It probably doesn’t surprise any of you that one of my volunteer activities at my church is “counting,” as in counting the weekly tithes and offerings and sorting it for the bank and bookkeeper. It suits my passion for finance as well as my OCD tendencies! One of my counting buddies was on vacation and needed a substitute recently so we had a retired woman (probably in her 60s) helping us out. We got to talking as we often do and this woman described how every day she drives about an hour in any direction visiting her daughters and mother. Then she mentioned that she had leased her car and that was probably a dumb move since she drives so much. Since we had just bought our minivan, I recommended the place where we’ve bought many affordable and reliable used cars. Matter of factly she told me that she doesn’t buy used cars. She buys new cars and then gets rid of them after 5 years because her husband isn’t around (he passed away) and she knows nothing about cars so she can’t keep a car longer than that because that’s when they start to need repairs.
I was kind of shocked, kind of mad. She was making excuses for bad financial decisions. And she KNOWS better. She knew it wasn’t good to lease, she knows it’s better to keep cars longer. But she can’t be bothered with that. Wow. I know I can’t tell her what to do, but in my opinion, just because you’re on your own doesn’t mean you can make excuses to waste money. I know this woman has a large network of friends at the church, probably plenty of people that could help her with car things that her husband may have previously done. And the WAY she said it annoyed me. She wasn’t ashamed or guilt-ridden at all. She knew it was a bad decision, but it was HER decision and that’s what she’s doing…so nanny nanny boo boo! (At least that’s what it sounded like)
The moral of the story: You must be powerful in life, especially with your money. For my female readers, don’t let the absence of a man be an excuse for not making good financial decisions. Sure we can’t be an expert in everything, but we can leverage friends and family to help us. And maybe there is one thing you’re really good at that you can help other people with. When I told this woman’s story at one of my weekly lunch and learns, one of my financial follower friends said how she LOVES negotiating to buy cars and how great she is at it. We all said that she could be our car person!
I am so looking forward to retirement, I hope that it will be one of the best times in my life. I don’t want to get down on myself if bad things happen, I want to enjoy that time and make my money last! I want to be strong and independent with a large network of friends and family to share the time with and help me if I need it. And I wish that for all of you. No excuses!!