Wednesday is market day in Mampong, Ghana, on this day the neighboring villages come to and sell their goods. Generally, this is a huge flea market, mostly for foods grown locally, but also full of cheap Chinese products and used clothing from Europe and the USA.
Bah likes to make this Bissap tea, and I have decided it would be fun to make a video of her making it step by step.
The vendor says 30,000 for the large bowl, then Bah says,
"Pay the girl."
I am thinking,
"How much is 30,000?"
Bah has no idea, she just wants me to give her money.
This budget should be called,
"I am too lazy to figure it out Budget."
"I am the bad guy, 24 hours per day."
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I am glad I am a Math Whiz
The number of calculations I needed to make to purchase this Bissap Tea in a grown up and living in my means manner was radical.
1. Convert 30,000 to 3 Cedis
2. Convert 3 Cedis to two Dollars USD.
3. Calculate how much Bah would drink.
4. Compare the price to buying from a street vendor.
5. What is our daily expenditures for food, and what percentage would this be?
6. How long this last outside a fridge, and what percentage of spoilage.
7. Is this just a splurge decision, does she need the large or small, why doe she want the large?
8. Why is the Twi vendor still using old money terms, after four years, there is no old money around. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghana_cedi
That was painful for me, all done in less than 10 seconds, and in a nutshell the budget problems of the world. Life is too complicated, therefore just spend money until you run out.
Ghana, West Africa --- Thursday, April 14, 2011
I am tired of daily budgeting of my wife
Ok, Bah is not my wife, and I am not wanting to get married, however, I am living with a women that is functioning as a wife. I am 100 percent sure that 90 percent of the people reading this have the same problem, one of the partners in the relationship, spends money without thinking.
600 or 800 Dollar per month Budget
I am living easily within my goal of a 500 dollars per month or 1000 for the two of us. She cannot do any real damage, she just makes a 600 dollar budget rise to 800, and if I do not slow her down it will continue to climb.
Does your monthly budget feel like it is continually climbing?
I have not had this feeling in 13 years, and truly grounds for divorce. I am not going to sit around thinking about money every day of my life. Please do not misunderstand me, Bah is 100 times better than the average African girl, the problem is I am living with this one, she does have a clue about money.
My Possible Solutions:
1. Give her X amount of money per day and continue to walk around with her in the village whereby she can ask for money and I refuse.
2. Giver her X amount of money per day and stop walking around with her in the village, and because I am not with her, she cannot ask for money.
3. Make her get a job, and say spend your own money.
I am going to implement solution number 1 today. I am going to give her X amount of money in the morning and tell her there is no more. I am going to give her 5 times the amount of money the average girl in Ghana has to spend per day. She will receive a lump sum for the week, this seems fair to me, or at least I will not feel guilty enforcing it.
I see her as normal human, she believes she is doing me a favor by buying things that she eats, which is truly fun human nature to observe and typical. I have been negotiating with her now for months, we have reached some middle ground where we can live together. I am going to convert a spongy money boundary to a inflexible boundary today, and tell her the consequences. I want to be proud of her, I want to know she can manage money, at least on daily or weekly level. I plan to give her a weekly amount, so I am not micromanaging her day. Explaining consequences of personal boundary violations makes the majority of people angry with me, so I am not going to explain. What would you do if you gave a fair budget to a person, and they refused to live within that budget?
I may need to move because of Electrical Outages
I have an Internet business to run, I also want to work more than normal to finish writing a book. Generally, from about 10 am to about 4-5 pm, Monday thru Friday the electricity is cut in Mampong, Ghana. More or less the time when I want to work, there is no electricity to power my computer, I need four laptop batters, and I only have two.
Generally as a rule of thumb, a person needs to have enough batteries to last twice as long as the electricity is off per day. Here in Mampong it is roughly six hours per day of outage, therefore I need 12 hours of battery time, I presently have four. Then if I have sufficient batteries, up pops the problem, how to charge them easily. List of Electrical Outage Day by Country
A New Experience for Africa - Hair in Drain
I take a shower and wash my hair, while Bah does not wash her hair, she is complaining because there is hair in the drain. This is a new experiences for her, effectively in day to day life in Africa, all the people are bald, the drain are clean.
Yikes, this Girl can Spend Money at a Ghana Market
This budget story is making me laugh so hard. People are fine to let her walk around and make you pay without counting but then they will criticize and say you are treating her like a child for giving her a budget. You can't win! :-D
I am not even responsible for my girlfriend's expenditures as we are not yet married and do not yet have children, but I completely get the idea of just wanting to be proud of the one you are with to know that they can responsibly handle everyday things like a budget!
P.S. That gadget vendor seems like a genius. Africa and the world really need people like him to find innovative, cost-effective solutions to everyday problems!
P.P.S. I prefer the new sign in to comment system.
Why not try to "hire" her to work on Hobotraveler.com? "Pay" her for holding the camera during videos or to do some French translations or something that seems worthwhile and productive.
Typical scenario between men and women it seems so giess I am the exception as I've always gone "dutch treat" since I started dating as I always asked myself, "how do I know the girl / woman wants to spend time with me and just not just bored with nothing else to do and since it's a freebie, why not". Especially in Asia I must be one out of a 1000. Anyway those who create wealth do not do so by spending money and those who don't have a clue nor feel driven to be self -sufficient and productive financially spend "OPM" ( other people's money ) as if it's some sort of scale measuring what their companionship is worthy. My Filipina wife would choose bundles of U$100 bills than a new wardrobe, expensive jewelry or a new car because she knows that wealth means FREEDOM and POWER to choose one's own lifestyle each and every day.
My goal is to stop thinking about the budget or money, I am hoping she understands and helps me to stop thinking. I told her, I must feel comfortable on how money is spent, and she agrees today.
When Bah arrived from Ivory Coast she said she would not live in a hotel room. Has she changed her mind or is she looking for the apartment?
I agree with Pato you should keep her occupied maybe not for money, but so she does not have so much time to think about what happens in Ivory Coast.
Bah is now enjoying living in the Hotel. She wanted to cook food, this Hotel is allowing her to cook therefore she is happy. She equated the ability to cook with an apartment...
She now is talking for hours with the girls in the Hotel as they work in the Kitchen, and she is making friends around with the ones that can speak English.
We watch a movie every night with French subtitles taken from subscene.com. She is enjoys reading, but only has one more book before she is finished with her last French book. Her hobby is cooking, she can work on food projects all day.
She is able telephone her family, Mother, Father, Sister and Brothers, she knows they are OK, so she is not worried.
The cell phone cost has now been put in her hands, so she must budget calls, she is smart, but when there is open budget she kept pushing the ceiling to see when I squeaked.
Hmm, maybe I can download some mobipocket books in French, and she can read on the BlackBerry? It does not have a connection, but it can be used as a book reader.
Andy! Sounds like you're married already, you should just make it official before God. You seem so much more happy and content! Just go for it!