How to be better with money by Gemma Cairney

Gemma Cairney's guide to budgeting and saving for young people, from her book Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be.

Money = a scramble. Either a scramble to get it, or a scramble to use it wisely if you have some.

We all need money to live, and it’s great to have a bit extra – to go out, go on holidays, buy nice things. But money can mess you up too. If you don’t have enough, it is miserable: it can lead to health problems; it’s tough on friendships; it can make you despair. If you have too much, it can set you apart from friends; it doesn’t make you a better person; it doesn’t stop you feeling lonely . . . it doesn’t solve your problems.

Life is like a game of monopoly, involving luck, decisions and moral choices. Whatever your money situation – the main thing is to be in control of your finances. Don’t let money control you – don’t become obsessed with it.

Do develop healthy attitudes to money early on. Learn to live within your means. Clue yourself up about saving and what different kinds of bank accounts entail and mean for you.

We don’t get taught about the practicalities of money at school, which is bizarre, as it is so pivotal to security and stability – even our health. So it’s up to you to get smart.

It’s never too early to think about an income timeline. Making sure your income and outgoings line up now will help when you are managing your finances as an adult.

If you have learned budgeting and saving skills before you’re eighteen, then you’re less likely to need to borrow money – and, if you do borrow it, you’re going to understand why you’re borrowing it, and it’ll be structured.

Activity Sheet - Downloadable Budget Planner - Open - Gemma Cairney
Download a printable budget planner

Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be

by Gemma Cairney

Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be is full of honest advice about the big, bad and beautiful things that growing up is all about: from mental health to families to first love, and everything in between.

Gemma Cairney is an important advocate for young people and between her life experiences and her personal insight from her time as Radio 1's resident agony aunt on The Surgery, she is perfectly placed to offer hope and a huge comforting cuddle to young people questioning what life's all about or dealing with hard times.

Along with practical help and advice from a range of experts and gorgeous illustrations, this bright and colourful book also has a ribbon marker and plenty of space for readers to personalize and make it their own, making Open a treasured resource to return to whenever advice is needed.