Practical tips to help teach you how to make the most of your money

Practical tips to help teach you how to make the most of your money 

Practical tips to help teach you how to make the most of your money

As you read these pages you may well still be at school or college, and the thought of sticking around any longer than you have to sounds as appealing as a night out with Michael Barrymore. But whether you leave after GCSEs, or if you stay on through A

- levels, at some stage you will have to consider what you will do, once you are nudged out of the nest that we call school. However you choose to go about it, we all eventually have to learn how to flap our financial wings. 

And that means, ultimately, you will need your own money, unless you happen to be Paris Hilton, in which case you merely need a camcorder and a trust fund. So that’s the nuts and bolts of this book

– pounds and pence – what’s it all about, where can you get it, and what should you do with it when you’ve got some. If your wallet or purse is as empty as Paris Hilton’s head, with only tumbleweed blowing through it, read on:

Each chapter can be read on its own. You will find that there are lots of practical tips to help teach you about how to get the most out of your finances. You might feel that not all of the information is relevant to you at this stage; in time this will change. 

Try and put into practice what is suggested in the following chapters. The amounts of money that you start with don’t matter; what is more important is learning good financial habits now, that you can use for the rest of your life. 

At this stage you basically have three positive options, aside from lounging on the couch watching Hollyoaks (which is not a long term career strategy). 

1- These are: 

- Get a job 

- Arrange training 

- Go for further education

1- Training 

Training is when someone individual or a company takes you under their wing and teaches you a certain skill through regular practice and instruction. For instance you can spend four years learning how to be a high voltage electrician and the next forty trying not to get electrocuted.

2- Get a Job 

Sounds the simplest option of the three but it’s not as easy as all that. You may well have already had a Saturday job, or paper round, but your next job will need to be better paid if it is to support you, and keep you in kebabs and PS3 games as you enter adult life - especially if you choose to move out of your parents’ home and start life on your own. 

3- Further Education 

Further Education is the method of getting more knowledge into that brain of yours, leading to more specific skills – for instance, a history degree at university may lead ultimately to a career in law. Again, it’s really down to skills you show at around the age of 15-16, and where your school qualifications are leading you. 

It’s generally assumed that further education will improve job opportunities and salary potential later in life (salary is what you will be paid, not something you put in salad, which is something entirely different – do try to remember this to avoid any future embarrassment).


 Start to think about what you like doing, what skills and abilities naturally come to you, that you feel you may be able to exploit. Maybe you excel at writing, or physical activity 

– some people have a gift for numbers, some for words… a few lucky ones for both. Think about how you could direct your skills towards a career, and what jobs may get your foot of the first step of the ladder that will take you up through the rest of your career. 

Remember, there’s no rush – this is the rest of your life we’re talking about so you have a while to get it right – like Rachel in Friends, your first job in fashion may well be tidying coat hangers in a cupboard and making cups of tea. But it is all valuable experience and may well lead to a job in 

Bloomingdales and a marriage to Brad Pitt. In Manchester, they used to say your only way off the estate was through music or football. Manchester, like all other cities, has much more on offer than that.


Put everything down on a piece of paper, neatly typed up, including your personal information, skills, qualifications and interests. This is called a Curriculum Vitae or C.V. An example is included below. It is loaded with the ammunition you’ll need to get that job. 

1) Your school, college or university careers service;

 Often overlooked by those more interested in messing around behind-the-bike-shed, the careers staff are skilled and can be very helpful guiding you forwards.

2) The paper; Check the jobs section in both the local and national newspapers. Some, such as the Guardian, have different jobs offered on different days – Monday for media, Wednesday for academic etc

3) Your own research; Write off speculatively to companies you think may be interested in some of your skills and abilities. Don’t be disheartened if progress is slow. You can often get an “in” by offering to give your time free, or for expenses. 

This is called work experience and can often lead to more work within that company or affiliated companies. 4) 

The Job Centre; Once rather depressing places, like Albert Square on a Tuesday night, these have been brightened up and re-branded as funky things like Job Centre Plus. They can be extremely helpful for advice and opportunities, even if you are merely looking for something temporary

5) Job Agencies; Private firms such as Manpower and Office Angels will find jobs for you, either on a permanent basis, or “temp” (temporary) work, if you want to be more flexible. Call to make an appointment to discuss your abilities and what you are capable of doing – for instance, office-based work may require a certain typing speed; factory work may need you to have trained on certain machines. 

6) Headhunting; Don’t worry; this has nothing to do with cannibalism or signing up for a job as someone’s dinner. Later in life, when you have evolved a certain level in your profession, a headhunter may contact you with an offer that’s too good to refuse… a better-paid job with another company, perhaps a rival. This can be controversial but can often yield fabulous results. 

7) Job websites; Go on-line for sites such as or, which may host your CV, and tailor your skills towards certain employers looking for people such as yourself

f the thought of getting a job just now fills you with dread… 

if you are one of those people for whom work is a four-letter word… and instead would prefer to stay within education or train for further skills, you have several options. Prevailing logic runs that if you do spend more time training or become a “professional” or “skilled” person, 

your employment and earning potential is better in the long term. Of course, people find their own way through their careers, but certainly if you want to be a doctor or lawyer, and you want to roll in a pimped-up Benz, your learning days are not yet over, young Jedi.

Training: After leaving school, you have many choices in training. For example, you can join an employer on an apprenticeship programme and learn a skilled trade, such as an electrician or plumber. This sort of training is often done “on the job” while working - the employer helping you learn what is needed for that particular trade on a day-to-day basis. 

In other words, you will be picking the job up as you go along, and will start earning immediately, although the initial years of an apprenticeship usually involve low pay. The apprenticeship may also include some college-based learning, often on a day release basis, to give you 

the theoretical side of the trade, as well as the practical. As well as apprenticeships there are many different types of training courses such as computer (ICT) training courses that individuals can opt to take part in with or without the help of an employer. If you haven’t done as well as you

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