Saving for a rainy day?
Money, one of the biggest worries in my day to day life. We just about survive, albeit permanently in overdrafts and with no room on our credit cards. Sadly I know we are not alone, so many people live just like we do. So how do you budget, how can you save money, what do you do when something like Christmas is approaching and you have 5 brothers and sisters, 5 nieces and nephews and a child who’s list is quickly resembling the Argos catalogue?
I have never been very good at managing my money, my husband is worse, we go through phases of sticking to a budget but within a few weeks it has all gone to pot. I am hoping that in the New Year we can make a better start and go back to a strict weekly budget and maybe get rid of some of the debt we have over us. We try and be sensible where we can, for example at Christmas I now organise a Secret Santa for all the adults in the family so we each only spend £20 on the adults and just buy for the children, this makes a massive difference!
Now Pensions have asked me a few questions about money and saving, I thought I would share them with you here – something to think about:
1) Has the recession made you more money conscious?
Definitely! My husband was made redundant a few years ago which panicked me like nothing before, when the recession hit it brought back all those fears, every time he mentions anything about change at work I fret. We could not cope without one of our wages and after he took a substantial pay cut I began to notice the price of things.
2) Do you worry about money?
All the time. It does keep me awake some nights. The recognisable letter from the bank to say we are over our overdraft makes my blood run cold – thankfully they don’t come too often! We have had to cut back quite a lot this year and J has had to make his own choices – if he wants to do tennis lessons each week he has to have a packed lunches so we save on dinner money, if he keeps going to golf lessons then there is no more breakfast club at school. These things have helped him to understand that you can’t always have everything.
3) Do you think there’s enough education around money planning and budgeting for younger people / young families?
No. Before we started a family I had been putting £100 a month aside for when I went on maternity leave, if we hadn’t had this we wouldn’t have managed me having 6 months off work. I budgeted for all the baby stuff we bought and got the best deals on everything. I had no idea how much things would cost and school had taught me nothing of the costs of adulthood.
4) When budgeting, do you factor in saving for the future?
Only the short term. We save £4 every week towards Christmas presents and £100 a month to pay for our annual golf fees. Other than that we have no savings at all. If something were to happen we would struggle and no doubt rely on credit cards and loans.
5) Do you think there’s enough education around pensions, and the upcoming auto-enrolment scheme?
I know nothing about pensions. My husband has been in his work scheme for about a year now, I have been with my employer for 15 years but there is no scheme in place. I welcome the news that there will be compulsory pensions in a few years time but I haven’t researched it at all and the personnel department in my office didn’t seem to know anything about it! When you leave school the thought of retiring seems so far away that unless there is a plan at your workplace I think it is unlikely that youngsters would seek one out independently, it certainly never crossed my mind!
So what do I do now? Do I sit and wait for the compulsory scheme to take affect or should I be researching a better way to save? What do you do?