Monday, August 15, 2022

#MicroblogMondays: Get vexxed

There was a personal essay in the New York Times recently, in which the writer -- a black woman of Afro-Caribbean descent -- explained the concept of "vex money" -- a secret stash of money kept by the women in her family (and in her culture generally) to be used in case of emergencies -- particularly those involving a man. 

As several commenters noted, this is certainly not just a "thing" among black women, or only used to get away from abusive partners or bad dates.  Your car might break down;  your purse might be snatched... there are lots of good reasons why you might want an extra stash of cash around, because you just never know when it might come in handy.... 

Like the author, I grew up steeped in the message that I should get a good education and a good job, manage my own money and never be completely dependent on a man financially. It was the 1970s, and while feminism was on the rise, I saw lots of examples around me of women who had not taken this advice (and lived to regret it), and this just seemed like good common sense.  

On a more micro level -- I don't remember my mother ever telling me to do it -- perhaps I read it in a magazine? -- but I remember tucking a few dollars in my shoe before heading out to parties, and, before the advent of cellphones, always carrying some quarters in my pocket so that I could make a call from a payphone in an emergency. I know I was not alone among my friends in doing this. I still have a $5 bill tucked in a pocket of my Filofax planner, "just in case."  It's been there for years. (Maybe I should increase that to $10 or $20? -- after all, inflation!  lol)  

I was amused that the first comment at the top of the "Readers Picks" was from a man admitting he had never heard of this practice. A few others in the replies hadn't either. Men clearly inhabit a different reality, don't they? 

(I wrote a post about a similar "men are different/a-ha" moment back in 2018.) 

Do you keep your own "vex money"?  Or is this a new concept to you? 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here

(My thanks to Mali at No Kidding in NZ and A Separate Life for posting the link to this post on Mel's #MM post for me while I have my gallbladder removed (!)!)  


  1. As long as I remember to do it! lol

    I haven't done this specifically so as not to rely on a man. But I have done it. I've always had my own money, and always carried money with me when I've gone out - enough to make phone calls or get home. Or, even when a teenager, often drove myself to parties (though not always). University days, I could always walk back to my flat. I feel naked without my handbag/purse with money in it, and when I go out just with a credit card, it still feels weird. Even if I'm with DH, and he's taking me out to dinner. lol And for a different reason - since the Christchurch earthquake back in 2011, on the advice of a friend who was there, I've always made sure I had cash tucked away in my wallet in case the ATM systems went down, and we needed cash.

  2. One of my sisters left her first marriage 15 years ago. I knew it was a bad marriage, but I had no idea it was common knowledge among her friends that she always had some cash in a fish sticks box in the freezer in case she needed money! (I'm much younger and we didn't live in the same city, but hopefully she knew/knows she can count on me to help when she needs it!!) The things some people live through... We just never know. In my case, it was my own sister I didn't know about!

    But yes, in general, it's always good to have some cash on hand. I say that as I knowingly do not have any cash on hand at the moment, hahaha.

  3. Oprah has a rainy day fund of 50 million, apparently! I also don’t feel safe unless I have an emergency pile of cash, I never realized this was more common among women then men? I’ve always felt like that, from the time I was single and had just started working.