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.