Dumped! By Your Boyfriend AND The Bank

Oct 2, 2014 Blog  Personal Finance
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“It’s not you it’s me.”
“I think we should see other people.”
“I’m moving to an Ashram in India.”
“We’ve just grown apart.”
“She just gets me more than you do.”
“I’m gay. You’re not quite mannish enough.”
“Insufficient funds.”

We’ve all heard at least one of those sentences at the end of a relationship. But the last one is probably the most painful. Insufficient funds? How dare a bank not realise that the very fact that you’ve removed one person from the home-loan, split the joint cheque account in half and moved cities means that you are in a huge emotional turmoil and they should just increase your overdraft and send you a box of tissues with a teddy bear.

Banks would like to make us believe that they care about us, but you know that part in a cartoon where the character is so hungry, all he sees is walking pieces of steak instead of people? That’s how a bank sees you, except replace steak with money. (Does that mean banks see us all as blue Mandelas? I digress.)

The emotional burden of enduring a breakup is something we are ready for. It’s a risk even the most romantically blind of us know we are taking the moment we first whisper ‘forever’ underneath the stars (the glow in the dark stars stuck on our ceiling, he wasn’t that romantic.) But the financial loss is almost like pouring salt into our wounds. Pouring salt in and then jumping up and down on top of our heads.

Let alone the fact that your cell-phone bill sky rockets as you phone your mother three times a day, whilst sitting on the kitchen floor eating ice-cream from the tub as you do the ugly cry* (*Actually happened to me.) But you also have to deal with the loss of a dual income, not being able to split the cost of a new refrigerator, having to PAY for someone to come out and change your tyre (for goodness sake, Man Up Woman!) and no longer getting free drinks when out with friends and remembering every 5 minutes that you were dumped, thus reverting to a puddle on the floor and phoning mom again.

The last person you ever want to see is him – why do guys always get hotter in break ups as we get more and more puffy from the crying (and the chocolate)? But you have to still sort out who gets the apartment and if he moves out who is going to pay half of the lease.

Maybe his new girlfriend needs a roommate…?

Other things you didn’t consider when you were still in that blind-romantic haze was who gets the couch that you both fell in love with, and spent half our your paycheques on – after you fight him on it, and win, you realise that now you have to pay him out for his side, all the while trying to not ask yourself the question “how does he still love this couch, but not me?” Avoid sharing credit cards or loans. It is not going to end well.

There’s very little we can do to protect ourselves from heartbreaks and money pitfalls, but if you are going to tie the knot, or just take the plunge into a serious co-habitation; take a sage bit of advice from the great philosopher of the 21st century Kanye: “Holla we want pre-nup, we want pre-nup.” You really should have the chat about what would happen if the unthinkable happens.

It’s not the ’50s any more (because people stayed together even if they were miserable back then) but women can be more financially competent than a man. Don’t let the doe-eyed promise of a forever love ruin your financial planning, every time he buys you a drink – make a mental note to put that amount of cash into a secret saving account. And hey, if you stay together forever you can always use that cash for a dream holiday to Hawaii (and write a book on how you did it to make millions more rands.) For all the single ladies out there, keep your own bank account, pop in a Beyonce CD and remember you fierceness. And for the love of sanity, stop smelling his old pillow.

If you’re reading this sage advice a little too late, there’s always RainFin – a much more intelligent and effective way than banking to get loans.

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