You Are Responsible!
Can you handle that? How do you read this?
Do you take this as a compliment?
Do you take this as an accusation?
I only ask, because at the end of the day — you are responsible! You are responsible for your individual financial matters. You pay your taxes. You pay your rent. You pay your utilities. You pay your way. You are responsible for your family’s monetary situation. You pay your taxes. You pay your mortgage. You pay your utilities. You pay your child care. You do. You do. You do. No one is going to save you money the way that you can save yourself money. No one is going to show you the way to your fiscal year end dreams the way you can. You earn it. You spend it. You manage it.
As a baseline, you need to know where you stand in response to this statement, “You are responsible!” If you take it as a compliment, then everything presented in the previous paragraph comes as no surprise to you. There would have been a lot of “Of Course” answers flashing through your mind while reading. Of course – I am responsible for my individual financial matters. Of course – I pay my taxes. Of course – I pay my rent/mortgage. Of course – I pay my utilities. Of course – I pay my way. Of course – I pay my child care. I do. I do. I do.
If you take this statement as an accusation, then much of the concepts presented in the first paragraph will come as a surprise to you. There would have been a lot of “Wha?” questions flashing through your mind while reading. Pay my taxes – wha? Pay my rent/mortgage – wha? Pay my utilities – wha? Pay my child care – wha? The classic U.S. TV show Diff’rent Strokes comes to mind when Arnold used to say, “Whatchoo talkin’ ‘ bout, Willis?”
A variation of the seemingly innocent feeling of surprise, is if by taking the statement “You are responsible!” as an accusation, you instead take this as a point of contention. There would have been a lot of “No way!” reactions flashing through your mind while reading. No way do I pay my taxes! No way do I pay my rent/mortgage! No way do I pay my utilities! No way do I pay my child care! No way! No way! No way! Insisting that you couldn’t possibly be responsible for all of this, because, surely, someone else looks after this for you.
Please post your comments below to let me know where you sit on this continuum. More interestingly, I welcome your comments if you believe there are variations of the three examples presented here. You will have plenty of space to point out that this simply isn’t the way of it! You could raise all sorts of evidence that there are special circumstances in all nations around the world! Please comment, so we can discuss your valid points of view together.
The move from a powerful sense of pride to cute confusion to defensive resolve could easily happen within one degree of separation of the primary wage earner in a household. The breadwinner may proudly declare that it is their responsibility to carry out these duties, while the family’s young child maintains a cute confusion about all money matters, and the support partner of the household may believe, as Sam Weinberg states in the movie A Few Good Men that “I have no [financial] responsibilities here whatsoever.” And these roles may play out very nicely in the reality version of these people’s lives, but what if they don’t?
What if these roles are not so clearly defined? What if the characters of a real life family are actually playing parts that are not type-cast? What if these roles are forced upon them? What if these family member assignments are antiquated and representative of bygone era of male and female delineated duties? What then? What is a family to do? What would you do if this was you?
Talk about it! Regardless of your answer to the original question. Regardless of which of the three presented categories you put yourself into. You are, in fact, responsible! You are responsible for your part in the play. You are responsible for being an active member of your family. You are responsible for you and the people you love. Anything less would be irresponsible!
If you find yourself questioning your financial role in your family or the roles of other family members, please drop in your email address so we can schedule your free consultation right away! The best time to have had these monetary conversations with your loved ones was 10 years go; the next best time is today!