Arriving in the UK back then in the early 2000s, was the most exhilarating experience (a big shout out to my Aunty Sharlot☺️)I was so young, energetic and couldn’t wait to start working and making money & at the same time going to school.
I remember vividly, doing a placement from Mon-Fri 9-5 and then heading home to shower & eat then proceed to a night shift which I did 3-4times a week at a very small care home in Dunstable those days.
I remember sharing a lovely two-bedroom ground floor flat with a friend. We’d decorated the flat so nicely and we had large bedrooms that were neatly & luxuriously arranged you know, just perfect for single working class young women back then.
Having two jobs, we used to make very good money, I actually remember, having finished college, I no longer had fees to pay, so at the end of the month, if I paid my rent & bills (bills that were ignored sometimes), food shopping then send money home to family, I still had a very good chunk of money left in my account. But for some reason, I would always find ways of spending that money and never at any point did I ever think of SAVING MONEY.
Year in year out, I would work ,make money, and lacked focus on simple things like, investing & saving even the littlest change in my pocket. Pay Day was all made up of trips to boutiques and at times London, to shop for clothes, shoes and handbags, even then, we weren’t even trendy or fashionable but we still shopped till we dropped. Buying a bag for £60-£70 back then was not a problem, it was a matter of blinking and I’m already going home staggering with bags and bags after a shopping spree.If someone had advised me, maybe I could have listened or maybe I wouldn’t have taken the advice on board and still lived like I was a rich man’s daughter.
Now I look back and think of all the money I spent and I sit down and try to think, what was going on in my head? There’s not a day that goes by without regretting that I could have done better at life if I had SAVED MONEY from 10-11years ago. I remember beating myself at one time, when I extremely needed money , I needed money at that time so badly and I just did not have any spare money after paying bills and sorting out all my other monthly expenses.
That is why I decided to write up this blog post, to encourage our young men and young women to SAVE MONEY. As soon as you start your new job, save a bit of money every month, just have a savings account were you put even £50 or £100 a month and 10-15years from now that money will help you to accomplish so much in life. It’s a shame I learnt it the hard way, they say experience is the best teacher and yes for sure it is. I remember narrating this whole story to my husband and he agreed that if he’d had the same advice in his first years here, he could have done things differently.
As parents, let’s also encourage our young men & young women to SAVE MONEY and invest into even property or small businesses because who knows about tomorrow. I am a big fan of Dr Umar Johnson an American motivational speaker. Dr Umar in one of his videos, talks about how,video here ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDbeY_PAKXg) Us as black people we never think of the next generation. We get money today we are already spending it on flashy things, clothes , cars, a high class life but we forget that we need to live again tomorrow. He goes on to say that, So we grow up, working all our lives but we never leave behind inheritances for the next generation like what white people do. White people save & invest a lot such that by the time they hit their 70’s they are already passing on big amounts of money to their grandchildren so they can have a good start in life. But for us black people, it’s each to their own, you find your own feet and work for yourself and not think of anyone else, parents grow old without a single investment or any savings let alone have some trust fund to pass on to their children or grandchildren.
For those young parents, this should be a lesson really, let’s learn to save, let’s teach our children to save, Save Save Save money, because saving money is the bestest decision to make in life. Now I’m trying to save money, i have cut down big time on my expenses and I can go for almost a year with one handbag until it’s loosing it’s handles and maybe one or two new pairs of shoes a year which is a big change for someone who was once a big spender. If it’s online shopping, I put things in my basket and proceed to the checkout but I ask myself if it’s worthy spending money and I just delete everything in my basket. At the end of the day, it’s never too late to start good habits and each day I’m glad for getting this wake up call at this stage in my life and I must say, it feels so good.