Learn, repeat and master

I am teaching my daughter to drive. Or rather, I am trying not to shout and/or burst into tears at every junction, roundabout and parking space.

Actually, in fairness to Olivia, she is mastering which pedal does what and when and all the concurrent skills we require to motor safely from one destination to another. She also appears now to be hardening to my relentless cowardice in the passenger seat. 

She will get there, as the saying goes – even if I have to get the passenger footwell replaced in the little Yaris because of the panic driven foot-sized dents in it. 

I figure I have also learned lessons in this process. Notably, that one is inclined to forget exactly how much we know – how much knowledge and skill we have acquired over our adult lives and how we acquired it.

Learning to drive in one sense is a bit like learning to be a drummer, if you think about it. You have to develop the conditioned reflexes to use all four of your limbs to each do independent tasks simultaneously.

I don’t think about it anymore, I just do it, but then again I’ve been driving for 35 years; only troubling the insurance claims department on two occasions. In retrospect, minor car accidents are probably the cheapest driving lessons you’ll ever have – but don’t tell Olivia. 

The cost of teaching, and insuring, a young person to drive is considerable – scratch that – breath-taking and borderline scandalous (that’s a blog for another time, harrumph).

Yet the expense is also necessary. Particularly if you live like us in a rural location, access to a car is a necessity not a luxury. 

Whatever form the ‘new normal’ post-Covid world takes, it is increasingly clear to me that flexibility, versatility and availability will be three key assets the younger generation will need to succeed.

What will not change in the new world is their need to acquire a home and once again the Bank of Mum and Dad (BOMAD) is being called upon.

According to widely-reported analysis from Legal & General in tandem with Cebr (Centre for Economics and Business Research) this week, nearly one in four (24 per cent) of home buyers are more reliant on BOMAD since the pandemic.

And that while lending, stymied by the housing market lockdown, collapsed to £3.5bn in the first half of the year, BOMAD will still be behind £50bn worth of property transactions in 2020.

Yet what is more important, to Olivia’s generation, as to BOMAD itself is to remember how much we have learned before we reach for the chequebook.

It is exactly for that purpose that we have gathered together the collected wisdom of the Family Building Society to help you along.

The definitive guide 'How to run the Bank of Mum and Dad' and a range of guides focusing on how to approach family borrowing conversations and legal and financial considerations can be found here.

Wisdom has no price, but it is totally invaluable.

Just ask Olivia.

Written by Steve McDowell

The content of this blog is Steve McDowell’s personal opinion and comment, and views expressed here are his and unless specifically stated, are not those of Family Building Society. The content on this page is not intended to be advice in any circumstances.