My Financial Health at 20, 30 and now 40
March, next month marks my 40th birthday. I thought it would interesting to compare my financial health as each decade has passed.
I was in my 2nd year of maths degree at Brunel university, for 6 months during the second year was work experience time. Off to work I went for a small accountancy firm to test it out, maybe I wanted to be an accountant, I was being paid £150 each week by cheque. I was living in the box room of a police man’s house in Hillingdon which cost maybe £150 per month as all my friends had gone home! I am second from the left.
This is where I learnt the basics of tax and allowable expenses and tax returns. Joy. I also worked evening in the 6 bells pub in West Drayton so financially I was doing okay. I had lots of spare cash!! I had just discovered store cards so I knew I had a few of them. I thought nothing of shopping for the clothes I wanted or going out for pizza hut dinners.
University wasn’t an expensive time for me like it is now. My parents had both died by this time but my step mother who had inherited everything used to transfer me money each month to pay for my rent. Each year I got a grant at university and I did take out small loans for 3 out of the four years.
I left university with 5k worth of debt but landed a well-paid job with HSBC studying for my accountancy exams so it was paid off by the time I was 25 I think.
I was 9 weeks pregnant on my 30th birthday! Hubby and I got engaged on my 30th birthday as well. Financially I had bought my second house after having got on the property ladder at aged 25 with my ex-boyfriend. I had been working for the whole of my 20’s for HSBC and Tesco, qualifying as a management accountant. I think at the age of 30 I was earning maybe £45k.
I had a 2-bedroom house in Knebworth with £30k of equity in it. The equity had been built up from the first house that was sold when I had split up with the ex. Most of my 30th year was spent pregnant and at the same time I took redundancy from Tesco this paid for a fabulous wedding, honeymoon and paid the bills until Dylan was 8 months old. It was nice to have an 18-month break from work.
The family grew through my 30s and we made a very sensible and lucrative financial decision by moving to a 3-bedroom house in the same village, Knebworth, when the market was at rock bottom. We bought our house for £220k and its now worth more than double than that. We have a very nice chunk of equity (not that we can touch it!). We released some money from the mortgage 3 years ago, to extend the house to 4 bedrooms and created a lot more value and space. Another sensible financial decision.
We don’t have much in savings or investments, mainly because it all has been used up paying the bills whilst building the Mrs Mummypenny business. Thankfully now the business is at a point where it is making money and I can start building the savings back up again. I did pay into a pension for much of my 30’s whilst employed so have a great chunk of money stashed away there.
It’s Interesting to look at Financial Health
It’s interesting to look back at some of the financial decisions I made, some were right, some were maybe not the best of ideas. I regret not saving more in my 20’s when I had no children and a much cheaper mortgage. I regret not paying into my pension in my 20’s. However, the investments we made into property have really paid off and it feels great to know that we have that.
At all points in my financial history I have had credit card debt, ever since I can remember I have had a balance being paid off on an interest free credit card so it feels like the norm rather than wrong. This is something that I am keen not to have going forward so we are working hard to pay off what credit card debts we have. 12 months left and counting!
How does your financial history look at the different points of your life? Is there anything you are super proud of or maybe a big lesson learnt?