Sunday, 19 July 2015

Digging deep

Saturday June 13th #13

Today I want to talk to you about people and their funny relationship with money. Now Yorkshire people have a reputation for being a little bit careful with their money, as do Jewish people. So you've got a tough start. Except it's not really like that. And money drips through my fingers more easily than maybe it should. I tease your mum about being more Jewish than me.

Your great grandpa Charles used to tell a story about his friend Freddy. If ever they went out for a meal, Freddy would always ask what my grandpa was going to order, then order the same or something of equal value. He couldn't bear the idea of having to pay a little bit more or less than the person he was eating with.

Your grandma always says your granddad is too quick to the bar. Always the first to be buying a round. And I never think that's a bad thing. But it is if you're buying the drinks and no one buys you them back.

As you grow up you'll learn these things. When you start going out with your friends, you'll have just enough money for what you need and you'll need to manage that.

As you get a bit older, earn a bit of money yourself, hopefully you won't have to worry so much. You'll order and your friends will order and you'll split the bill.

There are times when your bill should be more and you pay less. There are times when your bill should be less and you pay more. Once you have enough money, and I don't mean to burn or to waste, I mean enough to live on, then money shouldn't be the issue.

You go out to eat with your friends because they're your friends. You go out for the conversation and the fun and to enjoy the time you spend together. You go out because that's what you're doing.

And if, when you go out, you spend most of your time watching what everyone else eats and comparing it to what you have, maybe you shouldn't go out at all.

What I've learnt is, and your mum's the same as me, is that when I am short or times are hard, my friends help. And when they go out and are struggling or finding things difficult, I help them. It's always a circle. Everything comes back round. It never hurts to help someone out, that's what friends are about.

The hardest thing, sometimes, is realising that the people who keep a little check in their heads, keep count or score, measure whether you paid or they paid, probably aren't friends at all.

Where we are is where we are. Things can be tough enough as they are. My lesson to you here is, pay your way, put your hand in your pocket, don't let friends or anyone else for that matter, manipulate you and don't manipulate them either. Some people call this Kama. I just think it's the way of the world. Most of the time, you must do what is right. And you won't go far wrong.