The point of working and saving isn’t money itself but what we get to do with it, says SIMON LAMBERT… like taking your daughter to see the Rolling Stones
My dad first took me to see the Rolling Stones when I was 11. The running joke ever since was that he said to me: ‘Count yourself lucky, this is probably the last chance you’ll ever get to see them.’
I’ve been lucky enough to see them quite a few times since: I think I’m on show number ten.
On Sunday, 32 years after my dad took me to that concert at Wembley Stadium, I took my daughter, aged 11, to her first Rolling Stones gig.
Happy: Simon Lambert with his daughter at the Rolling Stones concert on Sunday
She absolutely loved it and not only came out of Hyde Park fizzing with excitement but was still buzzing from it on Monday night.
The Stones were as good as I have ever seen them – allowing for the sad absence of Charlie Watts – but this gig felt really special.
Hyde Park was also the last place I saw the Stones with my dad. It was nine years ago yesterday, along with my brother, my cousin and one of my dad’s childhood best friends – and we knew this really would be my dad’s last chance to see them.
He was dying and I was worried he wouldn’t make the gig, but he was there, singing, dancing, and in decent shape – which he was lucky enough to be in until shortly before his death late that year.
My dad, Glyn Lambert, right, with my brother, my cousin and my dad’s friend at the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park in July 2013
On Sunday, as Mick, Keith, Ronnie and the band stoked the spirits of a partying crowd on a glorious sunny London summer evening, my daughter sang and danced beside me with a look of pure joy on her face.
You can see why it felt like such a special night for me
But why this deeply personal story here? Surely, it’s got nothing to do with money?
Well, I’d argue there’s an element that’s universal and that it’s got everything to do with money.
After all, all those tickets over the years to see the Rolling Stones weren’t free and they put a serious dent in your wallet nowadays.
To some spending £100 a ticket to see a band would seem an extravagance, but for me it’s not frittering money away but an indulgence that I consider important in life.
I’m not an extravagant spender but do occasionally make the choice to treat myself and my family, or friends.
I see this as about money being a means to an end rather than an end in itself.
Get off my cloud: The Rolling Stones rolled back into London’s Hyde Park to stoke the spirits of the crowd who’d come to party on a sunny July Sunday night
This is something it can be easy to forget when we put so much effort into growing our wealth: working hard to earn money, carefully saving and investing it, salting whatever we can away into our pensions for the future.
It can be a particular issue for those reaching retirement, who need to shift from growing their wealth to slowly running it down.
If you have been frugal and worked and saved hard all your life, it can be very difficult to start eating into your savings at the same time as you no longer have an income to replenish them.
Financial planners will often tell you that this is true even for their clients who have plenty of money – and is often even more the case. After all, you don’t get rich by squandering your cash.
This is not an exhortation to get out there and blow the lot, but I’ve had many conversations with people, who are fortunate enough to be in a good financial position in retirement – and are even sometimes concerned by inheritance tax – yet they are too worried to go out and spend their money on themselves in the way they deserve to.
It is important for those retiring to remember that they spent all those years saving, so that they could enjoy their pension years.
For those whose retirement is a long way in the future, it’s also to vital to remind yourself to spend some money enjoying life on the way through, as we aren’t here for long.
At a time when talk of a cost-of-living crisis dominates the headlines, it clearly pays to be prudent, but it is important not to be too scared by the economic gloom and go into full-on bunker mode.
For some high inflation is a real problem: among them are the poorest in society who can’t afford to put enough food on the table or heat their homes, and the elderly and young without much saved to fall back on and little chance to grow them.
But for most of us it is a bump in the road, making this a time to hunker down a bit and save money where we can, but still try to enjoy our lives and not feel bad about doing so.
The point of working and saving hard is not the money itself, it’s about what you can do with it.
As Mick Jagger famously sings: ‘You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.’
For you those things will be different to me, but I find sometimes it’s something as fleeting as a few hours of great music with someone I love and the lifetime of memories that buys.