Real life: Millennial money
MoneyPlus Features Team | July 16, 2019
Time to read: 4 minutes
Saving hacks, spending confessions – and getting on the property ladder
Our new monthly column highlights some of the real-life money challenges millennials face, starting with Samantha Hutcheson.
Name and age: Samantha Hutcheson, 26.
Your job: I work in marketing at Standard Life, supporting employers and clients.
Are you a spender or a saver?
A bit of a mix. I do all my saving as soon as my wages come in then tend to spend the rest and not have much left over!
What does money mean to you?
For me it’s an enabler. If I didn’t have money I couldn’t go to as many gigs as I do, or travel as much. So it definitely means more freedom and choices!
Your biggest money challenge right now?
I think it has to be building up my savings after buying my house last year.
I’m off to Thailand later in the year, so saving for that is my main goal. I’m going to an elephant sanctuary so it’s definitely something I am happy to save for.
Best money thing you’ve learned so far?
0% interest is your friend! It helped my partner and I do a lot more with our house sooner than if we’d needed to have all of the money in cash upfront for sofas and things like that.
Also, I do my saving upfront every month so that when I get paid what I planned to save immediately goes into my savings. I then work out my rough outgoings for the month ahead and what I have left over I put towards longer-term things, such as paying off my holiday or my annual train ticket.
If I waited til the end of the month to save what I had left I’d probably not save as much.
What inspires or helps you with your money?
I just try to be mindful that money isn’t the be-all and end-all but it’s important to keep on top of it and not stick your head in the sand.
Any money-related apps on your phone that help?
Biggest money mistake?
Probably trying to be thrifty and find better deals for things when there isn’t one; then I spend so long trying to save money that the price goes up and I end up really out of pocket when I do eventually buy it!
What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever saved up for?
My partner and I bought our first home last year so that emptied my savings. But it was so worth it. It’s very rewarding and still exciting, even if the DIY seems never-ending.
What’s the last thing you spent money on – and did you really need it?
I booked a last minute holiday to Tenerife; I’d say I really needed it…and also some make-up, which perhaps I really didn’t.
How confident do you feel about your finances?
I do worry a bit as it seems like everything costs money and I’m not always great at tightening my belt. But when I look at the bigger picture, I am probably not as bad as I think.
Do your parents or friends think you’re good with money?
Yes they do. My mum always says that my “head is a lot more screwed on” than hers was when she was my age.
If someone gave you £100 to spend before the end of the day, what would you do with it?
I’d definitely put it towards paying off my credit card bill. It’s not too bad but I get a little bit anxious having any debt hanging over me.
Next month, another millennial money columnist shares his experience of buying a first flat and losing money on holiday in Budapest.
Pensions and Stocks and Shares ISAs are investments and their value can go down as well as up. They may be worth less than was paid in.
Any views expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and not Standard Life Assurance Limited.