I’m curious to know how many 22 year olds spend their weekends researching ISAs, bonds and the best interest rates attributed to them.
Speak up now or forever hold your peace.
I can’t be the only one.
I’m not ashamed to say that I am somewhat obsessed with researching about how to get the most out of my savings, in the most tax efficient way possible.
Well, as with many young people or “millennials” as it were (although, I have been told that notably, by someone who was (oh so coincidently) on the other side of the age group, that being born in 1995 doesn’t qualify me to coin millennial). Is there even an official definition for millennial?
Like many young people (and increasingly, like many “older” people, too) I want to own a property. Forget backpacking in Bali or doing casual work while sunning myself in Australia; to me, the ultimate #goals is to buy my own place by 25. (Ideally a house, because ain't nobody got time for leasehold life. But, I would settle for a flat, of course).
No easy feat; that’s without taking into consideration that average house prices have increased by 4.9% in comparison with last year and the average deposit for first-time buyers is now £25,896. Couple that with the fact that I want to buy the most pricey places in the UK [read: with a decent commute time to London] and you’ve got a seriously bleak situation.
While the prospects of owning a property are bleak, it has never been “easy” - I suppose just easier, in relative terms.
I sure do love a challenge and besides, when has anything that has major benefits been easy?!
Many a sacrifice has been made in the endeavour of saving my hard-earned cash, although little did I know I’d be saying au revoir to my social life and feeling well-rested. All in the name of saving.
My ultimate worry is that when I look back on this period of my life, I won’t be content. They say that your twenties are meant to be your most fun years... At present, I don’t think I could say they are looking this way. If anything, they’re the most stressful!
I rarely go out-out; my 'fun' is doing yoga or going out for a meal (which is most often, alone). Honestly, I can't recall the last time I went out clubbing... I think was June 2017, in Marbella (and I didn't even enjoy that).
I know I have made lacking an active social life sound miserable, but in fact, I am quite content with it all.
You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, right?
The positives are that working six days fulfils both my need for intellectual stimulation and that of the more casual and social side of interacting with people. It has also taught [read: forced] me to use my free time in a more efficient and valuable way. When it comes to management of my free time, I am much more organised and efficient. Gone are the days when I used to sleep in 'til 1pm – yes, really. My 'free' days now consist of brunch (yes, cliché) or coffee meet ups, amongst life admin [read: claiming delay repay and going to the Post Office to drop-off ASOS returns] and doing things on my "To Do This Week" list that I add to throughout the week.
I'm that person who will meet up with people for brunch, then someone else for an afternoon coffee and then someone else for drinks in the evening.
Saying that, while I enjoy doing those things, the only downfall is that I have to effectively, schedule in my time to relax. I can't just decide to do nothing for a day. That is one aspect of being busy that I really don't enjoy.
I don't know about you, but I find it so difficult to relax when I am mentally telling myself "Right, this is your relax time now" – it doesn't come naturally.
This difficulty, actually ties in with the initial part of this post: my desire to have my place and space to enjoy. Like many young people still living in their family home, my 'own space' is confined to my childhood bedroom. Which, unfortunately is starkly reminiscent of my childhood.
So it’s tough to feel super chilled, even in my own space. I suppose it's nothing to complain about, I could be renting a flat where I am prohibited to decorate – that would most definitely not be anything near to my own space.
It Is What It Is
Okay, so I work six days a week, commute for what seems like (well, it is) hours on end, rarely go out and worry about the prospect of never owning a property.
While to some that may seem like hell or weird, or boring – so be it! I like it. It is what it is and it makes me who I am. I wouldn't change it. While in the short term, it is hectic and sometimes tiring, I know it will pay off in the future.
Rarely do people get where they want to be without making sacrifices.
On the topic of sacrifices, I have made a pledge to not buy any clothes during May.
I have committed to that.
To not buy any clothes for 31 days.
Six days in and I'm managing.
Biggest achievement so far: I forwent the Reiss sample sale!
I cannot believe it!
Saying that, I really want this jumpsuit from New Look and almost caved in the other day but luckily, it was out of stock on all of Oxford Street. Phew.
I'm going to keep saving and commuting, but cut down on the worrying. Honest.
In fact, I'm actually making sure I spend time being more sociable and living in the moment. When your day is confined between the times of public transport, it can be hard to break this.
I'm also working on challenging myself (not just re the clothes) but, in a way, putting myself out of my comfort zone.
If it all pays off, I may be doing my most exciting thing yet - which would certainly mark the end of my somewhat serious approach to life!