Today I'm going to talk to my 15 year old self, it's needed to be fair as I was stupid back then, while I'm happy how my life's panned out so far I'll admit that openly but looking back at when I landed my first job I should have done so many things differently.
Meet me. A fresh faced (hahah) 15 year old at school in 1998-9, back in the days when prepaid phones were in their infancy and made today's megaphones look tiny in comparison, life was pretty easy and the worst we had to worry about was getting back and forth from school and getting accepted to college if our grades were ok. But over the course of that fateful year I was given a valuable life lesson by my old man, "if you want something, go out an earn it!" Looking back now it was a subtle kick up the behind, despite the fact I'd already landed myself a weekend job.
The work was good if you ignore the odd child that liked to puke you really could call it being paid to play. All the team were fantastic, even the somewhat misunderstood owner. 7 days later the fateful day came I had been longing for, my first wage slip with cash nestled inside it. Happiness was soon to become the accounts department lady's visit on a Friday and here's where I stop the story to talk to 15 year old me as it's here where things get stupid, seriously stupid!
PAUL, STOP RIGHT THERE!
Money is good, cool, and awesome to spend but darker times are coming. and within a few weeks of being 16 you'll be spending £40-60 a week on credit for your two phones, wasting money on anything you can and not keeping any money back for essentials like travel, clothes, course books or emergencies, trust me there are quite a few to come. Forget the rainy day saving think saving for survival here.
Please leave college early and get walking around the town and sign up for a decent savings account, research what would be beneficial for you and understand the differences of spending and saving money and what the benefits with your new account can give you while saving for that rainy day come zombie apocalypse.
I say this to you now as things will get worse and shortly after your 19'th birthday you'll be made homeless and you'll need every penny you can get your hands on. But I promise your future landlords are lovely, but for the love of spaghetti cat tidy your room the weekend you go away with the eastern region millennium volunteers, you filthy pig!
I'll leave my message to me with emphasis on doing better with money with a spoiler and some advice for 15 year old me. Life gets tough but becomes awesome - the three kids in my top bar are yours!
And the advice is - Don't go in the hay-barn with a certain lady - you'll get a new nickname from your friends otherwise!
All the best! - Me.
If you could go back to your 15 year old self what would you say to you? Let us know in the comments.
Discloslure - this post was created by me in collaboration with Santander