A letter to my 16 year old self – where not to lose money
By The Man About Town
Mornings can be hard work; exercise is a struggle, getting out of bed is a struggle and even having breakfast can seem like such an effort I usually don't even bother. The one thing that keeps me going in the morning is listening to the Christian O'Connell show. It's a good blend of music and banter and, whilst I know I should probably be listening to Radio 4, I have to admit it's a bit of a guilty pleasure. Yesterday they did something interesting on the show – they all wrote letters to their 16 year old selves.
This got me thinking. What would I write? I won't bore you with how I should have gone to a better University or how I should have taken the opportunity to live in New York when it came my way but I will let you in on what I would have done differently in order for me to have more money as I sit here now. Parts of this could well be helpful to any teenagers who come to the Savoo blog. So, here we go!
Dear Man About Town (as your blog name will be),
I am writing to you to tell you about how you can sit at your desk in your 30s and have more money. More money to look after yourself and the people you love. I'm not going to tell you about the female heartbreak or some of the other disasters that happen as I think you are a pretty good bloke right now and all of those events shaped who you are.
But I will give you some tips on how to save better, spend less and generally put yourself in a better financial position in later life.
First up, don't smoke. I know Nigel Armstrong is cool and you want to copy him but do what Tom did and never start. It will save your health and your pocket like you couldn't believe. Right now a pack of fags is £7.38 – too much so please don't even start.
Secondly, don't spend so much money on ridiculous clothes and booze at University. Save the money you earn when you work in a bar and don't take so many student loans. Put that money aside and try to get on the property ladder as soon as you can because there is about to be a boom the likes of which we may never see again.
Invest any other money in a computer company called Apple
and, in 2003, go to Harvard and make friends with a bloke called Mark Zuckerberg and listen to what he has to say!
But most of all try to be more frugal. You learn this in later life but the sooner you start, the sooner you can squirrel money away. Examples of how you can save and be more frugal are; use sites like Savoo
sooner to buy all the things you need and use Google to search for the best deals available. Check to get a good deal on flights
– you do a lot of flying around the world (you lucky bugger) and have some amazing holidays but you always pay too much for the flights due to laziness!
Don't under any circumstances think that the money on a credit card
is yours – it's not and it takes about five years for you to pay the huge debt off. You get there in the end but if you hadn't been such a monkey with money then you might not have needed the 'never never' as much as you did.
You don't make any really silly mistakes but that's because you are a bit timid when it comes to money. Be bold, work hard and have fun. You certainly know how to do the latter!