There is a young woman at work in my office who is the kind who spends a lot around payday but has no money at all for the last week of the month. She is making the classic mistakes most of us probably made at her age.
For the first two weeks she comes in with a Costa coffee every morning and maybe a glossy magazine. She spends her lunch hour buying clothes and make up online whilst she eats her ready made sandwich or Macdonalds. She arrives bleary eyed on Monday morning after a couple of heavy nights pubbing and clubbing.
What’s wrong with that, I hear you ask? She is a young working girl having fun! Well, nothing. It’s not my business what she spends her cash on. Except that at about halfway through the month she starts panicking. She has only £xx to last her for the next two weeks and her phone bill is due. She starts eating biscuits from the team tin for her breakfast and 10p noodles for her lunch. She moves from packet cigarettes to roll ups and finally has no money at all for cigarettes and gets very grumpy. She can’t afford to get the bus in and either takes holiday or changes her shifts so that she can beg lifts with friends.
By the end of the month she looks pale, hungry and anxious! It’s not actual FUN. She also forgot to pay her council tax so has a nice big bill to find the money for.
The girl needs a budget. I have bigged up www.moneysavingexpert.com in the hope she will get on there and get some advice. I won’t hold my breath though!
I made all these mistakes at her age too. I really believe that financial education should be on every school curriculum, especially these days of high rents and massive mortgage deposits. It would have helped me!