Carole

Carole

As her husband Sidney was dying, Carole knew there was a conversation they needed to have. Sidney had always handled the domestic finances. That had been true of the more than 50 years they’d been together – Carole had gone straight from the parental home to her married one, never having lived alone and never having had the responsibility of handling the finances.

Carole says, “I'm from a generation where women, like me, didn't have to worry about things like managing the money, because our husbands did it all. I think that was fairly classic for my generation – shameful, but classic.

“As Sidney became ill, I realised that I wasn't in a very good position. And I used to ask him to show me or explain to me, but somehow he couldn't understand that I didn't understand. He would explain things, but I wouldn't really get it.”

So they’d left it and left it, and then Sidney died. And now she was alone. And it was frightening.

“I was petrified that I could make a mistake that would have serious consequences – that I'd do something and all my money would disappear, or something would happen with the bank, or I don't know.”

"I happened to hear about Paperweight on the radio, and got in touch. That changed everything for me.
My Paperweight caseworker, Susan, came to see me and talked through all the paperwork – going through bank statements, seeing what direct debits were in place, showing me how to compare utility prices. All things I knew nothing about."

Now Carole sees Susan every month as she is a subscriber to Paperlite, which is Paperweight’s continuing maintenance service.

For Carole, this gives her piece of mind: “It just relieves my anxiety because I know that if there is something that happens that I don't understand, I can get in touch with Susan. And we like each other, so I’ve never felt she thought I was an idiot.”

“I think Paperweight are bloody brilliant, actually. I think there are a lot of people like me who aren’t stupid, but have just never learnt about running home finances. And to be on your own managing your life for the first time without support or knowledge is frightening. It is very frightening. And potentially, I think, probably dangerous.”

Susan has found the experience very rewarding too. She says: “When I first met Carole, she was actually like a rabbit caught in the headlights. She just needed to be given the confidence to know that in fact she was perfectly capable of handling all this. To see someone change like this is so lovely.”

I was very frightened. I worried that I could make a mistake that would have serious consequences – that I'd do something and all my money would disappear...

carole

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