Our approach to money – Jade’s Story

By Jade Shelton

In the last couple of months, we as a team have been sharing with you our experiences with money and how it has helped shape how we approach money.

You will discover that none of us have been perfect (we are human after all), but we’ve found ways that didn’t work and we’re laying it all bare for you to read.

Today we are sharing my story…

“Growing up, I don’t actually feel as though my approach to money was that bad. Of course I went through a spell in my late teens/early twenties where I just spent frivolously. But generally I think I adopted pretty good behaviours early on. I am a worker, I always have been and I think I will always work hard to achieve what I want. Nothing can generally stand in my way…

I started working in hospitality when I was 15 and was earning £40 a week (at the time, I thought that was loads). I needed to save to learn to drive so most of my wages went on driving lessons. I was then gifted some money from my Grandparents (incredibly grateful) which I used to purchase a car (a 1998 Purple KA – of which I LOVED), and the remainder I used to purchase insurance on a provisional licence.

Once I passed, I was then using my wages to buy petrol and maintain my vehicle & also pay a bit of rent to stay at home. Luckily by that time I was earning a bit more money as I was able to work further away and for longer hours, which I did whilst I was at University.

I’m not embarrassed to say that I lived in my overdraft for a little bit whilst I was figuring out life. I thought I had it planned out and that I was going to be a PE teacher but that never came to be. The wind blew me down a different path and after spending so much of my teenage years heading towards this goal, I felt stuck and confused at why this didn’t happen, and I was struggling at the thought of where I was going next. Of course this bothered me but I was trying to figure out lots of things and so I shunted ‘organise my finances’ to the bottom of my priority list.

When I was 21, I landed a job as an administrator in a Chartered Financial Planning firm. This was where I started to become more aware of my spending, and budgeting also became more of a priority. Now I was nowhere near perfect at this time, and I was still living in my overdraft for a couple more years but during this time, that is where I started to learn more – and earn more.

Since then, I’ve always had contingencies. I have been putting into a pension since I was 23, I have always had some form of an emergency fund and I’m fairly conscious about what I spend. I use spreadsheets to monitor my spending, and I always put my savings away the moment I get paid each month so it’s almost like they don’t exist. My latest car I saved up to buy outright because I refuse to pay the interest companies are asking for. This meant sacrifice – a lot of it.

Now that I have been in this profession for almost 10 years, I have the advantage of knowledge, and knowledge is power so I do feel that has helped me to maintain these strong behaviours. Financial Education is so important to me and it may seem cliché to say but I wish I knew then what I know now. The beauty is that now I can share what I know and what I’ve learnt with everyone else, and more importantly, the people that I love and care for the most. This is such an honour for me as I feel this enables me to live my passion which is ultimately to help people.”