I DON’T know why so many people are shocked by the news that teenagers expect to have their dream job and be earning £70,000 by the age of 30.

A survey of 13 to 19-year-olds found that 45 per cent of youngsters think they will get their perfect job by the time they reach 30 and almost half think they'll buy a house by that time

As young people didn’t we all expect to be doing something amazing by that age?

I know I did. I seriously believed that by that at 30 I would have an exciting career - I didn’t know what in, but it would definitely be exciting, and I’d be living in a New York loft apartment with a gorgeous man.

I used to watch the American TV comedy series Rhoda about a woman living in a flat in Manhattan and imagine myself having a similar lifestyle, walking the streets of the city, shopping and bringing home groceries on one of those large paper bags Americans always carry.

By 30 I had not even got to America. I made it as far as London where I spent almost a decade working in various low-paid jobs and living in mostly grotty flats. I loved it, but the cost of living drove me, along with my husband - who isn’t anything like the man I imagined I would marry - back to Yorkshire.

Never in a million years did I see myself, aged 30, scratching a living not far from where I grew up.

Life rarely works out as you believe it will.

Unlike today’s teens, my teenage dreams were never money-focused. They were more about a lifestyle.

Nowadays more - I won’t say all - young people have grossly unrealistic expectations of how much money they can rake in, fuelled by the get-rich-quick culture of so-called internet start-ups and TV talent shows. One-in-ten of those interviewed in the poll think they'll make it as a video game developer, blogger or Instagram star.

Such people lack a work ethic and believe that the world owes them a living.

I was recently party to a conversation involving a teenager who had been offered a Saturday job which would have suited him down to the ground, but sneerily turned it down saying “I wouldn’t work there - the pay will be rubbish.”

Part-time jobs from early teens onwards are vital, I believe, in helping youngsters to appreciate the value of money and realise that whatever they desire in life has to be hard-won. Teenagers who are given money-on-demand by their parents - and there are plenty of them - lack this vision.

Earning a living is never easy, and to some the toil involved will come as a sharp shock.

I am proud of my own children who, like me, have worked since they were about 12, starting, as I did, with paper rounds, and moving on to local shops and cafes. They have never been afraid of hard work and, as students, still have jobs to boost their loans.

Sadly for those who took part in the survey, for the financial services provider OneFamily, these ambitions are unlikely to be fulfilled - at £27,271 the average UK salary is currently well short of the teenagers’ expectations.

As for buying a house, with the average price of a property standing at £226,906, that is also a pipe dream.

I’m 58 and I have never reached that UK average wage. If I still wanted a loft apartment in Manhattan, I’d be looking at £1million.

But it doesn’t matter. If those young people are anything like me, once they reach 30, their priorities will have completely changed. They will be happy with a steady job, a modest house near a good school, a garden shed and a washing line.