Do you trust your partner with money? Are you comfortable talking about money? How are you supposed to talk with your partner about money? When does one stop being broke? How can you make money work for you, rather than money making you work?
If you are living next to the Joneses, you may want what they have. Perhaps bigger, better and smarter than what they have. Alas, we never really best them, right?
Netflix has a show where people share their money goals with Ramit Sethi who helps them figure out how to handle their money and make things like where do you want to go with your money.
‘What’s holding you back from making the changes you want with your money?’ He asks.
Take your time. Answer that question. Is buying so many video games really necessary? If it is, then where can you cut spending so you can stop owing so much and living paycheck to paycheck?
READ MORE: From Generation Wealth to Billionaire Boys Club: These 5 movies teach us great money lessons
Should ‘Roti, Kapda, Makaan’ be your life mantra?
It’s not the American dream, you know, wanting to own a home with a white picket fence. Indians too have been told, ‘Apna ghar hona chahiye’ (you need to own your own home’. Have you seen parents really work hard for that home and never being able to enjoy living in it?
And when you take out a mortgage to buy a home, you end up paying more on interest than towards the principal. ‘Loans are counter-intuitive,’ Ramit says. Some of us just trust our advisors when it comes to our money. But when you look at how much the financial advisors are charging you, keep an eye on how much you are paying him! One of the women in the show would have ended up paying half the money she was investing in twenty years!
And when you’re buying a house, know all the hidden costs. In America - and you must see John Oliver’s show about HOA the HomeOwners Association - the HOA has the right not only to penalise you for an overgrown lawn or even sell off your home. And in India, you have to pay the monthly maintenance and even spring money for the building painting fund or whatever your neighbours want to create.
What does money mean to you?
‘Sometimes people use money to hide deeper truths about what’s really going on with their lives.’ Ramit says as he is about to meet the couple where the man is a stay-at-home dad and the woman earns money.
Does earning money bring respect? Are homemakers treated by their husbands with disdain because they do all the housework and are considered to be a liability because they’re not really ‘earning’ money?
The show makes you look at transparency in your relationship. Do you tell your partner everything that is going on with your financial life? Do they?
There are more questions and focus on money habits that this show ‘How To Get Rich’ on Netflix will ask. Watch it because it tells us that there are people like you and I out there, and there’s help available to make money work for you!
Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication. She can be reached on Twitter at @manishalakhe.