With his mind on his money and his money on his mind, Hassan Hassan has decided to take charge of his finances and, hopefully his future.
This week, I went to the bank. Not to yell at someone. Not to cry at the teller about the injustice of my credit card bill. No. I opened up a savings account. I sat with the customer service rep, managed to ignore the massive pimple on her lip and talked about interest rates and the best options for investment. I also went through my credit card debt and figured out a payment plan. Throughout this whole conversation, I was calm and collected.
Later I went to Xerox, and the cashier said “26 times 2” and I said “52” in about three seconds flat. This is very confusing because multiplication isn’t the kind of shit I ever imagined mastering. I also never imagined any conversation in a bank, to be fair. I fucking hate banks. I don’t even know what multiplying is. Or do I?
Who is this person that is charging into banks, ignoring pimples and taking control of things? What was he doing? Why was he doing these things? Shouldn’t he want to go blow all of his money at the beginning of the month? Why isn’t he ordering things for $800 anymore? When did he learn to multiply? Why does he know the dollar exchange rate immediately? When the fuck did he even learn math? WHO IS THIS?
What they don’t tell you about being an adult is that money is fucking stressful. Spending it.Saving it.Thinking about it.We’re constantly fucking consuming and a place like Egypt really makes you want things. Things to dull the pain.Things to dull the monotony.Things to wear around the house.Things to throw at the wall when you’re fucking bored out of your mind. All these stupid things we constantly fucking do. I, for one, fucking love consuming. I want fucking everything. Coasters from Urban Outfitters, Marc Jacobs iPhone covers, a gold iPhone 5S, endless pairs of Lanvin/Prada/Kanye West/Givenchy sneakers. I want it all. I want doughnuts and cupcakes and perfect abs and Nike Roshe Runs and the time to go to the gym and Balenciaga duffle bags and Bottega Venetta wallets and Saint Laurent blazers and a different pair of LE 3,000 sunglasses every single fucking day. I want bling. I want fucking Jay Z necklaces and platinum fucking grills. Just platinum. No diamonds, no fuss. Simple and sophisticated platinum fucking fangs. I want wine and cheese and trips to the vineyards. Weekends in St. motherfucking Tropez and yachts with Donatella fucking Versace and smelling food and laughing about the absurdity of eating it. And fucking champagne.Givenchy fucking t-shirts. Ricardo fucking Ticci on speed dial. I want to have a life worth instagramming. #Celine #Tote #YOLO #Loubs #Casual #Hotguy #hunk #Dolce #and #Gabbana #shades #stud #London # Londres #GoFuckYourself. Enough hashtags to make you want to fucking want to kill yourself. Right now my hashtags are #H&M #Hoodie #SALE.
That isn’t even it. I want the freedom of money. The ease of it.The power of it. Not only could I buy whatever I wanted, I could do whatever I wanted. If my generation know nothing else, it knows that money is the anthem of success (thanks Lana Del Rey). From paying your Bills, Bills, Bills to just wanting to love Jay Z in a Prada blouse, Gucci Bra and Filth Mart jeans. We have been taught by countless black women, rappers and movie stars that money is everything. Only after we got super rich could we focus on the more important things in life like poor people and falling in love.
While we love money, we’re most certainly not acquainted with how difficult it is to get it. My friends – because I live in Egypt and these are the only people that speak English – come from a more privileged set, which always makes money and work a tricky subject. Egypt makes money even trickier, because the divide between rich, kind of rich, poor and ‘oh my god what do you mean 6 people live in one room in the basement’, everything becomes that much more difficult to define. But the one thing that unites us as a race is that we all expect a handout, we all expect someone to give us money; the government, daddy, your new husband or wife or even the job you just got that you kind of suck at. Everyone is expecting a payout.
It took me a really long time to understand the concept that no one is above hard work. Not one fucking human being. Because money doesn’t just mean you can buy everything, it means you are in control of it. It means independence. When you take your rent from daddy, whatever he is paying gives him the right to some control in your life. If you’re going to marry into money, you best believe the rich spouse will be the one calling the shots. If I have learnt anything in life it’s that not one thing is for free.
Then there’s a whole other bunch of my friends that have decided that they are better than being in an office from 9-5. That their purpose is more than churning out reports or finally finding out exactly how an excel sheet works. They have more precious things to give the world, like their art or their poems or a YouTube video that’s going to get 169 hits from their friends making fun of them. It’s like everyone is fucking special. You’re not. You are not a unique snowflake. You are not going to change the world with your art. You are not going to change the world with your poem. Nobody is going to read your book about growing up with a nanny and how you never felt loved. No one actually cares. Not even your Twitter followers. Nobody gone give you a dollar for that.
That’s why I’m suddenly opening up a savings account; because the only person who is going to give me money is me. The only person who is going to save me is me. If nothing else, this is what being an adult is; getting the fuck over yourself and finally doing what you need to do. Money is important; money is your key to your independence. So when you’re all like my poem is the most important thing in the world and I will not sell out and I am better than organising files or answering emails or sitting in an office from 9-5, you’re not. Maybe if we stopped being so fucking entitled, this country would finally get somewhere.