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Let’s #TalkMoney: A newbie’s journey from borrowing to Boring

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Hello. My name is Jamie.

I'm Boring Money's new Content & Community Manager, and I’m a borrowaholic.

Right then, that’s the first step done of Money Advice Service’s Talk Money Week: start the conversation. It’s often the hardest bit, like pushing a bobsled towards the edge of a cliff. Once you’re off, the momentum will take you where you need to go. It’s the anticipation that sparks panic…  

What if they call me an idiot for thinking ‘stocks’ are a medieval torture device?

What if they’re ashamed of me for taking that payday loan?

What if – and this is the big one – what if they say it’s too late to change?

Whether you’ve struggled with personal finance before or not, talking about money just isn’t done in this country. We’d sooner spill hot tea into our laps than reveal the gaps in our knowledge, bank accounts or fragile egos.

Even in school we were never taught about it. We learn about standard deviations – useful if you find your way to becoming a stock market day trader – but not simple things like opening a savings account, why you need a private pension, or what the hell a credit score is. And that’s a real problem.

 

Defusing a bomb with safety scissors

It’s so easy to overcome financial ignorance (and all the demons that come with it) when you know how. Or, more to the point, when you’re shown how.

For me, joining Boring Money has been the baptism of fire I needed. To shed the blinkers, accept that there’s so much advice out there, and to finally #TalkMoney. It’s actually pretty simple, really. Most people – once you find out which Money Tribe you belong to – can brush up on all the basics they’ll need by reading their tribe’s tailored how-to guides.

For me, a Rebellious Renter with Suspicious Saver tendencies, I now know at least three ways to squeeze free money from the government and my employer. (Sorry, Holly!) One way involves Workplace Pensions, another is the Help to Buy scheme, and another is the Lifetime Investment Savings Account (LISA). Find out which ones are suitable for you.

Oh! And I’m even gearing up to invest a few quid in the stock market when payday arrives. All it took was learning that, over any 10-year period since records began, shares did better than cash 9 times out of 10. And rather than having to get out my GCSE Maths books to look up standard deviation, I can just download an app that does everything for me. Booya!

 

Where to go now you’re in money mode

Naturally, my comprehension growth spurt has been helped by working with one of the UK’s savviest financial minds, but Holly has made it so easy for you to build your confidence too. So I suggest your next stop to be our Money Tribe quiz. Seriously. It works wonders.

After that, why not follow Money Advice Service’s tips to #TalkMoney with your friends? You might find they’ve been just as keen – and just as scared – to bring it up as well. Good luck!

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