Those three little people above. They are my world. As soon as you have children your whole life becomes different. Not in the obvious sense, that unconditional love, those sleepless nights, a house full of nappies and toys, and no free time to do anything else. Being a parent. But also in ways that you don’t necessarily stop to think about. As soon as you have a family, you realise the importance of being sensible, of looking after your children and yourselves as much as you can. Life isn’t just about you anymore, you have other people to think about. People who are the most important people in the world to you.
I have mentioned before on my blog that before our children came along I was not the best at saving money. I have always had too much of an addiction to clothes and holidays. At our end of school leavers party I was voted the most likely to be in debt- not the best accolade lets face it. In my late teens and early 20’s, I quite frankly was terrible at saving money. I racked up the usual credit card debts, I had a whacking great student loan and I generally just didn’t realise the importance of saving, I would much rather spend it. But then I met Jon and pretty soon houses, weddings and even starting a family was on the horizon.
As soon as we had Mads, we realised just how important it was to save for her. To provide for her. A few months after she was born Jon was made redundant and it is the hardest we have ever been in financially. I remember sitting at the table crying because we had no idea how we were going to pay our mortgage. Thankfully we got through those hard times, but it really did make me realise the importance of saving money and looking towards the future.
However ever since I left university and have been in full time employment, I have never contributed to a pension. I am embarrassed to admit that, but it was just something that I didn’t ever really think about, I would have preferred to have more money in my pay cheque at the end of each month. I then left work after the birth of LL and since then I have been self employed. Then last year Jon joined me and we both are now self employed and own a business together. We still haven’t even thought about contributing to a pension, when actually when you think about it, it is so important to save for the future.
I have worked with Aviva before, but they have recently introduced a fantastic new tool called Shape my Future. The tool is here to help you daydream about the lifestyle you might like to have in the future. It’s a light hearted look at how the choices you make now might impact your later life. You basically input some basic questions about your age, your income and what you budget on different things.
For example, I truthfully put in that at the moment I currently don’t contribute anything to a pension pot and the tool budgeted that at this present time if I retired at 68 I would have £156 a week from a government state pension and nothing else. Of course we can’t predict the future, whether I will have other assets, own a house outright, or have won the lottery and moved to Las Vegas, but it is still interesting to see what sort of potential income you could have when you retire.
The tool has really made me think about the fact that I need to start potentially contributing to a private pension and I also need to get Jon to sort one out too. I really want to make sure that we start saving more, as potentially we could have three first cars to buy, three university fees to contribute to, and even three weddings to help pay for. It has really made me think that I should think more about the idea of a pension.
I am going to try and stick to the budget that the tool set me of £156 for the week to see how I get on. That includes all food, travel, hobbies, family and other things as well. Come back soon to see how I get on!
NB: The Aviva Shape my Future tool uses simple inputs to give a basic idea of retirement income. Details of assumptions are available at aviva.co.uk. I’m working with Aviva on this campaign. All words and opinions are entirely my own.I’m working with Aviva on this campaign. All words and opinions are entirely my own.0