Thursday, 11 March 2010

An interview with my brother-in-law, the abseiler and former mortgage adviser

Writing this blog has encouraged me to have conversations about money with some of my friends and family.  This is an interview with my brother-in-law, a former financial professional, and an excellent planner...

Q:So you now have a very exciting, outdoor-type job.  (PF: He is an offshore rope access supervisor, meaning in layman's terms that he sets up and oversees abseiling work on oil rigs.) Tell me about the financial advice work you used to do?

A: I used to work as a mortgage adviser for a bank, so had to help people create budgets when they were applying for mortgages to see what would be realistically affordable and so on.

Q:What was the biggest mistake people you saw would make in their finances?

A:Most people underestimated how much they spent, particularly their personal spending.  They were too optimistic, and this meant that it wasn't possible for them to budget properly. Regular bills are easy to estimate but the little things like extras at a petrol station, taxis to restaurants etc soon build up and become significant yet nearly every person I interviewed ignored these outgoings.

Q:What was the best habit you acquired from doing this job?

A:The ability to plan ahead. I now note the due dates of all bills on a calendar, so I can see what is coming, and have time to prepare.  Being self-employed, and having a varying income, this is particularly important and saves a lot of stress when the bills arrive.

Q: What would your advice be to anyone in really dire financial straits?

A: Prioritise; if you have more to pay out than you can afford in a month, you need to work out which payments you really shouldn't miss and how to miss the least number of bills in order to receive the least amount of penalties possible, as it is generally better to miss 1 bill rather than 5!  Stop any payments that you can't make as far in advance as you can, so that you aren't penalized if they bounce.  And if you need to feed yourself on pretty much nothing, eat lots of potatoes for a little while....this one is from personal experience when retraining myself nearly backfired!

Q: You have a tiny, and absolutely adorable - I am a very proud aunt – baby daughter.  What lessons would you like to teach her about money?

A: Enjoy your money as much as possible!!! But pay your bills first, and make sure it's your money you're enjoying not the bank's, and remember you live in England, so a rainy day is always just round the corner!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment