Each month we publish the best comments, emails and letters from our readers. Here are the best of April 2018.
This month's star letter:
A sweet lesson my daughters still follow
My two daughters are now 28 and 30 years old. When they were young, we lived in a village and they were given £2 pocket money each week, which they would spend on sweets in the village shop. To avoid this, I opened building society accounts for each of them and paid in £10 a month. Their spending habits changed immediately. Instead of sweets, they looked forward to going to the local town and choosing something to purchase, withdrawing the money from their accounts to do so.
Occasionally, I would add a small bonus to their accounts if they had carried out some jobs for me. During the summer holidays they were given a sum which had to cover their family holiday spending and any other treats they wanted.
Both became very canny with their money. Yet other parents laughed at my attitude, saying: “It’s only pocket money, lighten up”.
My husband, who was self-employed, worked long hours, often away from home, so the girls had to come shopping with me. They learnt how to work out what really was the best bargain.
My mantra was if I could save £1, then it was £1 more I had to put towards a treat for them. It obviously sunk in, as the youngest informed one of her friend’s mothers that “Mummy doesn’t buy anything unless it’s on offer.”
My daughters continued to “save a little, spend a little” when they both had Saturday jobs in their teens.
When our youngest attended university, she budgeted her student loan over the whole year, so she always had some funds available and never had any extra debt. She also continued to work in the local shop, where she had worked as a Saturday assistant, during university holidays.
Both daughters now have long-term partners and, interestingly, have instilled their financial knowledge in their partners who had good jobs but were wasting money.
Parents, it’s never too early to instil financial knowledge in children and schools need to have more funding and staff to teach personal finance and taxation.
CER/VIA ONLINE COMMENTS
Let the bank know it’s our money, not theirs
Moneywise says: In Fight for your Rights in the April issue, a reader complained about being treated like a criminal by his own bank – and we managed to get him some compensation. But it looks as if he was not alone, as a number of other readers have pointed out:
Banks can’t be trusted, they pay you no interest to talk about and do not fully protect you at all. The law needs changing to make banks 100% liable for every client’s bank account and all funds within it.
After all, it is your money, NOT theirs!
P/VIA ONLINE COMMENTS
It’s best is to open one or more additional current accounts to primarily take advantage of the high interest rates on admittedly limited sums of money. They then can be easily used to divert salary and other income payments and make urgent payments if a situation like this arises.
BY/VIA ONLINE COMMENTS
This happened to me recently with my bank when I tried to pay my water bill. After over an hour on the phone with no reason given for my account being suspended, I was told to ring back the next day.
I rang back the following day and, again, nobody could tell me the reason why my funds were frozen.
Then after talking to another department, I was told my account would be open and fully working by the end of the day. I asked why it had been suspended so that I could make sure to avoid it happening again, only to be told that they didn’t know why.
JB/VIA ONLINE COMMENTS
Avoid taking too much cash on holiday
Moneywise says: We reported online how holidaymakers may not be insured if they take large amounts of cash on holiday. One reader points out:
I have never been able to understand why people take vast amounts of cash on holiday when one can get much better rates from an ATM, without any risk to your cash. And a well-chosen card will not charge a premium for cash. But look out for Spanish banks, which are often now charging for drawing cash.