finance

"I was married to someone who believed in Get Rich Quick Schemes and it nearly killed us."

I think it’s safe to air this particular marital grievance now, seeing as my husband has reformed himself into a hard-working, more traditional career man who understands that the only way to “get rich” is to work damn hard. While I don’t flatter myself in thinking I have actually managed to change who he is at his core, I know I have at least taught him that when it comes to “get rich quick” schemes, I am not interested.

Looking back on my younger self and not yet appreciating how convincing my husband could be, I found myself getting caught up and each and every one, ignoring every internal alarm bell that was sounding – and even going as far as to allow myself to dream of how we’d spend the money once it started coming in.

He’s not a bad person, my husband, and he wasn’t trying to trick me or anything. I eventually realised that he actually believed in each and every one of his Get Rich Quick Schemes (GQRS) so when he was “convincing” me, he actually believed every single crazy word coming out of his mouth. Every GRQS according to him was a sure thing.

We’d be fools to miss out.

Mamamia confessions: When you knew it was time for a divorce. Article continues after this video.

As my faith in the schemes began to fade I found myself going along with them, just in case this time, by some miracle, it actually worked.

Even when the ethics of them could be easily questioned.

Who doesn’t want to get rich quick? Quick is the best way? It’s just probably never going to happen, and while my husband may have eventually struck gold, our marriage would not have survived another one.

I came to know the phases of the Get Rich Quick Scheme intimately:

Phase One: The Teaser

Either communicated in person, on the phone or via email this involved my husband alerting me that he wanted to talk to me about “something important” and asking when I had time, which used to drive me nuts.

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Phase Two: The High

He’d arrive home for said conversation and his eyes would either be too wide, his pupils too dilated, his moves too fast, his mood too happy, or he’d have an alarming eye-twitch thing going.

Phase Three: The Convincing

The first few times this went for hours, days and sometimes weeks as he convinced, I questioned and we organised things so that we’d only take limited risks. All we have to do is a, b and c and then, “Ka-boom”. Yep, he once actually said, “Ka-boom”.

Phase Four: The Silence

The excited conversations about how amazing the opportunity was and how RICH! we were going to be would eventually wane.

Phase Five: The Excuse

At first this conversation would take hours as we trawled through all the reasons why this idea in particular didn’t work but had potential if only this, if only that, if only the planets were aligned.

Phase Six: The Pledge

I’d get a several-month reprieve during which I wouldn’t be subjected to any more amazing ideas however after the initial contrition I’d see the hope building again and would look on in alarm as I saw another idea taking seed and growing until he could contain his excitement no longer.

I’ve lost count of how many schemes were presented to me over the years but here are the ones that live on in my memory.

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And I lived through these phases over and over and over again. But no more. From now on all I am interested is in real jobs, money that exists and promises that can be kept. I’m only interested in things we can control, investing in our own abilities and building wealth slowly, safely and securely.

You know, like a normal sane person.

While I still buy the occasional lottery ticket (one can dream) I am realistic about the possibility of winning, which is along the lines of, “Not bloody likely”. And that, to me, is a healthy level at which to believe in anything that could potentially leave you rich … quickly.

If you or someone you know has been subjected to a Get Rich Quick scheme please visit Scambusters before committing to anything.

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