We are pleased to share the money memories of Nick Clegg. Nick is a CFP® and the Director of Hampshire Financial Planning Ltd., a Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management located in Winchester, England, United Kingdom.
Nick helps individuals and business owners manage their financial future. He provides a wide range of wealth management services, maintaining long-term relationships with clients and providing them with trusted advice as their financial needs evolve over the years.
Nick is 41 and married to his wife Zoe. They have two children, Ruby, 4, and Chloe, 2. He loves food, cooking, and exercise. In particular HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes and walks with nice views for exercise.
Team Sammy: Share with us a little bit about growing up – your family and community.
Nick: I grew up in a working class community in Bitterne. It is an eastern suburb and ward of Southampton, England I had a brilliant childhood, loads of lovely memories of fun times playing games with my brother Alex and my mum and dad.
COUNTING MONEY IS FUN TO DO
Team Sammy: Share with us your first money memories.
Nick: My first money memories are of playing a game I used to call Nick’s Bank. I was perhaps 6 or 7. This involved bringing my piggy bank downstairs, usually bolstered by birthday presents, and counting the money out in front of the family in the style of a newsreader – strange to look back on!
BIG MACS INSPIRE PROLIFIC SAVING HABIT
Team Sammy: What was your first savings memory?
Nick: My first savings memory was as a member of a youth football club – the Southampton Fc’s Junior Saints Club. There was a tie in with a building society and McDonalds. They would give us a free Big Mac for every £10 you saved. It was probably my most prolific period of saving so far!
IT SEEMED LIKE A FORTUNE
Team Sammy: What was your first job?
Nick: I was car park cleaner at a local convenience store. It paid £2.50 an hour, which seemed a fortune! I also had 2 paper rounds.
BOUNCED CHECK GETS DAD TALKING MONEY
Team Sammy: Did your parents talk to you and teach you about money/personal finance as a child? What do you remember? What, if anything stuck?
Nick: Actually it was one area they didn’t talk to me much about.
I do however remember writing a check for £100 to my Dad for my rent when I was perhaps 18. The check promptly bounced which made for an interesting conversation! My main feeling was one of embarrassment as my parents had always been really good with money and didn’t live beyond their means.
While we didn’t discuss money much, I do remember my dad talking about doing the weekly food shop at the supermarket with a calculator, and putting things back if they went over the budget. I also remember having to tune into the local news on TV whenever there were fears of redundancies at the company my dad worked for.
A COMMON REGRET
Team Sammy: At what age and how did you come to realize money had value?
Nick: I probably realized it when I started working in a bank in my mid 20’s and began to understand the system – I wish I’d learnt this earlier (Also see: The Sammy Rabbit Story). I just used to spend what I earn and beyond. That said, its made me a real advocate for starting thinking about money early
GREEN FILA BOOTS
Team Sammy: What was one mistake or regret you made as a kid, teen or college student with money? And, what was one smart money choice you made?
Nick: A mistake would have been using an overdraft. It was the first time I’d borrowed money and I noticed how difficult it was to repay. These days I talk all about the positive impact of compound interest on investments, but it obviously works the other way and against you on a debt.
A good choice was saving up for a really cool pair of green suede Fila boots! The boots were a great choice as it was probably the first time I’d committed to saving and it felt really rewarding to be able to buy them from my own means.
USING MONEY CORRECTLY HAS HUGE BENEFITS
Team Sammy: What peaked your interest in personal finance?
Nick: Working in a bank as a manager peaked my interest in personal finance. I finally realized money could bring about huge benefits, if used correctly. Previously I had only been exposed to bank accounts and savings accounts. As a bank manager I could see how to make my money work by investing, and equally as important by using tax efficient wrappers like pensions, ISAs and VCTs.
SAVE FOR EVERYTHING!
Team Sammy: One question, I ask everyone is: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?
Nick: Save for everything. Put aside a small part of the money you receive – if it needs to be used in the short term keep it in cash. If its for five years plus, invest it. Live within your means and focus on you, not keeping up with what your friends are buying.
Team Sammy: Is it important to teach kids about money? Why? At what age should parents start?
Nick: Lack of financial education is one of my biggest regrets – the earlier the better – from playing “shops” to talking about investing in an interesting and engaging way.
WATCH OUT FOR DEBUT
Team Sammy: Should personal finance be taught in schools?
Nick: Absolutely – let’s prevent people falling into the same traps I did at 18. The bank is not being your friend when they offer you a credit card, loan, and overdraft. At the time, I spent what came in and beyond. I look back now and think about how I should have been really well off money-wise; no mortgage, no kids, etc. If I’d been taught good habits at school, I could have started in the front foot, and savings made then would have had 20+ years of growth on them by now!
THOUGHTS FROM NICK ON A FEW PERSONAL FINANCE TOPICS
Nick: Avoid credit cards unless they are interest free and you have a clear strategy to repay the capital.
FINANCIAL PET PEEVES
Nick: The media’s obsession with cost at the expense of focus on value. The outcome is the most important thing, not the charge. The lack of positive stories in the media about the value financial advice can add to financial well being. At a time when personal finance is more complex and challenging than ever I think this is really dangerous.
FAVORITE BOOK ON PERSONAL FINANCE
Nick: How much is enough? by Arun Abey and Andrew Ford.
What really resonated for me was the idea that a buzz from a material possession is short lived, whereas giving back, perhaps to charity or by educating can have a deep fulfillment.
This book prompted me to join the Committee of the SJP Charitable Foundation.
Nick: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”- Mr. Micawber
Nick: Rob Gardner, Redington Founder. He is truly inspirational for his work with ESG and financial education.
LEARN MORE ABOUT NICK
To learn more about Nick Clegg visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cleggnick/
Contact Sammy to learn more about his strategic approach to early age and family financial literacy education.
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