Frantic questions from Japan – things I would like to tell my sibling (not that they would listen!)

My sibling sent me an email asking if their driving license will have their National Insurance (NI) number on it. The answer is naturally “no”, as with all things involving government why have one number when many is so much more complicated?

This got me thinking, NI numbers are sent out when someone turns 16 and at this point it is often a meaningless number that is easily forgotten – only to become vital later in life. Similarly GCSE and other exam certificates are easy put “somewhere safe” and forgotten about but may one day be really useful!

There are a few other things that would have been useful to know when I was younger and that I would tell my sibling if I thought they would listen:

  • Set up two personal email accounts – one for random mailing lists and other unimportant things, one for only important things – this one should be something sensible and related to your name. Do not lose access to these accounts!
  • Keep your exam certificates, tax codes (and anything tax related!), NI numbers, driving license, passport birth/marriage/divorce certificates somewhere safe – you will need them and it is preferable that they aren’t water-damaged.
  • Keep in contact with good people, stay polite to less-good people but don’t feel the need to keep in touch or be friends

paperwork

  • Make a list of useful birthdays, names, numbers and addresses
  • Keep your CV up to date
  • Start a saving account as early as possible and save a fixed amount each month – more if you can afford it!
  • Don’t get caught up buying things (books, dvds, clothes) unless you really want or need them. Too much stuff takes up space and slows you down.
  • Know what money you have coming in and the amount that is needed for bills – don’t overspend!
  • Start a pension as early as possible and contribute to it.

origami money

(Photo from iliketowastemytime)

  • Watch what you eat and exercises from as early as possible – putting on weight is scarily easy, losing it is much harder!
  • Yoga and meditation aren’t just to hippies, they are fun and useful
  • Learn to cook a number of core meals that you like – at least 6, then find some more to learn!
  • Have a scrap book and use it regularly

pet

(Photo from the Telegraph)

  • Take photos of lots of things – but don’t view life entirely through a lens
  • Have a creative hobby – even if you suck at it at first.
  • Back up all computer files – including photos, so they are in at least two places.
  • Your parents have good intentions and a lifetime of experience – asking targeted questions is a good way to access this!
  • Pets are wonderful and should be spoilt rotten, but before you get one do remember that they do limit what you can do

However as I know that my sibling won’t listen and when I was the same age I probably wouldn’t have listened either!

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