The expense of weddings, and how a barrister switched careers and became a jewellery-maker to the stars, were in the spotlight this morning as the weekly Young Money Young Rights show, co-presented by Iona, went on air at Share Radio.
Iona’s quick consumer tip was don’t fall for expensive make-up and beauty products when you are not necessarily getting better value than buying cheaper ranges. “It’s so easy to go down to your local department store and hit up all those designer make-up counters and have an extremely expensive makeover, appealing when you are there in the moment but actually you will probably save a huge amount by going down to your local Boots, Superdrug or even discount store.”
Asked about the ‘Black Friday’ shopping rush, Iona said Bangor University researchers have found that people stop calculating the value of discounts after 23minutes, and after 40 minutes “we begin to shop emotionally”.
Watch out for samples, making you feel indebted and obliged to buy, take out cash with you rather than cards, and don’t forget about the Boxing Day sales.
Iona said it seems most people are not buying Christmas presents at all today but shopping for themselves. “Try not be too selfish when you are out in the shops…I try to take a measured approach to shopping otherwise it can be a recipe for overspending.”
She also commented on today’s survey which found 11-year-olds gadget-obsessed and spending hours in front of screens. She noted that some people are now using online savings accounts such as Quiddle, where kids can see how much they are saving then use it to spend in online stores.
Iona said the tuition fees controversy re-emerged this week with the principal of Kings College questioning whether a drop in maximum fees from £9000 to £6000 would make any difference, “It highlights the huge dilemma facing any politician of any party who wants to revamp our troubled student loan system.”
But Iona said there was some good news this week – you won’t necessarily have to choose between an honours degree and an apprenticeship scheme with the new Degree Apprenticeship Scheme. “It’s worth pointing out that these qualifications are for digital roles, so it’s obvious the government is putting a lot its eggs in the technology basket when it comes to careers for young people…it makes a lot of sense, they are on the hunt for the next generation of software developers, technology consultants and other digital experts, but I do hope the government rolls out that scheme to cover other professions where is a skills shortage.” More information at thetechpartnership.com.
Minister Ed Vaizey speaking at the launch
Iona’s feature was on weddings. More couples are getting married in November. – as a “clever ruse to save money” on the big day – many venues caterers and bands offer a cost saving of 15%. The average bill for a modern wedding is between £15K and £20K, which could also be the reason people in their 20s are not getting married.
The Office of National Statistics now reports that the percentage of young married men has collapsed since the 1950s, falling to just 58,000 or just 1.7 per cent of the young male population. In 1970, the peak year for marriage, 564,818 men and women aged 25 got married. In 2010, just 56,598 did, a fall of 90 per cent.
Many factors have been blamed for this decline in marriage among young people. The rise of feminism is encouraging more women to go out in to the workplace rather than settle down in their twenties. Young people are also leaving home later – one in three 20 something men are thought to live with their parents – while co-habitation is increasingly popular for young couples, who no longer need to get married to live together and have children thanks to birth control.
However, the mounting cost of weddings is a potential deterrent for young couples who would otherwise have no qualms about tying the knot – this is why brides are resorting to extreme measures to save money so they do not have to compromise on their “dream” wedding. After all, a growing number of couples – now thought to be 42 per cent – are footing the bill themselves, rather than falling back on a parent, if an article published today on This is Money is to be believed http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2652465/Why-half-todays-20-year-olds-never-married-How-young-couples-likely-cohabit-tie-knot.html
Iona went to London Met University to meet two ex-students who are getting married in a traditional Roman Catholic ceremony tomorrow. She asked Tunde and Judith about two of the latest money-saving strategies – getting guests to cover the costs of their meal and a share of the entertainment, with bank details at the bottom of the invitation. Their photographer had been invited to a Ugandan wedding and had been asked to pay for his food. Judith said: “If you can’t afford to get married, then just wait.” But the couple was all in favour of blagging free make-up or hairdressing from beauty brands.
Judith, who is getting married tomorrow
Iona concluded: “We can all buck the trend we don’t have to conform to this expectation of a big white wedding, try and be creative, go off the beaten track, have a buffet-style picnic in a park if you don’t want to have a lavish meal for all your guests, there are many ideas out there, you can search for ingenious tips online for how to save money on your big day – the message is if you want to get married, you don’t need a huge amount.”
Iona reported on the crafts industry for this week’s young careers clinic.
The Crafts Council has urged the government to put creative pursuits at the heart of the education system. Participation in craft-related GCSEs has dropped by 25% and higher education craft take-up by 46 % in the last five years.
Iona said the council wants to see a much higher take-up and more high-profile and accessible routes into the craft world for young people.
Craft generates £3.4bn for the UK economy and employs 150,000 people, with craft skills vital in industries from fashion to medicine and engineering.
Crafts are not just for girls, with the Craft Club reaching out to boys with projects such as “knitted graffiti”, according to a 2011 report.
The Review of Cultural Education also discussed the Graffiti*d project, which saw a group of 13-16 year old boys working with ceramicist Cj O’Neil to develop public graffiti pieces.
It said: “The boys, who were excluded from school, used the graffiti to transform ceramic plates into installations which commented on the closure of the Ainsley Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent. In the process, they gained a voice on local issues within their community through media coverage, whilst developing pride in their work and enthusiasm for work opportunities in the creative industries.
Iona spoke to David Breckenridge, chief executive of the Scottish Textile & Leather Association, while she was in Edinburgh this week. David said young people get excited at the prospect of being involved in the manufacture of products for the likes of Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Hermes, and the association goes into schools and colleges to tell kids about the industry. “We are encouraging them to get involved in projects and schools to bring their pupils along to different businesses to see how what happens in industry and how products are manufactured. Once they see that they become enormously enthused.”
David said the textile industry workforce was ageing and the industry had to find a way to attract them, with a structured modern apprenticeship scheme.
The show then welcomed to the studio Lucy Sherwood, founder of Rock n Raw jewellery, whose pieces are worn by the likes of Mel C and Kelly Hoppen.
Lucy and Iona in the studio
Lucy helped to make her career dreams happen by studying jewellery making at City Lit, which runs night-time courses in the City for those wanting to hold down a job. Her story shows us that you can learn new skills in the course of your everyday life – don’t wait for the “perfect moment” to come along because it never will.
Lucy backed the Crafts Council’s manifesto. “It demonstrates that it is time for craft to be seen as a real business opportunity and a real career.”
Lucy described her journey through part-time study, mentoring and learning on the job, to set up her business, and her own attitudes to budgeting and “facing up to your finances”.
Iona says: “ Lucy was superbly articulate about the need to “face your financial fears” as early as possible. Having responsibility for your income and outgoings, keeping track of your expenditure through spreadsheets, religiously holding onto receipts so you know how much you’re spending…be your own accountant.”
Co-host Georgie Frost admired the ‘Lotus’ piece (as worn by Mel and Kelly) and posted immediate photos to Twitter.
Finally Lucy promised to give youngmoney listeners a DIY project. “I want to show you something quick and easy to make at home for family and friends, easy to personalise and quick to do.”
CHECK BACK LATER FOR LUCY’S PROJECT HERE ON THE BLOG!
Iona also told listeners she would be volunteering for her local food bank at Tesco Kensington (near Earls Court) tomorrow afternoon.
“Christmas is coming, it’s a fantastic time to reconnect with your community, volunteering is a great way to give back, but it s’ also an excellent way to improve your skills, your teamwork, your work ethic. So do pop down and see me!”