A lot can happen in ten years. People change jobs, buy a house, get married, have children…
But through it all, one thing remains constant, and that is the importance of keeping a firm handle on your finances.
As this week’s section shows, you never really know what the future holds for Britain’s economy, or what the top City bosses are up to behind closed doors.
We don’t have a say in what interest rates will do, whether or not there will be energy bill hikes or how house prices will fare.
Worth the effort: Keeping a firm handle on your finances is essential in an uncertain world
If other people are taking on too much debt, we can’t stop them. And if firms are once again dishing out credit like Smarties, it’s out of our hands.
Keeping an eye on this is the job of the City watchdogs and Bank of England economists.
But if there is one thing we have learned from the past decade, it’s that you need to help yourself.
That means taking control where possible and planning as best you can for things you know could go wrong. Save diligently each month — and then keep a keen eye on your interest rate.
Yes, rates are a far cry from the 6.5 per cent available a decade ago, but that’s no reason to leave your cash languishing on an even worse deal than necessary.
If your nest-egg is quite large, check that you’re not over the maximum compensation limit you’re entitled to should your bank go bust.
It sounds dramatic, but it’s really not worth risking exceeding the limit when you can easily move a chunk of your savings to a different provider.
The same attention should be paid to household bills. If you have never switched energy suppliers you’ll almost certainly be paying hundreds of pounds more than you should be for gas and electricity.
Ditto with regard to any insurance, broadband, landline and mobile phone deals.
If you are sitting on your mortgage provider’s standard variable rate, get yourself on a cheap fix now while rates are so low.
And if you have expensive credit card debt, shift it on to one of the many 0 per cent balance transfer deals around.
No one knows for sure if there will be another credit crunch or house price crash.
But we do know that thousands of people are taking on debt they can’t afford to repay and relying on house price rises to fund their retirement with no back-up plan. If you are worried about your finances, ask for help.
You can get free advice from the likes of Citizens Advice and StepChange.
And then, of course, there is Money Mail.
For the past 51 years we’ve striven to help hard-working families make sense of the financial world — and we aren’t going anywhere.
We will continue to campaign tirelessly for companies to keep customers at the very heart of their business.
But if there is something specific you need our help with, or a story you want to share, please don’t hesitate to write to us.
In the meantime, we’ll keep filling our pages with as many tips as we can find to help make your money go further.
So, what have the big banks learned since the financial crisis? If a recent tale from a colleague is anything to go by, not an awful lot.
She visited her local NatWest bank to apply to extend her overdraft, but the computer said no.
Being turned down was extremely frustrating — she had been with the bank for 15 years and clearly had a reliable income — but that is the bank’s right.
What really astounded me however, was the exchange with the member of staff that followed.
My colleague asked the person serving her if they had any suggestions for an alternative.
‘Try Wonga,’ was the response.
In their defence, they were trying to help find a solution, but pushing a customer that the bank has deemed unsuitable for an overdraft to a payday loan firm is unbelievably irresponsible.
These companies charge exorbitant interest rates and they can also hinder your chances of getting a mortgage in the future because they suggest to lenders that you are desperate for credit.
I will be suggesting to the NatWest branch in question that it carries out some urgent staff training to avoid this in future.