Regrets? I have a few…

Thanks for all the comments on my ‘young and broke’ blog the other day. It’s not easy for youngsters now even if they are organised and careful with their money. Many of them have been encouraged to go to university as a means to get a great career. In reality the job market is such that having a degree doesn’t guarantee you anything. I am a manager in a call centre and there are as many graduates working  there as non graduates. My daughter has recently graduated and managed to get a pretty decent job but many of her friends have just extended their student jobs and work in shops and cafes whilst they await their dream career. They had their expectations set so high…

It’s not a terrible salary at my place but it’s not great either. Enough to run a car or rent a room but not both. They either have to live with their parents or find an expensive house share. If they do the latter their chances of ever buying their own place are virtually non-existent unless they are lucky enough to have access to the bank of mum and dad. There are a few who scrimp and save and are absolutely determined to get on the housing ladder, which means not going out much, no splurges on new clothes or makeup, no holidays and watching every penny. I love that they are so disciplined as I know I wasn’t at that age.

When I was younger you got a full grant to go to university. I remember walking into a shop to ask if they had jobs and being given one on the spot. It was easy! I got my first house with no deposit – can you imagine any bank giving you a 100% mortgage now?

I was earning at 25 the same as the staff at my place earn now – I am now 50-something . I had no idea how lucky I was and I hugely regret not  making the most of my good fortune and saving lots or paying my mortgage off. I was hopeless with money! I had no idea! 

I didn’t start understanding money until I was getting divorced when I knew I had to embrace frugality or go under. Still,better late than never! Onwards and upwards!

7 thoughts on “Regrets? I have a few…

  1. Sam

    Sometimes experience is the only way to learn, and it can be a cycle. As my parents had little, from an early age, all I witnessed was stretching the dollars, and when I had my own little earnings from baby sitting and then part time jobs, had to keep doing so for the extra’s I wanted. I too though, between the kids getting a little older and salaries going up, spread my money farther on stuff of little value. Now as we are in our hopefully last decade of work, I am going back to my roots again, that of stretching dollars rather than spreading dollars as more prudent, and doesn’t mean we can’t still have a fun and interesting life.

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  2. Margaret Powling

    Isn’t money management taught in schools? I do think it would help if the National Curricumlum, if it doesn’t have such things, ought to have things like running a home, budgeting, tax, even down to basic home maintenance and certainly working out the best buys and so forth, and choosing a pension. Why teach about the kings and queens and countries on the other side of the world if we can’t manage our money? Madness.
    Margaret P

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      1. Julia

        I agree, but would kids pay attention? I know I had no interest in pensions as a newly working person as they were for ‘old people’!! 😀

        Whilst living in America mine had a special day in 8th grade (13-14 year olds) where they were given a “profile”, (marital status, kids or not, homeowner/renting etc) and the type of jobs they were given were the sort of jobs they’d be able to get had they left school with their current grades! The better they were doing in school, the better their incomes! Mine all got things like truck drivers! Sigh!
        They had to go throughout the day stopping at various “stations” around the school hall, paying bills, rent, buying food etc on their “salary” to see how much money they had left (if any!) at the end of it!

        Obviously it was designed to show them that the harder they worked at school the better paid jobs they could get, but it was also a life lesson in that if they had a partner/dependents or mortgage/rent, how little money they’d actually have for the fun stuff.

        I thought it was a brilliant educational tool but of course all the kids were like “meh” about it! 🙁

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        1. Margaret Powling

          I think kids might learn if the teacher gave how to manage their pocket money as an example. The pocket money would be a starting point for their wage or salary when they are older.
          I think your children’s school has a brilliant way of teaching the children that the better they do in school the better chance they have of earning a higher salary when they leave!
          Margaret P

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      2. imarriedisisonthe5thdayofmay

        I wonder how much more school teachers can be expected to teach children about. They already teach them sex and relationship education on top of all the academic subjects, and where, in an already crowded curriculum would financial management lessons fit?
        In addition, there will be teachers who can’t manage their own finances, let alone teach children how to go about it.
        It seems that the overriding view in society is that if there’s anything that children need to know, it’s up to schools and teachers to teach them. Call me old-fashioned, but what about parents actually stepping up and doing the job of parenting, which includes teaching them things that they need to know, instead of expecting teachers to do everything for them?

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  3. Eloise

    I feel so sorry for young people. It makes me so angry when smug people talk about how the reason youngsters can’t afford property is because they want fancy cars and holidays. The first house I owned -a three bed semi, cost 16k in 1979. We were civil servants, an Executive Officer and an Admin officer. At the bottom of our salary scales. Our joint income was 10k, so our loan was just 1.6 times our combined income. That very same house was on sale last year was on sale at £185k. Today, those Civil Service jobs would pay a combined amount of around 38k. The income multiple to buy the house would be well over 4 times. No wonder they struggle.
    Rant over!

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