Money: it’s always been a source of anxiety for me and my friends. Whether that’s spending more than we should, or not having enough of it to get by. Now that I’m a student, money worries are even worse.
I feel like money shouldn’t be such an issue for me personally. I grew up in a relatively upper-middle class family and was never short of anything, including a plentiful supply of Warhammer figurines (that my mum has now thrown away….:/). Video games and consoles were plentiful, as was music, entertainment – whatever.
But none of this taught me anything about money. I didn’t start working until I was 17 and I think I was a bratty and ungrateful kid. I feel like I have a lack of respect for money that I’m only now starting to see as student money worries kick in.
Student spender syndrome
This can work out fantastically if you’re my friend. If we’re out for lunch, coffee or a drink, I’ll often pick up the bill. I love that feeling. But I know that if I took a step back every time I went to spend money and really thought about what I’m spending and why, I’d most likely spend a lot less.
“If I took a step back every time I went to spend, I’d likely spend a lot less”
This skill, however, takes some mastering. So I’ve been trying to think of things that would make me stop and not spend, say a fiver, and instead put it towards something. There are lots of things I could pick: a trip to Europe to see friends; maybe Paris, Amsterdam or Leipzig. Or maybe an indulgent spa day on a lazy Sunday.
However, as terrible as I am with money, I do recognise a need to change. Something that has been on my mind is how can I – a 21 year-old university student with barely a pound to spare – use my very limited means to invest?
Doing good with small money
I know there are apps out there such as Moneybox that help you invest tiny amounts. They round up all card payments you make and take those pennies and invest them. Eventually, after a few years, you’ll have a small pot and that will hopefully get you more interested in investing.
“I feel we should all be careful about what companies we give our money to…but I don’t know where to start”
Luckily for me I have a friend who knows about these things that has told me that Moneybox doesn’t put your money into sustainable or ethical businesses. This is extremely frustrating: like lots of other young people I feel we should all be careful about what companies we get involved with, especially those we’re investing into.
So if Moneybox, a very accessible app for someone like me isn’t on the cards, where else can I go? Cryptocurrency? I find this a very overwhelming concept personally, especially not having any experience with finance. I couldn’t tell you where to start!
Easing money worries
And, frankly, that is what I’m struggling with: I don’t know where to start. I want to invest because I think it’s something everyone should do. The friends I have that do invest – be it in cryptocurrency, Forex: whatever – they say it lifts a weight off their shoulders.
“If I could start saving and investing I feel I wouldn’t have this grey money cloud hanging over me”
I wish I could take control of my finances and start saving and investing. Then I feel I wouldn’t have this grey money cloud hanging over me – instead I would have something I can look at that brings a smile to my face.
Every time I go to pick up a round at the pub, if instead I knew that my money could be a source of comfort in an investment, that would be great. Especially if that investment went into good things. Then I’d save instead of spend almost every time. And I hope you would too.