Managing my money for young adults
Managing my money for young adults

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Managing my money for young adults

1 Talking points

First, watch a video of students at Denbigh School in Milton Keynes, England, talk to the Open University’s Will Brambley about their experiences of managing money and their views on a range of financial issues.

Do their financial activities, their views and concerns match yours?

The video is fairly long, at 8 minutes, but it includes all the subjects that will be raised throughout the course.

Download this video clip.
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Transcript

WILL BRAMBLEY
So, if I were to ask you, for example, how much money is in your account, is it something you think, actually, that's something I know. Like, at any point in time, I know how much money I've got to spend. Or is it that you just assume there's enough and maybe check at the end of the month or such?
SPEAKER 1
I know. I have it on my phone. It's like probably my most used app, because I'm like, how much have I got and things? Quite obsessive.
SPEAKER 2
I don't have a bank account, so I have to ask my parents for money or just to buy something.
SPEAKER 3
Yeah. That's the same with me. I really don't know how much is in my bank account at all.
SPEAKER 4
I could tell you right now, because my bank statement came about two days ago. But normally, it's sort of, I have sort of a vague estimate of what's in there. But it's usually sort of 50 pounds either way.
WILL BRAMBLEY
So when it comes to the budgeting you do and the way you think about it, do you plan ahead in particular, and if so, how far? Whether this is for a holiday, or I think someone mentioned about saving for university.
SPEAKER 5
I think I plan ahead in the sense of small things. Like if I'm going to buy, I don't know, like a concert ticket and I know that's 50 pounds and I'm not getting 50 pounds in that month because I've already spent, I've gone shopping or whatever, then I will think ahead saying, oh, next month I'll try and minimise my spending so I'm not taking out more than I'm getting in.
SPEAKER 6
I think I'm quite similar in that. But if I know that I have to pay a certain amount of money or if I'm buying quite a few like, new clothes, then I'll try and make sure that maybe the month before I don't spend as much or maybe the month after.
SPEAKER 4
Yeah. I do that a lot. There was this one month I had a lot of expenses and I thought, well, it's fine, because I can then make that up the following month.
WILL BRAMBLEY
Do you have jobs, and what do you do with the money that you earn from it? Is it that you like spending your money, or is it that you try to save bits of it?
SPEAKER 7
I spend half, save half.
SPEAKER 5
I mean, I don't have a stable part time job. I've done bits of work. So I was on a zero hours contract, and I did catering work. And I occasionally like, work waitressing at a wedding or I do cat sitting or babysitting or that sort of thing. So I don't have you know, monthly stable income. But I think that maybe makes me think about it a little bit more. So if I know I'm going to spend and I don't know if I really have anything coming in for a while, I'll try and be a little bit more cautious about how I budget.
SPEAKER 2
I don't have a job. I think I'm probably more focused on studies and all. But I think having a job would, in my opinion, it'd take a bit of time away which I could have spent getting better grade. So I can get like, a better job after university.
SPEAKER 3
I think that's the same with me, because I like to focus a lot on my studies. And then I'll focus on money after I've finished my learning. But for me, education is the most important thing, so I'll worry about all of that later on.
SPEAKER 6
I think it's quite important to get, even if it's a few hours, like a part time job so that you sort of end up having your own money and start to learn life skills earlier on, instead of when you're in 20s, after university, and suddenly you're piled with, like bills and sort of other things and how to manage money. I think it's better to start a bit younger and sort of learn that you've got a certain amount of money that you can spend. You can't get over that. And I think that's quite good skill to learn.
SPEAKER 4
I don't have a job at the moment, but I'm taking a gap year before I go to uni and I'm going to work for the year. So it's more a thing of focusing on my studies this year, because I'm not sure I could handle work and a job.
WILL BRAMBLEY
Interesting. Can I add to that. Do you all get an allowance from your parents that you spend as well? And if so, do you treat it the same way as the money you earn? Or is it kind of different and thought of separately?
SPEAKER 7
I put everything my parents give me into an ISA, a house building one. They trained me well.
SPEAKER 6
I don't have direct money from my parents, but I know they put a certain amount each month into sort of a ... I don't know if it's an ISA or some sort of saving account, but it gets a lot of interest. So, that sort of helping me set up for my future, so I can't access that yet.
SPEAKER 3
With my parents, they get like a child allowance sort of thing. But sometimes they say that they don't really need it, so the money that they give me comes from that. And I don't get any extra money. I just get the money from the child allowance.
SPEAKER 5
I have a monthly income from my parents. So if I know I'm just going to get like 40 pounds from them to spend on clothes or any other things I'd like, I will try to spend sort of around that amount as my budget. Then I can, any other money that I earn can either go on extra things or I can save. So I'm starting to add to it whilst keeping my expenditures low.
WILL BRAMBLEY
So I'd like to also ask you a little bit about what you know about financial institutions, so banks, building societies, credit unions, payday lenders. What do you understand as kind of the different types that are here, and are other ones that you would go to or not go to or that you think about or consider or not?
SPEAKER 6
I probably would try as much as I could to avoid payday loans and lenders, just because I know that I know people that have used them and have had to pay extortionate amounts back for what they borrowed. So I'd probably look to go to banks first. And then, possibly family if I couldn't get the small loans that I needed.
SPEAKER 3
I know a family member who was actually, I would like to say almost conned out of a lot of money by one of those payday loaners, because they went on like a holiday, and they ended up like paying thousands of pounds back, which they wouldn't have had to pay if they got a different loan.
WILL BRAMBLEY
So for those who are going to university, do you have any concerns about how much debt you'll take on, whether it's student debt or overdrafts or other ways in which you'll pay for it? And is that something that puts you off going to university?
SPEAKER 7
Yeah. The maintenance loan, in particular, where it's never enough to cover what you need, so you have to get a job or get your parents to pay. But if your parents can't pay, then you're at a disadvantage other students, really, because you're having to work so many hours to pay it. And then you still might not have enough for food or whatever. It's never enough.
SPEAKER 8
I think it's a major factor in determining whether people go to university, the cost of it. Of course, on one side, people who do are improving the human capital. But on the other side, they need to have a well-thought degree in order to pay it back and actually get out of that trap of debt.
SPEAKER 5
I think is definitely a consideration, because I'm looking to do a year abroad in the university courses I've been looking at. But a factor that I am considering it that's another year's worth of money and not just living expenses here. They might be somewhere else where it's more expensive. So I have to try and think about if it's really worth this extra expenditure.
WILL BRAMBLEY
It was interesting when you mentioned the maintenance side of things. Are you aware of the fact that there is an implicit idea in this that it's tested on how much your parents income is? So there is the kind of thing that says, this is how much the government expects your parents to contribute to your maintenance. Is that something that you were aware of, and is it something you've discussed with your parents?
SPEAKER 6
I think it's quite hard, because for my parents, I'm a twin. So they have two children possibly going to university at the same time. So for them to have that much money each month or each year left over is quite a lot of money. And I think sometimes that they don't necessarily always take in the fact that parents might have more than one student at universities at the same time, which makes it harder for them to make up that amount of money that they should have to pay.
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