As a Sagittarian, being characterised by a sign that has the rear end of a horse is bad enough, but along with several other rather unflattering traits, I’m supposedly saddled with a foolhardy streak when it comes to money matters.
This, apparently, is due to my ruling planet and the moon ascending, descending or skiving off somewhere (shopping probably), when I was born.
According to age-old astrological wisdom, because of my slip-shod approach to finances, I’m strongly advised to allow my other half (meaning my partner or husband as opposed to my non-hoofed half) to attend to them.
Well, I’m sorry to stick a hoof in the workings of the universe, but in our house I’ve always managed the budget and although, I confess, money seems to go far easier than it comes, I’ve yet to plunge us into bankruptcy and the bank manager still greets me — even if his enthusiasm has waned somewhat of late.
Anyway, if I suddenly plonked the cheque book down in front of my husband and said, “It’s all yours dear, my stars reckon I’m not cut out to pay the bills”, his own planets would descend into complete disarray.
Quite frankly, given my reckless disposition, with all the credit I’ve been offered over the past couple of years, it’s a wonder I didn’t kick up my hooves and gallop off on a wild spending spree.
The first was a credit card, thrust upon me by an over-zealous telemarketer while I was innocently trundling my trolley around the supermarket.
There’s nothing like cowering among the fruit and veg, divulging personal information over a cellphone, while other shoppers lean around you trying to reach the cabbages. I eventually agreed to take the wretched card purely because it was impossible to whisper down the phone, drive my trolley and pick out the best tomatoes, all at the same time.
Then, while I was contemplating the delight or disaster of having more credit, another juicy carrot was dangled before me.
It was a most cordial letter from the same financial institution, extolling my superb track record (no pun intended I hope) and informing me that as a “preferred customer” I had been singled out for a personal loan. Presumably, had they known about the alignment of the planets at my birth, they may not have preferred me quite as much.
Instead it was eagerly pointed out that should I feel desirous (and given my character, naturally I would) the money could be used for a dream holiday or to transform my kitchen into a gourmet showpiece.
After promises of a romp somewhere exotic, a few kitchen cupboards and a new pedal bin seemed a tad dull. But at this point the sun must have entered my sign. While I was entertaining visions of bobbing on a yacht in the Caribbean, three clothing shops mailed me their shopping cards all with generous credit limits, urging me to trot along and spoil myself with the latest arrivals from London, Milan and Parys.
Just what I needed — trendy new threads for my glamorous getaway to the tropics.
With my ruling planet off on a bender and the stars stacked against me, who could blame me for making a bolt for it before the stable door slammed shut?
Despite the temptation though, something yanked on the reins of my conscience and common sense prevailed — another handy quality that Sagittarians are meant to be short of. Anyway, given the current economic climate any fool will tell you that less debt is the safest bet for a stable future.
• Heidi Steyn is a freelance writer who lives in Pietermaritzburg.