Something I noticed is that some people manage their money better than others, but it is often independent of actual wealth/background.
My wife is very frugal. She likes dressing well, having cute handbags, girly stuff, etc but always gets amazing deals. She always seems to know how much something is worth, and whether its worth getting or not. She confesses she’s a recovered shopaholic, but in all the time i’ve known her she has been very practical. She paid her way through school and had continuously worked since she was 15.
My friend’s father in law built his business from the ground up. He worked very hard to build it. A while ago he sold his business and retired. Friend’s wife and sisters all grew up watching him grow and develop his business, and he encouraged their education in whatever they wanted to do. From my perspective, there’s no reason why she shouldnt be sucessful, since she had all the tools to be so (and her sisters are independent, ambitious and sucessful).
Earlier this year she inherited her childhood home. I was happy for them (and a touch envious, since It’ll be a few years before my wife and I can afford to buy a house). Recently, talking to my friend, he was lamenting that he was having money problems, worried about losing his job, his wife is ‘in between’ jobs, their house is a mess, etc.
This kind of baffles me. They have every advantage; he makes more money than I do, doesnt have rent/mortgage, in laws are always taking them on nice vacations for free, his job gives him tons of little perks…and his wife, in spite of growing up knowing what it takes to be successful and independent, doesnt seem to do much of anything (when my friend talks on the phone, he implies that he has to do EVERYTHING around the house). When I suggested his wife needs to support him more, he got super defensive about it so I backed off on the issue.
Its kind of surreal; I wouldve assumed things would be the other way around with our wives but they are not. Even though my wife had ZERO family members that helped her financially or academically she managed extremely well. She never could afford many things she wanted and easily couldve been someone who lives outside their means. Friend’s wife in contrast had it much easier, tons of support, knowlege, and a huge head start with a free house, yet they are the ones who struggle.