MIDWAY : Money matters

Prerana Marasini:

I have never been financially indebted to anybody nor was I hard up for cash until recently. Several serious predicament that I have been in have taught me the importance of being careful about money and respecting its worth. Careless and without a habit to use it judiciously, the contents of my wallet vanished at an astonishing speed. I seldom gave it a serious thought. And that had been going on with me for a while.

The money that I use it in a jiffy at times to go scrimp later is very hard earned. To convert cheque into cash at the end of every month, I have to get up early in the morning and go to my workplace, compromising the comfort of my bed against my will.

But the mere idea of money draws me closer to the cash counter. It is out of question at my age and time to ask for money from parents. That means sleeping as little as five hours on some days. An exponent of self-reliance, I do not think that depending upon others for petty cash as well as other aspects of my expenditure is a good idea once one approaches the working age.

So far as my expenses are concerned, my problem lies in bad management of my salary because of which I am unable to meet them. I never keep record of expenditure. That also means if I have money with me today, I forget to keep it for tomorrow. That leaves me with the option of lending money from my siblings. If depending upon them is bad enough, no less is the risk of going bankrupt once again. At such times, I feel crippled and loath the very thought of moving around dead broke. That is when the fiscal pangs nibble at me. After all, everything is possible with money. One realises the value of water only when the well is dry.

My father keeps on telling me: “Money is a good slave of a bad master.” If that is the case, then I have to admit I am a bad master. It can get me anything — from most trivial of things to decadent and expensive stuff. If it buys food for the hungry, it fetches hooch for the alcohol-minded.

At least because I am surviving on my own, and because I am not bugging my parents each day asking for dole money, I am quite happy to get along with my own ways. But I wonder what would have happened if I were a single mother with kids and a pittance for a salary, as many Nepali women are doing. Nor do I work day in and day out to eke out a living. Nonetheless, my epicurean lifestyle needs an overhaul. Because last month was a big eye opener, I better decide before it is too late whether to introspect about the implications of my dad’s ditty.