Difficult Decisions and Awkward Conversations

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I consider myself a fairly open person and as such don’t find most life and death conversations too galling. Roy and I both know each other’s wishes when it comes to the final curtain and overall, we are fairly open with the kids (or as much as you can be with a six and ten year old). We know what we want to happen with the boys if we were both run over by a bus tomorrow (touch wood this isn’t on the cards anytime soon) and we have life insurance.

That said, despite being in the minority of people who find discussing finances, sex, relationships and death easier than others, we still don’t have a will. This is something that has been hovering at the back of my mind now as should something untoward happen, particularly while the boys are still young, it could make a difficult time all the more difficult for all concerned.

Many of us will find the subject of writing a will difficult to discuss which is probably why I’ve held off tackling the issue until now. The idea of having to make an appointment with a solicitor, find paperwork, and actually go through the process of laboriously putting everything down on paper is not the most enjoyable of tasks which is why I was surprised to find that nowadays, making a will can be quickly and easily achieved. Better still it can be done online and the costs associated (which aren’t quite as bad as I thought) are very transparent.
Having read through some of the information Which ? Wills have recently released on how difficult people find discussing such sensitive topics (see the infographic below, you might be surprised by the numbers!) it’s no wonder that wills are being left unmade.

We’ll be sitting down and putting together our wills shortly, it’s too important a task to put off and we feel foolish that we let it slide for so long, especially considering the boys. Do you have a will? Did you find it easy or quite difficult to talk to your family including your parents about your wishes? If you haven’t a will made up, is this something you’ll now consider doing?

The only thing that is certain in life is death (I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere!) so taking advantage of the easier will-making services now available makes sense.


 Teaching the Importance of Good Credit and Sound Financial Planning


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I’ve written in the past about how important I feel it is for us as parents to teach our children about financial matters. At this stage, with my children being 3yrs and 8yrs we have limited this pretty much to savings, not buying on credit and choosing carefully what you spend your money on.

Our next stage will at some point be to talk to the boys about more in-depth financial matters. Growing up we didn’t get “proper” financial education at school (unless paying a pound a week into the school bank counts?) and so we’ve been firmly behind Martin Lewis’ campaign to introduce financial education as part of the national curriculum.

Roy and I firmly believe that it is up to us to teach the boys as they grow about the importance of pensions, protecting your identity and financial information and of knowing and understanding your credit rating. As with all things with financial matters if you have a good grounding before you are thrown out into the world where all the temptations of credit products and spend now worry later options exist you will be better placed to make smarter decisions.

We wish that we’d known more about pension plans, investments and insurances when we were younger as our “pots” which are supposed to tide us over when we are older would be a lot fuller than they currently are. With so many products available now, never mind when the boys are older it makes sense to know what you want or at the very least how to find out about what you want and need from a reputable source.

Places like the credit expert website offer an easy to use to tool to help you navigate your credit rating, to fix any errors and to learn more about how you may improve it. While we believe saving up for things before you buy them is important credit does play a part in modern life, with things like car finance and of course mortgages being effected by how well or poor your credit rating appears. We plan to teach the boys the fundamentals of financial planning and ensure that before they are thrust out into the big bad world to function independently that they also understand where to go for help and advice for financial matters.

The old saying goes that money can’t buy you happiness and of course there are more important things however money can buy you security, opportunities, freedom to pursue your interests and ensure that no matter what happens in your life that you are covered so to speak. We have plans and we have products in place to ensure that our kids will be fine, no matter what happens to us and all that we want is for them to have the same peace of mind.

What do you plan to teach your kids about finance and their future? I’d love to know. I really think such matters being covered in school in the future will be an amazing improvement on what is offered now however still believe that it is up to us as their parents to reinforce what they learn and ensure that it is adequate.

Kieran is already a keen saver and we hope to encourage him to extend this into pensions and investments when he is a little older, as well as building an awareness of what a credit rating is and why it matters for himself and his brother.
Kieran is already a keen saver and we hope to encourage him to extend this into pensions and investments when he is a little older, as well as building an awareness of what a credit rating is and why it matters for himself and his brother.