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Diane, 47

Diane gets paid to jet off to San Diego, the Bahamas and even further afield. (Lucky!) And when she’s not managing the cabin crew, she’s taking care of her family and her money. But it hasn’t always been easy.

My relationship with money: "Balance"

"I like a balance between doing all the nice things I want to do and having a money comfort blanket just in case things go belly-up in the future."

Financially, becoming a single mum wasn't too tough

"When I became a single mum it wasn’t terribly shocking financially. He was a bit of a leech anyway. It was my property so we didn’t have to do any of the splitting property up – I paid for practically everything anyway.

"I was always doing the bills and everything. I’m quite savvy at getting bills down and getting the best deals on gas and electric. I won’t change over on the door if someone comes knocking, but I keep my eye on things. Go and do my own research online and read some articles. But it’s quite simple really with bills to compare the figures. 

"But then I’ve always been quite good with money. I was encouraged to save from an early age – my dad was always quite financially savvy. It would probably say it on his epitaph: “You can only spend it once!”

"My daughter just spends her money on takeaways and doesn’t listen to me. Different era, isn’t it. They have more than we had – access to everything. A bag of crisps was a treat when I was a kid, whereas it’s always in the cupboard now. I don’t think she really understands the value of money.

"I think buying your own property is so far away from being possible now, so kids just stay home and get mollycoddled. And we let them. She has a part time job but she spends it all. Never saves it. There’s so much more they can spend it on now, and it’s not even writing cheques or handing over real cash.

"I suppose I should be saving money for her as well, but then she’d have the house if anything happened to me. And I have mortgage cover so the mortgage would be paid off if I went.

"At least she’s beautiful, so I guess she’ll just have to marry wealth! When I mention it she just grunts."

I got something through the other day about an old investment but I haven’t really looked at it. There’s all that jargon. I’m often looking for the catch in things. Like when they offer to sell shares for a certain amount, I find that confusing. You don’t know if you’ll actually get that amount. And I don’t always understand the fees – would be helpful to just see one number and pay that.

"It’s the same with pensions . I have no idea what they’re worth, or how I’d go about working it out. I just pay them automatically, and pay some AVCs for some of them. (Look at me, I’m jargoning now! Additional voluntary contributions, that means.) Yeah, AVCs, but I don’t really know what they do. Increases my bucket I guess.

"I quite like premium bonds because I kind of understand them. The money’s safe, I can take it out whenever I like, and I might win the big one. I tend to win every couple of months, about £20 or so. If were to win the million that would be marvellous. Someone’s got to win it! I could sell the house and go live in Spain. But I’d probably invest half of it. Though where to invest it I don’t know. I’d probably have to get a financial adviser."

My biggest money question..

"I’ve got various workplace pensions but how can I figure out what it will actually work out to when I retire?"

Answer by Helen Howcroft, Equanimity IFA

The Money Advice Service have a free calculator which you can use to answer this exact question. It enables you to calculate the amount of income that you could have in retirement taking into account:

1) the value of your current workplace pensions

2) the amount that you and your employer are contributing to your workplace pension, and

3) when you hope to retire.