Your Finances & Who Shapes Your Attitude Towards Them

At school, we all had the chance to learn lots. From the knowledge we needed to pursue a career in later life, to the social skills we required to forge great relationships.

One thing that few schools teach, though, is how to successfully manage your finances. Sure, mathematics may touch upon the basics of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and percentages (handy when you’re in a shop and that handbag you have your eye on features a ‘15% Off’ sticker), but many of us probably didn’t learn much more than that in regard to successfully managing our finances.

So, who does shape your attitude towards your own financial situation? Whether your parents taught you all you need to know about saving, or your peers have influenced you to siphon some money away for a mortgage deposit, most of us are influenced by someone – or something.

Today we’re looking at some of the positive (and sometimes not so positive) financial influences you may have in your life – and how they might help you get ahead financially.


Your Parents


For many, talking about our financial situation doesn’t come easy. In fact, it’s well documented that we Brits find it hard to talk about money. This article suggests, according to some research on the very subject, that ‘Brits find it more difficult to talk about money than mental health’.

For those that can talk to family freely and confidently, parents can be a good yardstick for shaping and moulding our financial attitude. Whether they encouraged you to save your pennies in your very first piggy bank or took you to your local bank to open an account, your parents’ attitude to their own finances could well have influenced yours.

As a result, you may mirror their financial habits now you’re an adult; if they’re big savers, you may be too. Or perhaps they knew the importance of saving a little for a rainy day but also encouraged you to treat yourself every once in a while?

If your mum and dad have instilled in you the importance of saving, you might want to consider a bank account that helps you do just that.


Top tip: ask your parents what they did – and how they cut back – to save for their mortgage deposit. They may well have some advice you haven’t yet considered.


Your Grandparents


Attitudes to saving are very much a ‘generational thing’. Your grandparents, for example, may have completely different views (to those of your own parents) when it comes to managing their finances.

They may have lived through generations of financial climates and had to learn to cut their cloth accordingly every time, they may have an even better attitude to saving than your parents. Or perhaps now they are retired, they are somewhat more frivolous with their money.

As your grandparents may well tell you, it’s not about having (or not having) money, but learning how to manage it successfully.


Top tip: if your grandparents have always been champion savers, ask them how they cut back. They will feel flattered that you’re taking a leaf out of their book. Plus, talking openly with family members about your financial situation is rarely a bad thing.


Your Friends


Without necessarily trying to, your friends may influence your spending habits – and how good you are at putting money to one side. If you look up to a particular pal or work colleague who owns their own home, you might be more inclined to look into setting up an account that will help you better save for a mortgage.

If, however, your friends are in no real rush to save – and are instead more likely to invite you to expensive restaurants or rope you in on their travels around Europe – you could find that saving falls by the wayside.


Top tip: allow yourself one treat per month – and tell your friends about your plan. Then, vow to put the money you would have spent towards other evenings out (or even mini breaks) to one side.


Financial ‘Influencers’


Perhaps you’ve never taken your financial cues from friends or family members – and that’s fine; whatever works for you. Financial ‘influencers’ may instead be your go-to when it comes to helping you manage your money – and there are plenty to follow for some much-needed inspiration.

In particular, we’re enjoying watching Lara Joanna Jarvis’ videos on YouTube. Lara offers advice on everything from embarking on a ‘No Spend Month’ to setting healthy money habits that will stand you in good stead for the future.

Top tip: follow only the influencers who have a positive influence on your finances. Unfollow those influencers – including some reality TV stars and bloggers, for example – who instead regularly ‘influence’ you to spend money you don’t have on things you don’t need.


TV and Films


Without you even realising it, your favourite ‘aspirational’ TV show may well be to blame for indulging your love of expensive clothes/cars/holidays (delete as appropriate). If a character you look up to has a seemingly perfect life as a result of the material things they own, it can be tempting to follow suit and splash the cash.


Top tip: it’s worth noting that TV programmes and films are usually entirely fictional. Sure, you can try to emulate the characters – but if it means getting into debt while doing so, is it really worth it? Don’t try and carve out a lifestyle you can’t afford. Instead, you could consider investing any spare money either in savings, your pension or in property, as who knows what it’ll be worth in years to come.


Looking for some more advice on managing your finances? Don’t forget to keep an eye on our Knowledge Hub here on the site for more articles like this one.



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