Could there be a worse year than 2020 to graduate from university? Lockdown disrupted final exams, not to mention final goodbyes - and graduates face one of the toughest recruitment markets in recent times. Claer Barrett chats to 21-year-old graduate Olly. He’s landed a traineeship with a big City of London firm, but his start date has been delayed until January 2021. Other friends have had job offers withdrawn, ending their hopes of renting a London flat together. Olly also worries how Covid-19 could affect his job security and career progression. Can his love of spreadsheets help him budget for the unexpected? With experts Iona Bain and Jonathan Black.

The pandemic has made everyone feel very differently about their finances — and we’ve changed our podcast to reflect this. Every week, Money Clinic features real life stories from FT readers around the world (on a first name only basis) to help everyone get to grips with common financial dilemmas. If you would like to talk to Claer for a future episode, please email the Money Clinic team at with a short description of your problem, and how you would like us to help. 

Further Reading

If you’re about to start your first job, read this column by Claer (she wrote it when her stepdaughter landed her first job). There are tips on setting a budget, and using workplace perks including the company pension and Save As You Earn schemes to maximise your savings:

If you enjoyed hearing Jonathan Black’s careers advice, check out his regular column in the Financial Times where he answers readers’ dilemmas:

This column, How do I get my first graduate job in a tough economic climate? contains some useful insights from Jonathan and FT readers:

Iona Bain is a freelance writer who shot to fame with her hugely successful Young Money Blog, covering everything from budgeting hacks to the best money apps and non-nonsense advice on pensions and investing:

Iona’s next book Own It! How our generation can invest our way to a better future comes out next year, and is available for pre-order now:

Iona regularly writes in FT Money; one of her most recent pieces covers how she uses the Lifetime Isa for under-40s to invest for the future:

You can follow Claer Barrett on Twitter and Instagram @Claerb

You can follow FT Money on Twitter @FTMoney


See for privacy and opt-out information.

View our accessibility guide.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this audio


Comments have not been enabled for this article.