It’s the thing that makes the world go around, lets us splurge in Topshop or fills us with dread: money. There’s a lot of emotion tied to that pound coin.
Money is a sensitive old topic. It’s almost engrained in us not to ask how much someone earns. We whisper to our friends how much our latest purchase cost (if it’s over £50 for one item we’ve really treated ourselves) or proudly exclaim if we bagged a good sale. When you really think about it, our emotions play a big part in the real-life game of Monopoly.
There are two types of people: proactive savers and others who bury their head in the sand. If, like me, you bury your head in the sand it can be quite easy to ignore the importance of money.
Now, I’m not talking about hitting up Vivienne Westwood and Gucci to nab the latest looks on the credit card. I mean: the thought of having a credit card making your stomach sink – that same feeling when you see your crush kissing someone else.
For some money is just another part of life admin, that’s great for them. Others need a little push or reminder, that’s totally fine, too. I’ve lived long enough to know that each way is correct (as long as you’re not getting yourself into spiralling debt).
The staple emotion around money is primarily embarrassment. Card declined? Explain profusely about having money whilst covering up the sheer shame of the moment. Mate’s earning more money at their weekend job? Yeah, you’re earning the same, probably more tbh.
No matter how many zeros at the end of your bank balance the emotions linked to our wallets is immeasurable. Running low on dolla can leave people with palms sweating and a drive to spend more wisely, open a savings account and live off of noodles for the rest of the year. Others just aint that fussed.
Either way, there is guidance out there if you’re completely clueless – and terrified – about money.
In today’s modern climate money is the root of all problems and solutions. If the power of emotion has lead you astray when it comes to your finances don’t be afraid to ask for support. The National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) is on hand to guide young adults to understand the value of money and the importance of logging into your bank app to check what’s going on.
Start setting yourself a budget and when you reach a certain goal reward yourself. This will help make money less scary and something to be proud of. If you’ve saved £200 from your weekend job then treat yourself to £50 and buy something you really want – but be realistic. Could saving that £50 instead help you get something even better in the near future?
To this date I don’t know what interest rates on an ISA mean, if I need a credit card, and don’t even start me on student loans. But, keeping calm and not letting the lack of understanding become all-consuming is the main step forward.
Next step is to go and read the rest of the money series to get some hints and tips.