I don’t really remember my parents giving me financial advice as such, but I definitely picked up a good attitude towards money and saving from my parents. We were always encouraged to save half our birthday and Christmas money and to not waste the money we did spend. I watched my parents food shop carefully, we’d always take packed lunches for day trips, and didn’t live to the end of their means. I always knew that we’d get a good holiday in the summer, thanks to being careful throughout the year.
I was encouraged to work from being 16 and apart from when I stopped to become a stay at home mum, haven’t stopped working since. I worked in Boots on the photographic counter and stacked shelves until the end of sixth form, then at University I worked in the Student Union and then for the Confereences that came in during the holidays. I moaned a bit about having to work at the time, but it was actually great fun, made me lifelong friends and meant I didn’t leave University with huge amounts of debt.
These days, I’m still quite careful with money, although don’t budget as much as I should. I save for big items rather than buy them just because I want them, an attitude my husband does not share. I am desperate for a camera upgrade for example, but am determined to wait until I’ve saved the money rather than putting it on a credit card. We don’t save as much as we should either, but life with three children is expensive and they all do a lot of extracurricular activities which add up substantially over a year. I know I need to look into investments too and maybe get some financial advice.
One thing I haven’t put that much thought into over the years is my pension. I have about 8 years of a company pension from my graduate job, but really should spend some time researching whether I should leave it where it is or transfer it. I’ve read so much about mis-sold pensions recently that I’m quite wary of making the wrong decision. A good way to avoid this is to contact an expert on mis-sold pensions, such as Money and Me Claims.
I hope my children inherit the same good attitude towards money, my 8 year old is very careful already with his own money, on holiday he doesn’t feel the need to spend it instantly like his sisters, but checks out what’s available, considers his options and then makes a purchase. Whereas both my girls would spend it in the first shop if they could and then expect to be given more.
When my children are older I also really want to give them a good work ethic, we get a lot of lovely opportunities through my blog, and I worry that they think things come easy, so I always stress how hard I have to work for us to see those benefits.
When my children are old enough to have their own current account, I’ll definitely be encouraging them to get a Saturday job and we already save all their Christmas and birthday money so I hope they’ll have a little to help them out when they go to University or set up their own home. I know I was very happy I’d saved for all those years when I could buy my own car at 18 instead of saddling myself with a huge loan like my husband had to do, which affected our finances for many years afterwards.
I’ll also be advising them to always leave a certain amount in their account and to only buy things they really need, however tempting it might be. I would just like them to have a sensible attitude. We all need treats every now and then!
What advice would you give?