“My Little Tin Box”

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.

tin box

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.

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3 Responses to “My Little Tin Box”

  1. earnestern says:

    Ready access to credit solves nothing in the end. Those who can afford it don’t need it, those who can’t only make things worse for themselves in the long run. Mortgages and student loans are probably special cases as typically you need these big chunks of cash precisely at the time of life when you have the least power to earn. Even then you have choices. Still in all else, I totally agree, save before you buy.

  2. Well, well, days gone past! It aint half rattled my bones, and brought back memories. The piggy bank or tin box: It was a reality and mum used it for her house keeping, and our school expenses. the ‘bike’ well you went for a classic here, no mundane drop handle bars ‘phillips or Raleigh’? Boys would chat over bikes, and at the tech school in Harrogate, were we got off the school bus (No 51 Bradford-Harrogate we would every morning pass Ron Kitchens bike shop, and in pride of place was racer with derailer gears, and a double clanger JRJ, DAWES, or that make with the bend in the front and rear forks, or some Italian beast? all to dream about, and at a price! You deserved your reward John for your hard work and diligence.
    When one became goee eyed and met that maiden of ones life, and decided to set up home, as of now no one gave you nowt for aowt, and the then building societies were strict, and fatherly in there approach? one had to have a deposit in full 10% was normal for a 25 year mortgage, 5% if one was lucky and bought in league with a builder. One had to in front of the building society manager explain fully what ones expectations of employment were over the foreseeable future; you then both of you had to go round the corner to your or a bank manager, and reveal discuss, not the future but as off the day! How one could afford the mortgage being offered by the building society: This was bum clenching time, as the bank manager had your past record of expenditure, and habits? and you and your wife/partner were being cross examined not by the family, but by a stranger how one was going to live, and pay the water, electric, gas, rates, and food, and clothing, and bus fares/transport to and from work? and all this and then one was only permitted to have a maximum mortgage of monthly outgoings, worked on wages or salary of a maximum of 25% of total income after tax based on the mans income, only. Later in the 80’s one was permitted to include the spouses, wife’s or partners monies, and then one was only permitted to have a total mortgage of 2.5 times the total income after tax.
    That’s my experience it stood both Molly and I in good stead.
    Now a days the building society, and the banks all do the same business, and they appear to have the wish not to work and lead you gently through life, but to fleece you at any moment in time, and their only god is the green dollar (pound): There appears no fairness in the financial world, in helping others help themselves.
    The moral compass and social well being appears to have left the UK, WE WITH OUR POLITICIANS IN THIS WORLD appear to wish to make people beholden to a debt, not one with honour but one that is a yoke about the neck of the citizens of this nation,
    WE do not and I do not believe in total socialism, but a social conscious and the will to help others, The Christians values needs to be restated, and we all need to learn and respect these values.

    • Jon Cleaver says:

      Lovely story John. Visiting a bank is a rarity these days what with internet banking etc. however when I was a youngster my mother took me off to Ball Hill Walsgrave Road in Coventry to visit the Trustees Savings Bank to open an account. Once signed up I was given a lovely oval chrome tin imprinted with TSB Bank in gold lettering. It was not long before that very tiny piece of coinage, the farthing, was entering my tin. I still have an account at a many times revamped TSB on Ball Hill. I must have been with them at least 70 years, and my little TSB Savings tin, is confined somewhere deep in the office of nostalgia. The loft, there lies another story.

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