Today we have our first Guest post on this blog.
Our special (in our eyes) guest blog post is by none other than our first born, little FU#1.
It actually feels quite strange to read his thoughts on paper as a third person, and also makes me feel quite emotional as he has grown up into a young adult with his own life ahead of him.
So without further ado, introducing FU#1.
Hi everybody, I’m “Fu #1” as I’m known on this blog, I’m 19 years old and currently doing an apprenticeship in web development. I completed my level 3 course (June 2016 – June 2017) and will be finishing my level 4 course soon (June 2017 – January 2019).
The parents have been bugging me for a few months now to write a post for the site so I thought I’d just get it done. I do read the blog regularly and it’s interesting, mainly helped by the fact that most of this is directly benefitting me. I’m very grateful and I like to express my gratitude by giving a couple baskets of washing every week or so for my mum to do.
I think it was late in 2017 when my parents started getting into all the “financial independence” stuff, there was often a podcast about it in the background of the kitchen and still is. I didn’t really pay much attention to it at first but I started hearing more about essentially quitting your job at 40, which I definitely was more okay with than the retiring at 60-70 that I and the vast majority of others had come to accept.
I’m very easy-going as stated on this blog many times, and I trust dad with financial stuff, so if he tells me some specific strategy is good for me then I’ll just go along with it even if I don’t fully understand the technical side of things. He’s put together a budget based around my pay and my lifestyle, which I don’t have much problem adhering to since I’m not really a big spender anyway.
Currently I’m enjoying the apprenticeship path I took. I went all of my life thinking that uni was the default, and it wasn’t until late into my AS levels that I realised an apprenticeship was a genuine option. The place I work at is only 30 mins away by bus and there are plenty of benefits, such as 22 paid leave days, “fun Fridays” once a month, flexible work hours, etc. Despite being the youngest there and still in training, I’m treated the same as everyone else, which is great. As for the work itself, I have a natural interest in computers and coding so I picked the job up pretty easily, not to mention my managers are supportive of me and offer help when necessary.
But the biggest part for me is the money and future job opportunities. I’m on minimum wage at the moment until I complete my level 4, but I’m living with my family and the only costs I have to pay is a flat £100/month for board, so currently I’ve earned more money than any of my other school friends who have all gone into uni. After I’ve finished my course I’ll have had 2 and a half years of on-the-job experience and multiple qualifications. I don’t plan to move from my current job at the moment, but if in the future I want to switch companies, I’m in a nice position to do so.
I think uni is important if you’re doing something specialised like medicine etc., but for me and the field I wanted to go into, learning and studying for 3 years and coming out with a lot of debt only to start in an entry-level job with no experience sounded a lot more of a waste of time than going straight to learning on the job, getting experience and getting paid. It felt like a really tough decision at the time, but looking back it was the obvious path for me. I also still get to enjoy some of the social life of uni, making semi-frequent train trips on weekends to places like Leeds to meet up with friends for a night out.
I haven’t thought about the future too much but I’m optimistic as I keep learning and becoming more proficient at my job, so I’m excited to see where it takes me as well as becoming more financially independent with help from my parents.