I am a child of the fifties. I come from working class stock, my dad was a carpenter for Brighton Council for forty nine years .
I can honestly say he was better off when he retired than he had ever been during his working life.
My mum and dad struggled to bring my brother and me up, but we were always clean, tidy and fed. There wasn't much money, but always lots of love. My parents taught us good values, to be honest, kind to animals and respectful to our elders. We appreciated what we had and nobody envied anybody else as we were all the same.
Everyone pulled together and helped each other out. There was a sense of community
I passed my 11 plus exam and had a good all round Grammar school education which served me well. I never had ambitions to go to university. I went from Sixth form college to work in a library, a job which I have always loved! but which has changed so much over the years.
People were hard up in the fifties and sixties, but nothing like the situation we have today. Fast forward to the seventies and eighties
Romance, courting and marriage. Time for settling down, roots and home building. We had no problem in 1978 getting a mortgage on our first home. A new build end of terrace. Our first foot on the property ladder. Forward another eighteen months and times had changed. Banks were more cautious and when purchasing our second home, we were put on a waiting list. Building societies and banks would only release a certain amount of money each month and it was five months until it came round to our turn, by which time I was heartily sick of all the chasing phone calls from the woman whose bungalow we were buying! But that's how it was then.
Follow this by a couple of years with both of us working and making huge improvements to our home and then the patter of tiny feet
When baby number two was on the way, we decided to move into town to be nearer better facilities such as schools and shops. We are still in the same house now, but our babies have grown and flown.
When I think what we paid for our first home, you could just about buy a decent car now!
I was a stay at home mum and we managed on one wage. We always had a holiday- granted, not abroad- and I always had time for my children who have both grown up to be responsible,hard working members if society of whom I am very proud.
I suppose we all learn by example and both my offspring are savers and have never over stretched themselves financially.
The older ones of us are probably like my husband and I. We worked and saved to buy outright what we wanted, no credit card buys for us. They came in the mid eighties and have a lot to answer for I think. It is only in the last couple of years that I have actually got one
It makes me laugh that in these cash strapped times the " experts" think they have come up with " new solutions". For example, when I was a child, mum made bread and butter pudding from stale bread. I have always done the same, nothing went to waste.
This is the third recession I have lived through and it is by far the worst and the longest. How did we get to this situation? Can it all be blamed on the politicians and the bankers? Is it because we need to be like everyone else? That we had mismanaged or overspent our resources, and not just financially?
I think that really we all need to take some kind of responsibility. We can no longer have this "enjoy today, worry about tomorrow when it comes" attitude
It saddens me that in this day and age, more and more families are relying on food banks just to get by. Food banks? In my country? What a sad state of affairs and one I never thought I would hear of in my lifetime. Councils are under pressure and cutting services left, right and centre. I saw a a poster the other day- we used to drive on the left of the road, now we drive on what's left of the road!
I know that I have reviewed my spanning and think twice about what's going in my trolley during the weekly shop, but there are lots of things we have no control over on pricing such as fuel charges. We have to play our part and become more savvy to service providers and price caps. If you do not own a computer to be able to do a price comparison, ask a friend or go to your local library and use theirs for free.
You will also be using a threatened service. ( why is everything down to statistics these days!)
Whoever is to blame for the mess the country is in, I bet I didn't vote them in! Mind you, I can't find anyone honest or brave enough to admit they did.....