Discover more from The Ladybird Purse • Opening up about money
Hi, I’m Keris and I talk openly and honestly about money.
Even when it’s scary. Even when the thought of it makes you feel sick. I want to know how it feels to have enormous debt. I want to know what it’s like to never have to worry about money. I want to talk to women and non binary people who haven’t even thought about a pension, who wake up at night and wonder how they’re going to pay the bills.
I want to talk about how I don’t have any. About how I hardly ever have any. And how whenever I get some, I think it’s going to solve everything and then it solves nothing because I spend it like I’m being paid to get rid of it.
Why midlife? Because I turned 50 this year. I got divorced last year. And I realised - am realising - that I’ve never been a grown-up with money and I don’t have a safety net or a plan.
And from talking to friends - other women my age - this seems to be a pretty common problem.
And it’s one that I don’t think we talk about it enough.
And I think it’s vital that we start.
I’m starting here.
So wtf is a ladybird purse?
When I was little I had a purse in the shape of a ladybird. It was a snap purse - you squeezed each end (ladybird head and bum, I guess) to open it. I can’t remember how old I was, but I think I must have been pretty young? Say eight?
My parents had just started giving me pocket money - I assume they also gave me the purse to keep it in? And I loved having money in that purse. So much so that I started picking up loose change wherever I saw it and popping it right inside the ladybird. My dad realised at some point and stopped my pocket money. Giving me pocket money had apparently been a test and I had failed it. Bummer.
It’s my first bad money memory, which is why I thought of it for the name of this newsletter. Also lady and bird and family and flying away (please check your smoke alarms) and my friend Diane said it sounds a bit like a euphemism for vagina, so, you know, it’s all good.
But this newsletter is not just going to be me working through my own childhood money traumas, oh no.
I’m going to talk to women in midlife and see how they’re doing. [NB: Since starting this newsletter, I’ve spoken to women at many different stages, not just midlife.] I tend to naturally assume everyone’s doing better than me, but I know that’s not actually true. And I know a lot of women around my age are going through massive life changes, with associated financial implications. And I also know there are women who would like to make massive life changes, but they can’t. Because they can’t afford to.
I love talking about this stuff. And I hope you’ll want to read about it.