OK, so they may not have been born with a iPhone in one hand and a Wii controller in the other like you were, but they have been around and they’ll have learned some lessons along the way.
Listen with mother
Feel free to ignore the bit when they start banging on about how they don’t make tunes like they did in the 70s/80s/90s/whatever, and the bit about how they grew up with one TV in the house and three channels that finished at 11o’clock at night, but listen up when they start to talk about money.
Because, some things haven’t changed. And many of us today could do to learn a thing or two about how best to spend and save.
Be wary of your flexible friend
In 2006 Barclaycard celebrated 40 years. Back in the day it was the first-ever credit card in the UK and its arrival for those hip young things in the swinging sixties and seventies undoubtedly changed the way we shopped and spent forever.
But there’s one big difference. Back then consumers treated credit cards very differently to the way we do today.
Then they were a rarity; today they’re an essential, and people often don’t have just one card in their wallets, but a whole assortment.
The lesson is to start treating credit cards with the sort of caution our parents’ generation did when they first came into use.
We’ve become blasé about borrowing and that’s a bad thing. All those 0% deals lulled us into a false sense of security; not to mention a mountain of debt.
Some studies estimate that some borrowers will be in debt to their credit card company for more than 90 years. That’s no way to go on, so start paying yours off as quickly as you can. And when you get tempted by low-rate balance transfer deals or 0% spending sprees just remember that you’ve got to pay that off at some point, so don’t fall prey to the charms of your ‘flexible friend’.
The credit card, if you don’t treat it with caution, is actually your foe.
Dinner chez vous is a recipe for success
Back in the 70s, spag bol was seen as something ‘exotic’ by the majority of meat-and-two-veg Brits and a glass of Blue Nun was a treat, not a joke. And dinner parties were the ‘in thing’.
Then there were few pricey dinners at flashy restaurants, accompanied by even flashier prices for wine, the usual end-of-meal quandary of how much to tip, then the hassle of finding a cab to take you home.
Hip professionals of the 1970s and 80s hosted their own dinner parties at home. And that’s something we’d all be wise to do again, now recession has taken a hold of our budgets.
Not only are the home-cooked delights that graced many a dinner party table then simple enough for even the most amateur cook to tackle, they’re also a much cheaper option.
Prawn cocktail followed by gammon and pineapple and then a tin of fruit cocktail with a scoop of ice cream is not only cheap and cheerful but achingly trendy.
Serve a chilled glass of Mateus Rose – now making something of a retro revival - and you’re all set for a recession-friendly low-cost, fun night in with friends.
Gok Wan is old hat
Back in the swinging sixties high street fashion was in its infancy. There was no TopShop back then. There wasn’t even a mass market when it came to fashion. Most fashionable young things made their style debut wearing clothes that they, or their mothers, had made.
To be part of the fashion scene the first wave of teenagers had to make their own.
To your mum, Gok’s transformation of a cheap mass-produced dress with the help of a pair of scissors, a few accessories and a lot of flair, is child’s play. They were cutting on the bias and sewing A-lines to achieve their look before he was born.
So, don’t feel that you have to buy into (and pay the price) for something on the high street that you’re odds on favourite to see someone else in. Buy cheap and do a Gok Wan and make it into something of your own with a few tweaks and changes and a hefty dose of your own sense of style. You’ll look unique and be significantly less out-of-pocket too.