woman

A letter to my
younger self

If you could sit the younger you down, what would you tell them? Here, we look at one person’s letter to their former self…

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First of all, let’s get a few things straight. Those cycling shorts are doing you no favours; Bros will reform (albeit 24 years later and minus Craig Logan); and memories of your Nokia 8110 (your beloved banana phone) will stay with you forever. But there are far more important things I’d like you to hear. I should warn you: I’m about to talk money…

I know. You’re young and carefree; why worry about the future now? The thing is, the future has a way of creeping up on everyone – you included.

But, first things first: you should feel proud of what you’ve achieved so far. At 25, you have a university degree under your belt and you’re in a job that you love. That’s great!

However, you’re also inundated with offers of increased credit card limits. That’s not so great.

Try to resist the urge to accept every card going. This isn’t the bank saying: “You’re a responsible adult, we trust you.” It’s a way of tempting you to spend money you don’t have on things you probably don’t need.

Instead of spending money you don’t have, why not try saving some of your hard-earned cash instead?

I know you have good intentions and think you’ll pay off your credit cards each month – but in the future that doesn’t always happen. But don’t worry – although you will find yourself in a bit of a pickle with your debt growing each month (plus the interest on top), you do see sense and one day you’ll find yourself in your kitchen, cutting up your credit cards and realising there’s more to life than clothes, CDs and nights out.

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Instead of spending money you don’t have, why not try saving some of your hard-earned cash instead?

Remember that duck-shaped moneybox? The one on the shelf in your bedroom when you were younger. Remember the pride you took placing coins into its far-too-long body?

The truth is, you’re actually pretty good at saving money. It might not be your number one priority at the moment, but putting a bit of money away now will take the pressure off in the future.

Take a moment to think of those things you really aspire to in the future – owning your own home, a loving family, a partner to grow old with, that little retirement cottage by the sea...  All of those things need a chunk of money somewhere along the way - whether big or small - and the best way to achieve those aspirations is to start thinking about saving now.

It’s easier than you think. You’ll still be able to do all the things you like doing now – you’ll just have enough savings to continue that fun in the future.

It’s hard to imagine what life has in store. I’m already here and trust me, things are very different.

Save some money now – no matter how small. It will take the pressure off in the future.

Spoiler alert: you do have a mortgage, a partner and two great kids. You also have a future that is no longer quite so far away, and the realisation that everything I am telling you makes total and utter sense.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy yourself – there’s too much you need to do. Travelling the world, dancing the night away and meeting new people – all of these things will play a role in creating the future you.

Just please try to think about your long-term financial future along the way. Do it for me. For you. For us.

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