'My dad died and left me £400k in inheritance'

Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I’m 33, single, and live alone in Wales (where I also grew up). I currently work in insurance and have a property portfolio on the side. I left a higher paying job last year and took a 6 month career break to go travelling. I decided to take a lesser (but still well paid) job when I got back to achieve a better work-life balance.

Could you describe your upbringing from a financial perspective?

Growing up my mum was always in charge of the money. We went on one great family holiday a year, had fabulous Christmases, and never went without. But my mum came from a wealthy background and spent money like water, whereas my dad was from a working class background, worked 7 days a week, and always made out that we were tight with money. It was a very strange balance.

As you became an adult, how did this shape your approach to money?

From the age of 13 I always had my own job and a very good work ethic. But when I went to university I developed the same approach to money as my mum. I ended up running up £6k worth of debt coming out of university from just living beyond my means - nights out, holidays, clothes, eating out etc. - which my parents helped me to pay off provided I paid them back. This served as a very good life lesson, and I now have a sensible approach to money. Before any inheritance, I was financially independent, earning £70k a year, living to the 50/30/20 rule, and had a property of my own.

What happened with your dad? Were you aware that you would inherit?

My dad got poorly and sadly passed away 18 months ago at only 60 years of age, leaving my brother and I a substantial inheritance. My dad had everything in order, so I understood that I would inherit a chunk, and knew where everything was - but I didn’t realise how much it was going to be. I was left with £400,000 inheritance.

What was your reaction/feeling when you found out?

It was completely overwhelming, having just lost my dad, and not being able to go to him for the financial advice I would usually go to him about. One thing I have learnt is to get your affairs in order. It made the process of managing the estate much easier for myself. I’m very conscious about spending any of it.

What do you plan to do with it?

I have invested in property, funded my 6 month career break, and built up an investment portfolio. Currently I have no further plans on what to do with the rest of the money. I resent it, as I would very much prefer to have my dad, understandably.

How do you deal with the resentment of having money but not your dad?

Some time has passed now and I think I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve used the money to do things that my dad would’ve wanted me to do - invest and buy property mainly. I feel very fortunate that he has put me in a solid position at such a young age, but of course that does come with huge downfalls.

Financial Confessions