Golden Nuggets of Advice

Two neat piles of gold coins.

I’m a strong believer in respecting my elders and listening to what they have to say and this is just what TSB’s Golden Nuggets of Advice campaign is all about. I’ve always paid attention to financial advice from my parents – they’ve been there, seen it, done it and probably didn’t waste any money on the T-shirt. So here are the golden nuggets of advice they’ve given me and which I’ll totally be passing off as my own ideas when Dylan and Xander are old enough.

Waste not, want not

This is, of course, an obvious one but, if we don’t educate our children about sensible spending, how are they ever going to learn? There have been numerous occasions when my parents gently intervened to point out that it may make sense to wait for the sales or that there were cheaper options that were just as good as the things I’d gone all Gollum about. I think the phrase ‘don’t let it burn a hole in your pocket’ was uttered more than once too!

Save early, save often

Getting children used to the idea of saving early on is a great idea and it’s something that my parents did for me and my sister by setting up bank accounts when we were very young. They also set up ISAs for us when we went to university on the understanding that we would put as much into them as we could from summer jobs. This definitely helped me become more disciplined with saving.

Speculate to accumulate

We tried to sell our house last year and, despite it being well presented and in the same price bracket as similar homes, didn’t get any offers. We knew the front door was a sticking point – quite literally in winter – and that people were put off by the bathroom which is a little dated. We forked out for a swanky new door – it was cheaper than a bionic shoulder – and, on my mum’s advice, will be getting a new bathroom suite installed before we try to move again next year. It’ll cost a few hundred quid, but should help us get something resembling our asking price.

Shop around

This applies to buying anything, of course, but I’m talking specifically about financial services here. With so many price comparison sites around, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’ll find the best deal on one of them, but this isn’t necessarily the case. As my dad pointed out to me at the advent of these sites, not all providers are on them so the cheapest option won’t necessarily be immediately obvious.

Do the admin

My parents have always been good at keeping track of their spending and, to my knowledge, have never gone beyond their means. I remember them regularly keeping a record of outgoings against income and it’s something I do religiously now. We’ve got a spreadsheet detailing everything we spend on monthly bills that goes back seven years. While this is undoubtedly geeky, it’s useful for seeing how much we spend and focusses our thinking on cutting costs.

What are the best bits of financial advice your parents have given you?

Disclosure: this post was produced in collaboration with TSB.

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