Please note that I originally posted this last night – something went a bit wrong in the ether!
‘Thought for the day’ on this morning’s “Today” programme encouraged listeners to think about their relationship with material goods, asking to what extent they own us? Could we buy less and live more? The amount of stuff I donated to last week’s jumble sale demonstrated that I could definitely buy less, despite the fact I already consider myself a fairly minimal shopper in recent years. Having the time to think on my weekly drive down to west London, my mind wandered from consumption to broader issues around money. It’s such a difficult area to deal with as we think it should be rational, but really our relationship with money is often driven by emotion – both consciously and unconsciously. I don’t regard myself as a very money-orientated person, yet I’m beginning to realise how important a degree of financial security is to me. Having some savings stashed away, however small, gives me an enormous sense of both stability and freedom. Thinking about this new awareness while driving, I was suddenly hit by an idea: I need to start a pension. It’s not glamorous, it’s not exciting, it’s not even like buying a house. But it’s a small step towards developing some kind of long term financial security. I’ve even made the first move by arranging to speak to my dad about it (he knows more about pensions than anyone else I know). I may not want to buy things as much, but I do want to buy freedom for my old age.