Financial responsibility is like herpes

As far as ailments go, herpes is totally NBD. It causes some physical discomfort, sure, but most of the discomfort associated with it is social. That damn stigma.

Being financially responsible? It’s the same.

No one wants to have dinner with a friend who talks about their herpes for the entire night. And then tries to convince you that you should have herpes too, and then offers to give it to you!

Likewise with financial responsibility. Next time you go to dinner with friends, try spending the evening talking about all the wise personal financial decisions you’re making. At best you’ll seem like you’re bragging. At worst you’ll be guilted into paying the bill and never see another invite again.

No one wants to talk about money. It’s the genital infection of self-improvement.

And yet everyone gets it eventually. By age 70, a majority of US citizens will have some form of herpes. Likewise, by 70, most will have figured out how to handle money responsibly.

Unlike with herpes though, catching financial sense in a frisky nursing home on your way out the door-of-life is a little too late.

So what I’m saying is that you should sleep with as many people who are good with money as you can, in hopes that you catch good financial habits.

I’m taken though, sorry.

After You Catch It

The first month after contracting financial herpes will be the hardest. You’ll feel stuck by your past mistakes. You’ll think, “Oh, how I wish I hadn’t done that!” There will be tears and despair as you learn to live in your new situation. You may even fall into a mild depression.

Your friends won’t understand what you’re going through. You could tell them, but they won’t understand. They may nod their head, but they’ll look at you differently.

“Oh, we can’t invite them, they won’t want to pay for a nice night out and will try to convince us to eat rice over the sink at their place.”

So you’ll keep it inside. You’ll make excuses why you can’t enjoy life anymore. You might even have to find new friends who respect you for who you have become.

And once you catch it, there’s no cure. You have it for life.

It’s better on the other side

Here’s the thing though: once you catch FinHerp you will love the freedom of not worrying about it.

Think about all those times you worried about money before. You couldn’t buy a single damn coffee without wondering if you could afford it. Those worries — gone. You can take anything home and know that life will be okay.

As long as you manage your new disease, and set boundaries accordingly, life will be that much better for it.

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1 thought on “Financial responsibility is like herpes”

  1. Yes, it’s true that you don’t want to talk about herpes or financial habits for the entire dinner conversation, but that’s where the similarities end. If we could somehow make good financial habits contagious that would be a good thing — with herpes, never. I agree that we shouldn’t spend the whole time, or even a lot of time, talking about finances, but I also know that too many people make money a taboo subject and when you freely talk about it, you give other people permission and encouragement to do the same.

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