Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 29/06/98

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Money, money, money

A Gusworld NOT-TRUE-NEWS story

For Sydney resident Diane Foster, sometimes life just seems to be one endless financial struggle after another.

"I work all night and I work all day to pay the bills I have to pay," Foster, 38, told Gusworld from Sydney's City Extra, where she works night shifts as a dishwasher. Foster already has a permanent position in her local K-Mart, but took on the second job to help pay medical expenses for her mother, Eunice, who at 68 suffers from a debilitating bone disease. "Ain't it sad?" commented Eunice, who worries that her daughter may never find a husband.

Diane, though, is more concerned that she doesn't seem to be saving anything, despite her 80-hour working weeks. "There never seems to be a single penny left for me," she mused, stacking another pile of soup plates.

"That's too bad," said financial advisor Mark Rigby of brokerage firm Saxby-Bridge. Without a savings plan, Diane is risking poverty and discomfort in later life. Rigby recommends starting with a simple investment account, then diversifying into a managed trust, even if it is only with a small sum.

But Diane isn't short on other ideas for how to get around her currency crisis. "In my dreams, I have a plan," she said. "If I got me a wealthy man, I wouldn't have to work at all." For a moment, the burdens of the day are cast aside as she reflects on her dreams of a life of luxry. "I'd fool around and have a ball!"

Relationship experts warn that the plan is unlikely to succeed, however. "A man like that is hard to find," said singles consultant Jessica Smith, who helps organise 'getting to know you' dinners for lonely North Shore residents. Smith said Diane should start by talking to men she meets at work, and then try and find areas of common interest.

Diane already has someone in mind, however; millionaire Sydney stockbroker Arnold Burke, 46. "I can't get him off my mind," Diane said, noting that she first met Burke when he made a late-night visit to City Extra for a midnight snack.

She recognises, though, that Burke's status as a married man is a significant barrier. "Even if he happened to be free, I bet he wouldn't fancy me," she confessed to Gusworld.

So what else can she do to escape her financial woes? "I'll have to go to Las Vegas or Monaco and win a fortune in a game," said Diane. That seems unlikely, given her mother's medical condition and staunch opposition to gambling. "My life would never be the same" if Diane took to the cards, Eunice said when told of the plan.

Diane isn't giving up on her dream just yet, though. "All the things I could do if I had a little money," she muses. "It's a rich man's world."

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