Last week at the debt advice charity we were working with a
local community group to discuss debt, budgeting and share
experiences of financial hardship. On Monday we received an email
from a girl who attended the event with her mother. The story
provides an insight into how children begin to understand the
concept of money and we found it fascinatingly honest and worth
sharing on our blog.
The family agreed to share the story, however we have changed
the girl's name.
My Life with Money
My name is Lynn and I am 12 years old. Every week my gran gives
me £5 pocket money and I always try to save it, but somehow manage
to spend it. Whether I spend it on clothes or makeup or shoes etc..
I always do spend it!
When I was little I wouldn't say I didn't get much, although I
did and my parents had great jobs and could always provide food and
everything for me and my sister, we also got a lot of treats. Maybe
not as soon as I was born, but by the time I was 5 my mum had her
own business and my dad had a very stable job and still does today.
When I was little I didn't really worry that much about money, I
didn't really need to, that's what the older people did. To be fair
I didn't really know about money, I didn't understand that to get a
new toy mum and dad had to work, I didn't understand the fact that
you had to buy food and toys and clothes. My parents didn't really
care, obviously I didn't get everything, but I got a few treats
here and there. It was always equal between my sister and me,
although it didn't seem that way because of the 5 year age gap, but
it was always fair.
My sister is 5 years older than me and when she started
secondary school she got the chance to go to France and I always
felt it unfair as she's allowed and I'm not, but now I am at the
secondary I had the privilege to go on the France trip the same as
As I grew older I began to understand the concept of money but
still not really the fact of working and would ask mum for money
and not really think, or understand, the effort that has been put
in to earning it. I still wouldn't class myself as the smartest
with money, maybe I don't put it to the best of its ability and I
could save it up, but I can't keep money I always feel the need to
spend it as soon as I get it.
When I was eight my mum and dad announced to me and my sister
that we were moving out of our small semi detached house and into a
large 3 floor house with a lot more rooms and space to do what you
like in, at first we didn't really like the fact of moving, leaving
our friends and where we grew up, it felt like a massive distance
between the houses but they were only 10 minutes apart.
My whole life we had pets, hamsters, dogs, budgies, fish,
rabbits etc.. When I was younger I didn't realize that food, cages,
toys and everything all added up to a lot of money but I understand
now. We still do have pets just I think about the cost more.
Growing up my parents always had fancy cars but when i was nine
the credit crunch started and everything started to change. We had
lived in our new house for about a year and my mum was driving an
Audi and everything was great, school, friends, work. My mum's work
had moved to a better place. But when the credit crunch advanced
and became more outstanding everything started to change, we had to
sell the car, and we stopped getting as much, even the amount of
groceries we bought decreased. The quality of things, all the
little things was changing, the toilet paper, the soap, the
lemonade, the oranges, but i didn't really care, to be fair I
didn't really notice. We used to always go on holiday and the best
holiday we could get was a small caravan holiday. After a while my
mum's business started going down and she was acting strange. My
sister's boyfriend would always fly up from London and even going
to the airport she would panic and hide. After about 6 months the
business went bust and my mum was out of work. My dad was fine and
he has always had the same job, but he worked a lot more after my
mum's business went bust so we could pay the bills and everything.
Around Christmas time I would hardly see my dad for the amount of
time he was working, I got to see my mum because she didn't have a
job which was great because she used to work full time. My mum is
now back working again.
My parents try their hardest to treat my sister and I but we do
understand the fact that now everything has changed and we can't
get everything. Me and my sister are both very unique for the fact
we don't follow the crowds, not only are we unique our parents are
too, if our parents didn't work so hard we wouldn't have a good
story to tell. Also, most importantly we wouldn't be here
Debt and money advice is available over the telephone and
internet from Debt Support Trust while face to face advice is free
from the Citizens Advice Bureau.