Samuel's seven decades of saving
Spritely Samuel Ball may be 93 years young but that certainly doesn’t stop him in his tracks when it comes to living his life.
The fun loving pensioner, from Bulwell in Nottingham, says anything can be achieved with the right mindset and “a smile on your face”. He also has some practical financial tips for younger generations.
Samuel has been a customer with The Nottingham Building Society since 1946, when he opened a savings account at the Bulwell branch on Victoria Street. A year on, he and late wife Gina took out their first mortgage - to the value of £670 - with The Nottingham too.
Seven decades and another mortgage with the building society (in 1968) later and Samuel still visits the “kind, friendly staff at
The Nottingham who have always helped and never been any trouble” in Bulwell (now based on Market Place) to have a cup of tea and check on his finances.
His astuteness in saving pennies so that they have grown into pounds has led to Samuel not only living in a detached home he loves but also enjoying holidays to Italy for no less than 15 years on the bounce.
And his message to young people with regards to being sensible with money is a simple, but enlightening, one.
Samuel, known to his family and friends as Syd, says: “Before I signed up for the army as a young lad I didn’t have a penny in my pocket. When I got paid my first weekly wage of five schillings as a soldier I looked at it in my hand and thought ‘Syd - you will never be out of money again’.
“From that day I was determined to stay in the black. In modern times so many young people are happy to take on debt that they then struggle to pay back, but I preferred to save - it felt so much better buying things knowing it was with hard-earned money.
“After the war ended I opened my first bank account with The Nottingham and, a year later, Gina and I took out a mortgage with them. It was the start of my association with the building society and they are the only people I have banked with ever since.
“I saved what I could without putting us under financial pressure and thought nothing more of it. It certainly didn’t stop Gina and I doing things - for example it helped us buy our house and have holidays to her home country, Italy, for 15 years in a row.
“I remember some years later ringing up my friend in Coventry to tell him I had my first £1,000 saved in the building society. It felt like an achievement I could be proud of.”
In the years after the Second World War Samuel had different jobs, including being a Sales Rep, cleaning windows and being a “bread man” in a bakery, but the consistent factor was that whatever work he undertook he made sure some of the dough he earned was saved.
But why - as is so common in recent ‘switching’ times - did Samuel never think of moving his money to a different bank or building society or sourcing a mortgage elsewhere?
He explains: “Quite simply because I have always been happy - extremely happy - with The Nottingham. I am a very loyal man and they have given me no reason to go anywhere else.
“In all the time I have been going in to see the branch staff - and of course I have got to know many over the years - I’ve never had a problem. I’ve always been made very welcome and they are so friendly.
“Add to that the great service and advice I have always received and I can honestly say I really like going into the branch, and that’s maybe not something everyone would say about their experiences of banks or building societies.
“My niece, Maureen, visits The Nottingham too and she has the same positive opinion.”
Samuel is charming and wise in equal measures, and it is the latter the sage shows once more by reiterating his saving tips for younger generations.
He succinctly adds: “I would encourage younger people to visit The Nottingham to find out more about how they can at least save something each month.
“And, remember, stay out of the red and in the black.”