LET'S TALK ABOUT IT
CREATING A SAFETY NET GIVES ME THE FREEDOM TO ENJOY LIFE
One thing I’ve learned over my life, is that everyone has a very personal relationship with money. Maybe that’s an odd thing to say, the idea of having a relationship with something so functional. But we all have some deeply held beliefs – maybe fears – that are hard to change.
My parents were born during the war and brought up with rationing when you had to make the most of what you had. And we were brought up the same.
If we couldn’t afford something then we didn’t have it. I don’t remember anything being bought on credit other than getting a mortgage for our home. And that has continued in my life, a deep-seated sense that debt is bad.
Looking back, I took that fear of debt to a level where I needed my ‘safety net’. So as I earned more and was able to, I’d squirrel some away so that even if something went wrong I wouldn’t have to borrow. And over time that ‘safety net’ has become a long term investment that has grown.
Has that made me boring and cautious? Well, you’d better ask my family and friends! But for me, it’s ended up being really liberating.
It forced me to prioritise. If you can’t have everything, you have to continually make choices – should I buy a new outfit or go out with some mates? Should I go on holiday or get the house painted? But then somehow you value the things you do choose more. It gave me the security to make some difficult decisions, like leaving a marriage that wasn’t working and changing job when I had the boss from hell.
And as life has moved on, it’s given me the freedom to take risks and do the things that are important to me and those closest to me. To set up my own business, to support my husband when he took time out of work, to travel, to enjoy life.
Getting financially fit will involve different steps for everyone. It depends where you start and what your relationships with money is. But for everyone, It is about being in control of money rather than letting money control you.