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When blessed means stressed: own your finances and empower yourself

Published Dec 31, 2021


“#Blessed” says the photo caption of the glamorous young woman on Instagram, as she poses on a yacht in some exotic destination; clothed head-to-toe in designer gear and dripping in jewellery.

While she may very well be blessed, she may also have a “blesser”, which refers to a wealthy man who lavishes gifts or money on women, in exchange for intimacy. And while this certainly doesn’t mean that everyone using the hashtag or jetting off into the sunset is being sponsored by a rich man, the blesser phenomenon has become far more common over the past few years.

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Tasnim Alli, insights and innovation lead at Metropolitan GetUp, says that blessers often prey on young women who are financially vulnerable and drawn to the feeling of security that material goods and cash gifts provide.

“But this is not always the case,” she says. “Sometimes these individuals are goal-orientated and see a blesser as someone who can assist them in achieving certain dreams they might have, or even help them provide for their families.”

Yet this often comes at a price, and the “blessee” may find themselves having to do things they don’t want to do and put up with behaviour they shouldn’t have to tolerate, or risk losing their financial support. “Being in charge of your own money and having a financial plan in place means that you are empowered to enter relationships on your own terms, knowing that you are secure and can make decisions that are best for you.”

Before you decide to enter into a relationship with someone who offers to support you financially, Alli advises that you first enter into one with your money. “Once you have taken control of your financial life, you will find yourself in a position to act in your own best interests.”

Get intimate with your financial plan

It is important to start with a plan. Your financial plan should begin with your long and short-term financial goals, and a monthly budget to help you achieve them. For example, says Alli, you might want to travel, as a short-term goal. A medium-term goal could be to save for a wedding or a deposit on a house, while a long-term goal might be to retire comfortably.

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“You always need to start with a plan, as this is the first step towards taking charge of your finances,” she says.

Commit to a better understanding of your finances

Like with any relationship, the effort you put in determines what you get out. Take the time to upskill yourself ‒ there are lots of free online tools, resources and podcasts that will help you better understand and navigate your finances.

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Life Hacks is a free tool that guides, motivates and rewards you for taking everyday steps on your financial life goals journey, helping you get into the driving seat of your finances

Love your family, love yourself

For those who support their family members, it is important to have life insurance in place should anything happen to you. “It’s something that we don’t want to think about, says Alli, but you do not want to leave your loved ones with a financial burden to add to the emotional trauma they will inevitably experience, in the event that something should happen to you.

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She adds that by getting to grips with your money, you will be able to stand on your own two feet and make choices in your personal life that are motivated by the right reasons. “Being financially secure will help you reach your own goals and dreams; provided it is on your own terms, and not dependent on someone else’s whims.”


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