Hey, big spender!

Men love to prove their worth through their wallet. And even the most independent woman among us will let them – who’d say no to unexpected gifts and lavish gestures? The woman who has to foot the bill, that’s who…

Posted: 02.03.12

There’s a line in Respect, Aretha Franklin’s seminal girl power anthem, that doesn’t sit right: I’m gonna give you all of my money. Now, when Otis Redding sings his version, the sentiment is commendable. Good man, working hard to support his loved one. But when Aretha sings it, you have to wonder: Why are you giving him any of your money? Get a grip girlfriend!
It wasn’t so long ago that this wasn’t an issue for us. The last generation of Asian women were happy to tend to the tawwa while the man brought home the benguin, but it’s a very different kettle of fish these days. We earn our own living and see it as a mark of our independence to pay our own way. It’s hard enough being emotionally reliant on a man let alone being financially dependant on him too! In an ideal world he’d say: great, let’s both pool our resources together and achieve great things. Or even: you pay your way, I pay mine, let’s splash out in the middle. What we don’t expect, however, is to be left counting the cost because we ended up with a man like one of these…
After years of being fobbed off with Hallmarks, Interflora and Milk Tray, it’s nice to get gifts that are more thoughtful than they are expensive. After all, when was the last time a guy made you a card from scratch? Until you realise that when he says ‘money doesn’t matter’, it’s because he doesn’t have any. Be wary when he asks you to buy Pritt stick a few days before your birthday…

Quid Pro Quo Man
Here’s a neat trick. When you start dating, he pays for everything. He’s established himself as Mr Generous from the outset. At some point you say it’s only fair that you treat him for a change and, after much insistence on your part, he caves in by letting you pay. Then a year goes by and you realise you’re still paying…

Beyond Mean Man
We all go wow when we get things that are above and beyond a man’s means, but not at the expense of him being strapped for cash for the rest of the month. In his head, he’s just spent all his cash on you, so when you point out you’d rather he could cater for his side of the bargain than claim bankruptcy, he’s bound to feel bitter. Until he has some money again and makes it up to you by treating you, leaving you worried about accepting it, meaning he’ll get the hump again = vicious!

Miserly Guts
It feels secure to find a man that’s good with finances. Women are legendary spendthrifts (don’t blame us, it’s those never-ending sales) and it’s grounding to have a man that ensures there’s no scrimping in the rainy days leading up to payday. Except you’re the type to cry ‘to hell with it’ when you’re loaded and he never does, which means if you want to push the boat out – you’ll have to foot the bill.

• You don’t want to be an accountant, but there’s no harm in keeping track of who spends what.
• Keeping a book might also help him see a pattern in his spending that he can watch out for next time.
• Don’t be a lender. If he’s strapped for cash and you do loan him some, make sure you get it back in full.
• Get him to study his bank statements carefully. Hook him up to online banking so he can make daily checks.
• Introduce him to this wonderful thing called saving!
• Cutting down on a vice can show how much he saves.
• Drill home the message: if you can’t afford it, you don’t get it!

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