Homemaking is a business

THE day before I married, my mother gave me wise counsel: ‘Look on homemaking as a business and you will run it successfully.’ Throughout my married life I have never ceased to be grateful for such sound advice.

On returning from our honeymoon I saw to it that everything was in order as regards my National Insurance cards and change of address, that all names and addresses were changed on all my personal papers and notification given to the proper quarters.

I fixed up as a customer with local tradespeople and made the acquaintance of the coalman, the plumber, and a chemist. Then I visited the local doctor and dentist and registered with them – though registering with the dentist is not necessary until his services are needed.

I made a note of the telephone numbers of the doctor, dentist, landlord, local exchanges, plumber, taxi rank, railway station and the local hospital.

I paid a social call on my neighbour who rented the next-door rooms, and over a cup of tea she told me when the dustman called, how the milkman and the baker worked their rounds, and the address of a good laundry, shoe-repairer and window-cleaner. We promised to take in parcels for each other if the necessity arose.

Getting the practical side of things sorted out in this way minimized the work for me and gave me a methodical start. And I bought an account book to record all expenses.

Before our marriage my husband and I had talked over our finances. It was agreed that all moneys earned by us should be pooled – all bills and insurances paid – and the balance shared. We agreed to buy our own clothes and to share holiday expenses. Marriage was to be for us a true partnership in every sense of the word.

My husband took out a substantial life insurance policy, and we also insured our wedding presents and personal belongings.

I think it is the duty of every husband .to take out a life policy to safeguard his wife’s interests. After all, the wife may be giving up her employment on marriage to take on the job of home-maker. That is what it amounts to, and surely she should be well provided for should her husband die. This is not selfish. It is the only sensible view.

As time went on, we took out fire and other insurance policies on our furniture and home. I believe in that feeling of security that being insured gives one.

But be wise! When you listen to an insurance agent, remember that insurance can be a millstone around one’s neck if the payments become too heavy. More policies lapse for that reason than any other. Never hurry a decision; take a few days to think things over. In any case an effort will probably have to be made to keep up payments, but that effort must not deprive the household of necessities.

I am now thinking of taking out a married woman’s protection insurance policy which will allow me to have a little money to tide me over should my husband die, as I believe sometimes it takes months for an estate to be proved. The older a woman gets the more need there is for her to make sure she is protected financially in every possible way.

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