F is for Finance [The A-Z of Step-Parenting]

pound coins
Bank of Step Dad is open for business...

We are blessed that we have never chased finance and as a result weigh time as a greater commodity. Yet the value of BOSD (Bank of Step Dad) is far more than simply handing over cash.

Our cash flow is carefully counted, counted again and regular discussions take place over how this precious pot of gold shouldn’t be squandered. All would suggest that this is reasonable, yet as soon as the transaction between the lads and myself takes place all of the previous conversation goes out of the window.

Why would you waste hard earned cash on a foot long sandwich whereas the same product can be made in the house for a fraction of the price? Is there any need to buy the same pair of trainers again? How can it be possible for an otherwise reasonable person to wreck everything within two months of purchase?

All of which changes the way I view money and how it is earned. The more we earn the more it is wasted. I find myself regularly repeating phrases from my childhood. “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” “Do you think I have a bottomless pit?”

I have found that the best way to deal with this is to have a section in your weekly budget that is titled – waste. Write it off before you even draw it out from the charitable cash machine. Be prepared never to see it again. Be aware that it will not be respected and be sure that it will be taken for granted.

As the lads have grown up now and the eldest is working himself pulling in a reasonable wage, the dilemma takes a new twist. I’ll give you an example of this. Recently we went to a christening – my wife and I being god parents. I dropped the others at the front door of the party venue whilst I dropped the car in the car park.

I came in dripping wet to see the eldest at the bar quite happily ordering a round of drinks. Very nice. As usual I went to help carry the drinks to the table. Only to be left at the bar with the bill to pay! This continued when we went for a meal, all ordered, all drank, all enjoyed, all conversed yet only one of us paid.

I don’t particularly mind, yet it would be nice if they were to offer some cash towards the final price. Of course I would reject their offer but that’s not the point is it.

Is it a sign of acceptance that they behave in this way? Is it a way for them to show that they expect me to take on that role in the household? Or, more likely, it has become what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too.

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Photo by wwarby

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