When I was young we didn’t have a lot of money and I remember my mum used to have a tin box on the mantlepiece where she saved money for the rent, the insurance, Christmas, my school uniform – a never-ending list of things to save up for. We never bought things on tic. Saving was bred into us.
When I was old enough I had my own piggy bank to save up for stamps to add to my stamp collection. Later it was to save up for a Dawes racing bike. It took me a year to save up for that bike, using the money from my paper round.
The little tin box and my piggy bank instilled in me the idea that you have to earn your money before you spend it. Sadly, that’s not the way of the world today. You are encouraged to have what you want, when you want it. You can pay for it later.
You’re inevitably drawn into that world when you buy your first home. Taking out a mortgage makes you a borrower for years to come. Now too, you have a bank to look after your savings, no need for the little tin box anymore. Money starts to move around at the stroke of a pen or the swipe of a bank card. There are no pennies to look after, just a bank balance. The visual link between cash and reality is easily lost.
The little tin box paid no interest and now the banks seem to be doing the same. All of which confirms that the saving culture in our society has all but disappeared.
Let’s hope there are no rainy days ahead.