Do you have ‘enough’?

CC image via Flickr: Matthew Kennedy

Many years ago, I was travelling to school with friends and the conversation turned to ‘how much money we wanted to earn’ when we got older. I would have been about 13 at this point.

When it came to my turn, I remember saying something that equated to: “I’m not bothered about being super-rich, just having enough to get by.”

After I’d said it, I heard the woman sitting next to me chuckle. Clearly, I’d said something highly amusing to her, though at the time I had no idea what.

Now I relate the story, I sound horribly precocious, but the thing is I never craved ‘stuff’ as a kid.

I didn’t grow up exactly poor in the 70s/80s, but what I had was precious to me. The toys, books and cassettes I owned were something to cherish. I listened to my tapes over and over again. I re-read my copies of the Hardy Boys novels till the pages were starting to fall apart. And I also assumed they would last for years and I had no intention of getting rid of them.

And almost 40 years after that experience on the train, I can still – hand on heart – say that I don’t particularly crave stuff and, by and large, am not a heavy consumer. Generally, I have ‘enough’. Continue reading “Do you have ‘enough’?”

Why don’t banks target the younger generation any more?

Midland's Griffin from the 1980s

If you grew up in 1980s Britain, you’ll easily recognise the above yellow figure. The Griffin was the embodiment of Midland Bank (later to become part of HSBC).

One of the big selling points of Midland – if you were a kid – was the chance to join the Griffin Savers Club. It was a basic savings account, but you got a free sports bag, dictionary, file and more when you signed up.

First out of the blocks a couple of years earlier, Natwest also tried to encourage the youth of the 80s to become customers by launching their Piggy Bank scheme – the more money you saved, the more piggy banks you got.

As my generation grew up, the same banks tried to encourage us to upgrade to a full-on Student Bank account using a free Young Person’s Railcard or HMV vouchers as incentives.

Continue reading “Why don’t banks target the younger generation any more?”