Weaponising the Purse Strings

We all have dreams.

Maybe you call it the bucket list, wish list, dream board, whatever, but we all have a list of things we’d love to see, do, experience in our lifetime.

But a lot of the time, ‘life’ gets in the way of turning those dreams into memories.

We don’t have the time/money/resources/space/comfort we ‘need’ to pursue these dreams.

Often, neither partner really knows what to do with the money (honestly – very few people ever do. I mean, where would you learn this stuff besides from your family?) which leads to frustration and irritation, and fear that they’re not making progress as quickly as they should be.

Sometimes, it could be that the breadwinner used money to control the relationships – weaponizing, if you will, the purse strings.

This last scenario can be so poisonous and cause such lasting damage.

(We’re wading into really sensitive territory, and if this scenario sounds like your situation, I urge you to find a professional you trust to help you work your way free, because what we’re talking about here often becomes financial – and sometimes personal – abuse.)

This is such a complex area and every situation is going to be so different. But in my experience, if you think this might apply to you, here are some steps that could hopefully help you build up your financial resilience:

  • Educate yourself. ASIC’s MoneySmart website is a good resource here, but also look around for information on basic cashflow concepts, financial decision-making ideas and savings tips.

  • If your relationship allows it, try to become more involved in your family finances. Ask questions if you’re not sure about something.

  • If you’re already out of the relationship, make haste slowly. Do what needs to be done right away – find a place to live, set your budget, park your settlement – but take the time to do things properly and one at a time.

  • Don’t berate yourself. Not many people have all the answers when it comes to money – and for those that do, it took time and experience to learn it. 

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