Money Matters: Clean Out Your Purses

I feel like our purses and wallets are a sneak peak into our finances and our lives. I believe how well we keep the things that hold the representation of our finances reflect how we feel and deal with our finances.

I was watching my mother clean out one of purses so she could switch items into another purse to take with her to an on oscar party she attends every year. And in doing so, it was littered with receipts, old napkins and tissues and just stuff that should’ve been trashed awhile ago. I wanted to be like, “eww” but she’s my mother. Yet, I still felt eww about how managed her purse was. As a mature woman, why hadn’t she gotten a better system of cleaning out her purse? Why after so many years does she treat her purse like a trash can?

But — being frank, here — my mother isn’t the best at managing money. She isn’t the worst, but she won’t be holding any top 100 spots in the immediate future. Money has always been a tool for her to spend. And sadly, this applies to many women I know. They’re always scrambling around to make it to the next pay period. And it’s not a junky purse. It’s a junky lifestyle. Careless purchases. Impulsive spending. Emotional shopping. Just no regard for their financial future. Like, none. And so, they’re broke or short on money or have no savings. Or — usually– a combination of it all.

I don’t know if I mentioned the “broke girl” from my former job, but in case I didn’t, let me give you the run down:

She lives paycheck because it’s very important to her she has a social life. She’s $15,000 in credit card debt. She never pays off a purchase once she used her credit card so she always carries a balance and pays the minimum. Her total minimum payment is about $300 for all 3 credit cards. She paid $700 for her cat and only feeds her cat expensive food even when she doesn’t have food for herself. When she’s unable to prepare lunch from home for a workday, she puts it on her credit card. She has no savings. Doesn’t believe in 401k so she doesn’t have a retirement account or savings or a plan of anything sort.

I’m not making any of this up. She’s told me all this herself. And she’s not alone. Many women treat their lives like a junky purse. Like, one day it’s all gonna get magically cleaned out sorted and whoosh — everything will be better.

Sorry, ladies. You gotta start cleaning out purses and now. There is no fairy Godmother out there waving and magically fixing all your financial problems. You, my dears, have got to do that yourself.

Turn them purses upside down!