Mother had no common sense when it came to finances. She allowed others to be in charge because she had no head for math. Not a good way to go through life in my estimation.
When she was married to our Dad, he had the checkbook and doled out money to her as needed. He paid all the bills and she apparently enjoyed being ignorant about monthly obligations and being responsible.
After the divorce, Mother had no choice but to try to figure out how to pay her bills and how to budget so she had money for food. She never learned the fine art of setting aside money for each category and then using what was left over for groceries.
She and her friend Marge would borrow money back and forth so they could keep the electricity on and not have to give up their telephones. They would wait until the last minute to pay their bills and give a big sigh of relief when they were finished.
Interestingly enough, Mother never went without her cigarettes. She may not have had money for our lunches or even for food to put on the dinner table, but by golly the woman always had her beloved cigarettes.
Another lesson: Allowing your money to go up in smoke is not a good idea.