to be seen to be coping, to be the super woman and one little flaw (like not understanding finance) will undermine the image of today’s coping-with-anything woman.

I only did my tax last week (and I still haven’t posted it). I did my businesses whole accounts over one week instead of the whole year. I only check my bank balance when I know I’ll be struggling to pay a bill. Yes, the last thing on my mind is my money. Or is it truer that it’s always on my mind but I keep putting it into the too-hard basket? Whatever the case the more I read about women not taking control of their finances the more I believed they were talking about me.

I’ve run a successful business. I’ve kept a happy home and fed two healthy sons. I’ve owned homes and paid out mortgages. I’ve volunteered. I’ve held down corporate jobs. I’ve written four book-length manuscripts and countless short stories and articles. I’ve made time for friends and family, sport and fitness. Let’s just say I’ve been as busy as the average woman. How in the hell am I meant to bother with finances at the end of all that?

The one thing I realise is that I need to make time for it. If I don’t take control no one will. My husband is like an ostrich with his head in the sand. He believes a bill will miraculously get paid if you just ignore it. For this reason we find ourselves struggling with money and I’m sick of it.

So I’m taking control. I’m getting in charge of my own destiny. I have a bit more reading to find out how but I’m on the right track. Instead of putting money last (as much of a chore as it seems) I’m going to put it higher on my list. It won’t come first because my family will always come first but it’s got to come close because doesn’t it link to them anyway. Without money how can I protect them? How can I keep a roof over their head and feed them? How can I safeguard their future?

I don’t want to sound materialistic. I’m far from that. I just need to be less scared of money and then, hopefully the result will be I don’t have to worry about it any more.

Happiness is easier to attain with less stress and one major stress seems to be money. If we could get rid off this one problem would it help us find happiness? I don’t believe it always would but it’s gotta make things easier.

Wish me luck and any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

Posted in Writing tips

Why writing makes me happy!

It’s not difficult for me to write. It never has been. I’m the type of person that can’t write a letter on one page of stationary – I need more.

In fact when I travelled around Australia in the mid 80s my poor mum and dad would often receive eight page letters. I’m sure I bored them so much they fell asleep before they got through to the last page. How much can you say about 20-somethings partying around the country (and party we did)? – eh Leesa?

Anyway I continue to write because it makes me happy. I enjoy the process from planning it in my head to getting it down on paper and then finally typing it up on my computer (though I’m writing by keyboard at the moment). I like how I can start with just a wisp of an idea and turn it into a story. I love telling stories. So I guess a blog is a perfect extension of that.

This blog, however, is different to my blog because I am free to be me (outside the restraints of a working environment). At Bookszeus I do talk about writing but I also include marketing and publishing and the format is to engage the Zeus writers to fully understand how the industry works and hopefully to encourage others to get published.

Here, frankly I don’t care. I want to rant if I like. I want to pour my heart out and cry if I feel like crying. Believe it or not that is what makes me happy. I want to tell you how I feel about Elephants and why they need help. I want to explain how sad it is to send one of your children to war. I want to gripe about 15-year-old boys. I want to tell you the best ways to relax in a bath. Possibly I’ll bore you as much as those old letters to mum and dad but maybe not.

Writing is part of me. Funnily enough it’s taken a long time to embrace that. Being a writer (if you don’t already have a swag of published novels or non-fiction books to your name) is scoffed at as not a ‘real profession’. To me it’s not even about vocation it’s about being – being a writer.

A favourite photo of Joel and I down Kingscliff Beach, NSW

My husband (long-suffering Bevil, who just tried to get my attention away from the computer by dancing naked in front of me), my children (Kris, my step-son; Joel 18 and Blake 15) even my dog, Boss, know I am a writer – even though they don’t get the reason for my compulsion.

My mum, Valerie, has always encouraged me and my dad did also (when he was alive). They raved about my first little story about ‘The Mouse with the Musical Ears’ (I guess that was in about second class) and I was hooked on the encouragement ever since.

But encouragement aside, writing is a solo endeavour but maybe that’s why I like it so much. I’ve always cherished my OWN time. I wrap myself in my imagination and off I go to the fantasy place of my choice. To me that’s happiness but I have plenty of other ways to be happy and I’ll share them soon.