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I take the Independent on Sunday each week. The finance section usually does a "Health Check" on someone who wants advice to sort out their finances, usually for a particular reason, such as saving for a house, world tour, children etc.
This weeks "patient" was a woman who wanted to clear her debts and focus on being able to provide financial support for her family. This 46 year old single mum with two dependent children ( aged 20 and 16) earning £18,000 p.a owed £14,000 personal bank loan; £6,000 overdraft; £7.000 credit card and £1,500 on a post office card. The cards were both on 0% deals, due to end on March 2015. She bought her house in 2001 for £42,000 on a repayment mortgage which she had remortgaged to get some work done., her outstanding loan now standing at £77,000 Unsurprisingly she has no savings to fall back on.
The reason for the health check.. "Once I have paid off my mortgage, I'd then like to help my children take their first steps on the property ladder"
How does this woman sleep at night? What circles does she move in that have inspired her to believe she is in a position to help her children to get on the property ladder and what example is he setting these young people anyway? If she concentrates on just paying off her cards/overdraft, cutting up her cards and living very frugally, it will be well over ten years before she is out of debt, when her children will be over 30.
I've been thinking about this woman ever since I read the article yesterday.
Am I in a minority believing that children should be taught the value of money and encouraged to pay their own way as much as possible. If they are in full-time education there are always paper rounds etc. ( e.g my youngest granddaughter used to do washing up in a local resteraunt when she was 14 to make a bit of money, my eldest did a paper round from 14 to age 17 when she started work)
Just before I retired I asked a colleague why she wasn't retiring yet as she was older than I? She told me that she wouldn't be able to retire for another four years as she was paying her grandchildren's university fees so that they had no debt when they qualified. Her worry was that she was not made redundant before this date. I'm trying to imagine my daughters "allowing" me to work beyond retirement age because of their children.
I know it's horses for courses and some of you might think I'm harsh and judgemental but I'd still like to hear your views anyway