I am really terrible at planning for the future – I’m sort of a live in the moment type of person. That’s not to say I don’t like to plan and organise, I’m just not very good at it when it comes to money.
I first started working when I was around 16, though I’d had paper rounds, babysitting and shop work even before then. My first “real” job was waitressing and it evolved from 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, to pretty much every evening from 5pm-11pm and all day Saturday. I was holding this same job when I started University and although I couldn’t do the same amount of hours, I still came home every Friday and worked the whole weekend. Eventually when University was finished and I’d met a guy, I moved away to live with him and get married. I held down a full-time position with a ferry company, then as a Practice Manager in a dental surgery. These have been my only proper jobs really – or at least my only full time jobs.
After leaving my then husband, I moved back home and gained another waitressing job. I then moved to another not long after that. This was full-time too I guess but for some reason waitressing has never felt like a proper job (no offence to anyone who does it, I’ve done it nearly all my working life!). I then met my next husband, though there was dating and stuff of course, trained for a pub ownership, only to decide on getting a business of our own. We ran our own restaurant for three years, before eventually selling up and I became a houswife and stay at home mum to our then 2 year old, with another baby on the way. Since then I have worked part-time and self-employed for Betterware, until finally getting a job about two years ago as a Kitchen Assistant. It was part time as well and a hard adjustment as a full-time mum and part-time worker. Anyway my long winded point is that I’ve never really had what felt like a proper job – certainly nothing that resembles a career. There have been times when I’ve considered re-training for a career too – even started a course at Lincoln college – but it just didn’t really pan out.
I spent 3 years as a single mum, living on benefits and wow did I get myself in a financial mess. I wanted to give my kids everything I felt they would have had if I were still with their dad – and more. Sadly, though it didn’t really seem that way at first, I couldn’t afford to do that and I got myself in so much debt. However, thanks to my mum and also to being careful, I’m definitely coming out the other side of that.
Now I’m currently unemployed again and I’m concentrating on my blog as well as launching a new business in the coming months. I’m also decorating our house with the hope we can get it on the market and sold – meaning we can move back to Saxilby where the girls go to school, near to my mum and also easier for Megan and secondary school next year. Before meeting Chris I never expected to own my own house again (I did with my first husband but it was sold when we separated). I’ve lived in rented accommodation all my adult life and I never truly thought I would be in a financial situation whereby I could get a mortgage and buy a house.
Does it make me worry for the future? Of course it does. I think about whether or not I’m up to date with my National Insurance contributions and more importantly whether I will have a decent pension when I’m old enough to retire. I’ve been looking into a company called Nutmeg who offer both pension schemes and ISAs (my mum has one of these so again it’s something to think about for the future). They offer expert advice, which considering I know nothing about finances, is pretty important. Their website is really simple to understand and they offer an easy-to-use service. These are exactly what I’d be looking for when considering a pension scheme. Sure, if I’m self employed at that time, maybe I won’t feel the same need to retire as early as I might if I’m back in employment, but it’s all things to consider. My mum is in her 60’s and living off her pension. She worked hard all her life as a teacher and she has a good pension – she also has a widows pension due to losing my dad. She enjoys her life now and goes on holiday often, but I’ve noticed more and more that she’s beginning to be more careful with her money.
I want to be able to provide for my kids if they want to go to university. I want to be able to help them through their adult lives, like my parents helped me. I want to not have to worry where the next pay is coming from and enjoy my life now that it’s finally happy. I know I need to get my finances in order and get a secure plan. I must get myself out of debt so I can concentrate on providing for my future.