Perhaps your resolution for this year is to get finally get control over your finances instead of going in blindsided, or you have something big to save for – a new car, a sofa or that trip of a lifetime. Because wouldn’t it be nice if this were the year we finally had a grip on our money?
I used to be awful with money.
My first job was just after my GCSEs – working in a hotel restaurant on minimum wage. It didn’t bring in a lot because I was part-time, working alongside school, working odd hours here and there. But I never saved any of it. I’d get paid, and blow it on things I don’t even remember. Ridiculous eBay auctions on Abercrombie and Fitch purchases, another Blackberry and so on, to impress my then-boyfriend (note: if you feel like you have to go to those kind of quirky lengths to impress someone then that’s the not kind of person for you).
Other than topping up my phone with credit, I had no financial commitments. I was 16. Yet I had nothing to show for my money? I suppose it was a good thing I had no commitments because I had a terrible relationship with money.
Then I went to university. I didn’t have a term time job or an overdraft, but I did go back to work at the hotel every holiday. And hello student loan three times a year. Aside from making the most of ASOS’ student discount and one too many Asda trips, I didn’t do too badly.
It wasn’t until I got my first full-time grown up job that I started getting serious about money. I wanted to get on the property ladder, I didn’t want to wince when I logged into internet banking. I created a finances spreadsheet, goals of how much I wanted to put away each month, and I haven’t looked back since. Budgeting might not sound cool, but neither is having 55p until payday next week.
As a millennial, my generation is told that we earn less than our parents, have to face rising rent prices against wage stagnation, and then we get criticised for why we don’t have any savings. It’s all a bit bleak and depressing, isn’t it?
I want to change that. Who is with me?
One of the things I want to talk more about this year is money. I’m not an expert, but I am facing those issues like many others. And taking my finances more seriously a couple of years ago has been so insightful. How can we make our financial situations better when it’s considered a taboo to talk about the goddamn subject? To ask our peers, the people who are living the same challenges, how much they save each month, and how they get by.