A generation of debt-ridden adults is on the cusp of making its presence felt in UK society according to Bev Budsworth of The Debt Advisor - and it’s the parents that are to blame!
Budsworth believes that today’s teenagers, and those early twenty-somethings who have yet to flee the nest, are incapable of living independently - cooking for themselves, paying bills and generally managing money. She suggests it is because they have been cosseted by parents who have been able to provide well materially and who are also prepared to do everything for their off-spring.
Budsworth outlines what she describes as ‘a culture of learned helplessness’: “These parents are shooting themselves in the proverbial foot. They think that by doing everything for their children they are demonstrating their love and fulfilling their duty to look after them but they are actually rendering them helpless. They would be doing far more for both their children and society if they taught them the rudimentary basics of how to manage in life so that they can operate independently.”
Budsworth cites Big Brother contestant, Glyn Wise, an 18-year-old part-time lifeguard from North Wales, as a typical example of what is going wrong for today’s teenagers: “Glyn went into the Big Brother house unable to boil an egg and with no knowledge of how to run a household. Unfortunately this is a trait shared by many his age and doesn’t bode well for these teenagers when they are met with the harsh realities of the outside world.
“Teenagers who are given no responsibility in the family home tend to have no respect for the material items surrounding them as they have no real knowledge of how much things cost and how to maintain large items - such as a house!
“It is proven that young adults who have not been raised to play a hands on role in the household - closely managed pocket money awarded in return for help with the chores, meal preparation etc - are more likely to spiral into debt when they are cut loose. They have not been taught budgeting skills and are more likely to tend towards easier lifestyle options - clothes, drink, meals, etc with little or no concept of the consequences of the bills dropping onto the mat.”
The Debt Advisor
Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall
Bell Pottinger North
Notes to editors
The Debt Advisor is licensed by the Insolvency Practitioners Association to offer skilled and specialist advice on personal debt. Formed in 1999, the Debt Advisor works closely with those in debt to find solutions, which can protect assets from creditors, freeze interest and charges to repay debt in five years or less. At its website - http://www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk there is useful information including an online debt calculator to assist with budgeting.
Bev Budsworth is an insolvency practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience in dealing with debt issues.
A regular media commentator, Bev has spoken on a wide-range of issues including divorce, self-certificated mortgages, DIY, mature debt and online gambling. She has been regularly quoted in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Daily and Sunday Express as well as women’s magazines including Woman and Red. In the last 12 months she has offered advice on regional television news programmes and BBC local radio phone-ins.
In June 2000 she established The Debt Advisor, one of the first firms to offer comprehensive advice on all debt issues. She had previously spent 17 years with an international firm of chartered accountants where she specialised in personal and business insolvency.
Her experience of dealing with personal debt issues led in 2005 to her being asked to join a government-led working party to look at ways of simplifying the formal procedures of helping people out of debt.
Since then she has led the way in calling for a professional personal debt/insolvency study course to be set up for all people involved in debt advice to individuals.
She works together with a psychologist and they have developed strategies to help motivate clients to change their lifestyle. As a busy married mother of three teenage children she understands the pressures that families face. She believes that with a positive outlook there is always a sensible way to deal with financial difficulties and turn lives around.
Bev recently launched a campaign to bring about a greater understanding of debt and its links to depression giving debtors in the UK access to a two-pronged approach to relieve the misery caused by debt. She is the first in the UK to offer debt advice and personal counselling under one roof. The campaign is geared to help those who are seriously struggling with the wider effects including depression, relationship breakdown, poor work performance and associated health problems.