Money Moment 1: I’m a hustler, babyWhat was your first ever job? We all remember those heady days, first dipping our teenage toes into the pool of adulthood – acing the (probably quite easy now that you think of it) interview and landing your first Saturday job. Whether you were sweeping up hair at the local salon or stacking shelves at the supermarket, it was goodbye adolescence, hello independence. All of a sudden you had cash to splash and the world was your oyster. For many of us that meant the incredibly grown-up step of… opening a bank account. A true milestone. And your first payslip? Withdrawing it using your first ever cash card? Oh mama. At the time, playing at balancing the books was fun – now it’s more fun to play a game of chicken with our account, going for as long as possible without checking the balance and staring supermarket clerk down like Samuel L Jackson in case the old debit card is a no go.
Money Moment 2: Freshers freedom
It’s a momentous time in any young person’s life – flying the nest and hightailing it two hours down the motorway to university. We can smell the Pot Noodles now. Hauling your Billy bookcase upstairs and living it up in halls during Freshers’ week is a grassroots experience for any fledgling undergraduate… but it’s nothing compared to the sheer exhilaration of managing your student loan for the first time. For many, uni is the first real budget-balancing test; spend it too quickly and you’ll soon be living on boiled rice and “borrowed” cereal. Planning your finances in advance, having a good student bank account and taking advantage of the many, many student discounts available, is one of the smartest lessons you can learn as a student. And not that we want to sound like your mum but RETURN YOUR LIBRARY BOOKS ON TIME! Those university library fines are… ouch.
Money Moment 3: You passed! But do you avocado?
You finally passed your driving test. It’s time to hit the road, leave this one-horse town behind, and feel the wind in your hair as you drive all the way to, say, brunch in Milton Keynes. Wanderlust, right? But wait. Unless you’ve got especially generous parents, this one’s going to cost you – from pricey insurance (£3410 on average for first-time drivers according to Car Magazine), to tax, fuel, MOTs, maintenance, and of course, the beast itself. The cost will vary wildly depending on the sweetness of your ride, so do your research before committing. And please, stay safe kids.
4: Getting the keys and feeling the squeeze
Yikes, it’s actually happening. Contracts have been signed, bags have been packed, and you’re picking up the keys to a shiny new home. It’s official; you’re a full-on grown-up. Suddenly, you’ve got to pay your bills before you can chill – making meals, picking up socks and before you know it, you’re wishing you could go back to the stage of your life when all you had to worry about was keeping your Tamagotchi alive Unfortunately, taking care of the ‘grown-up’ stuff is, alas, unavoidable. According to Which?, in the current market, you need 5% of the cost of the property to put down as a minimum deposit. So if the house is worth £200k, an eye-watering £10k cash is needed up front. That’s without considering monthly mortgage repayments, insurance, plus utility and food bills. Then you’ve got to buy all the furniture. And a washing machine. And a vacuum. Boring, but true. Gah, adulting is hard.
Money Moment 5: Wearing white means spending greenThe big day has arrived: the one where you pledge to spend the rest of your days with the love of your life. The dress has been fitted, the rings have been chosen, you’ve recovered from your respective hens and stags. For better, for worse, it’s HAPPENING. And when it does, it means plunging your hands as far as possible into your pockets and pulling out the dusty wallet, because weddings are big business. Seriously big. Hitched.co.uk identified that the average UK wedding cost £31,974 in 2019, with most of the money going on the venue, the honeymoon, food and rings. Of course, you don’t have to spend that much – especially if you’re planning to get hitched sometime soon.
Money Moment 6: Bundle of joy, budget of nightmaresHaving a newborn is a truly exciting, magical time- from the sleepless nights to the joy of your baby’s first smile, it’s a never-ending rollercoaster of highs and lows. There’s not just an emotional cost though; babies are expensive, and a lot of the equipment and paraphernalia costs mega bucks. Prams, cots, mattresses, car seats, nappies – it all adds up, in fact, according to The Telegraph, the average cost of raising a child in the UK is £230,000 (sorry – bit of a truth bomb there). One thing’s for sure though – our tiny bundles of joy are worth their weight in gold.
You’ve come a long way, baby. Don’t stop now. When you have your next goal, start building in little money habits that will help take you where you need to be. Need a new laptop for uni? Start an amusingly-named Pingit Jar; we’re thinking “Uni-d a laptop”. Time to get a moses basket? Call it “Moses”, and stash a little in there each week. These amazing ‘big money moments’ define our lives; so many happy memories are born from these pivotal, life-changing events.
Yes, they can be expensive, but by carefully budgeting and staying within your means, you can have fun your own way. Go forth and adult.
What is the next big money moment you are working towards?
Let us know in the comments section.