Let’s be honest. Managing your money in your twenties can be a real pain in the bum. Whether you want to travel the world, buy your own home, set up your own business or start a family, it can be really hard to juggle day-to-day essential living costs with life’s big milestones. So when financial experts tell us that we should be investing in our twenties, it can be hard not to laugh in their faces before crying into a glass of cheap supermarket wine for the third time in a week.
Whether I’m dancing around the kitchen while cooking my dinner or walking around my apartment butt naked, becoming a homeowner has changed my life in a number of magical ways. Frustratingly, homeownership has obviously brought with it a series of challenges too. Mostly, financial ones.
Before I bought my own place, I was fortunate enough to live with my parents and pay very little in terms of living costs. The vast majority of my income was squirrelled away into savings accounts in preparation for my home purchase. Now though, it seems like not a day goes by without having some type of bill pushed through the door and my bank balance is being stretched to its absolute limits.
I did something exciting and out of character last night. I bought tickets to a money blogging conference over in Orlando, Florida in 2018!
Every year, personal finance bloggers and money nerds from around the world get together to discuss all things money and media at the FinCon expo. The event’s hosted at a different US location each time. This year’s conference was in Dallas, last year’s was in San Diego and the year before it was in Charlotte.
Over the course of four days there are lectures, mentoring sessions, and parties, giving money-obsessed weirdos like me a chance to learn new skills and meet like-minded people. I for one cannot wait!
For the last few years, interest rates have been at their lowest in decades. Although this has been bad news for savers, it’s meant that many homeowners have benefited from relatively manageable mortgage repayments. Unfortunately for homeowners, all this is set to change as financial experts are warning that an interest rate rise is now imminent and rates could shoot up in a matter of weeks! Do you have your own place? If so, read on to find out how an interest rate rise could affect your finances.
From my experience, saving money is very much like losing weight. There’s no point going on a diet and depriving yourself of everything you love for 6 weeks if you’re only going to go on a massive binge afterwards, undoing all your hard work. If you want to stop living pay cheque to pay cheque, get out of debt, save a deposit, or prepare for retirement, you need to transform your attitude towards money and change your lifestyle. Otherwise it’s going to be a case of one step forward, two steps back.
How often do you run out of money before payday? I’ve been there. You probably start the month with good intentions. Perhaps you’re planning to give up takeaways, buy fewer clothes or drink a bit less on nights out. Maybe you’re vowing to put money in a savings account or a Help to Buy ISA at the end of the month. But before you know it, you’ve got a week until payday and you’re wondering if the money left in your account will even stretch to cover your bus pass and a loaf of Warburtons Toastie. You’re still no closer to building up an emergency fund or buying that beautiful two bedroom house in Brighton.
In what can only be described as a moment of madness, in October last year I subjected myself to a gruelling 7 days of using the popular survey website Swagbucks. I kept a diary over the course of the week and when it finally went live, Becky from Scunthorpe told me the post was ‘the funniest thing on the internet’ and Keith from Slough called it ‘the most accurate review of Swagbucks ever’.
I recently read a Huffington Post article on the importance of being optimistic when it comes to climate change.
Solitaire Townsend, founder of Futerra argues that in order to save the planet, we need to think positively rather than assuming the end of the world is nigh.
She says: “It seems that human beings have an uncanny habit of making true what we believe. Whether that’s a belief in economic crashes, our own career trajectories or global climate meltdowns.
“If we believe the worst will happen then we are subconsciously demotivated to prevent it. Whereas, if we hope for the best, then we’ll work, invest, convince others and, in preparing for victory, we’ll create it.”
“If we believe the worst will happen then we are subconsciously demotivated to prevent it.”
I think the same can be said for saving money. Not a day goes by without the internet telling us we’ll never be able to save money, buy our own homes or even retire. Look at this quote from Cosmopolitan earlier this year…
Don’t get me wrong, the housing crisis is bad, but when websites like Cosmopolitan are telling us to give up on our dreams of home ownership and kiss goodbye to financial security, is it any wonder why so many young people don’t bother saving for the future?
Young people are constantly bombarded with scary facts and figures that make it seem like the odds are stacked against us. We’re so often told that we’ll never be able to buy our own homes so we don’t even try. It’s not helping.
We need to be encouraged and nurtured and hugged all the way to the bank. Instead of being bombarded with tales of woe, we need to be pointed in the direction of thrifty recipes, profitable side hustles, and high interest current accounts. We need to be given more success stories showing that people – from a multitude of backgrounds – can and do buy their own homes every day.
Dya know what? Even if some of us can’t save enough to buy our own homes, saving at least something can tremendously transform our lives.
Having a healthy savings account can enable us to quit jobs that make us unhappy, travel the world, invest in education, protect ourselves from unexpected financial emergencies and retire at a reasonable age. Savings are fun and empowering and life-changing! But we don’t hear much about this side of things because the media’s too busy scaring us.
Instead of telling us how bad the situation is, tell us what we can do to fix it and how these changes can transform our lives.
I’m definitely guilty of being a little negative on this blog from time to time, so I’m determined to change my ways and be more lovely and encouraging. I’ll probably still swear a lot though.
What do you think? Are you tired of being bombarded with scary money stories or do you think these sobering stats are important? Let me know in the comments.