I am hard on myself. No beating around the bush with this one, I just am and I think I always have been from a young age. Blaming long standing daddy issues has always been a way for me to brush it off and pretend it’s not an issue, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I need to give myself a break before I actually go stir crazy.
I’ve always had a fear of failure, whether that be in my professional life or in my personal life with my hobbies, so I make sure to always put 110% into everything I do – my inner perfectionist is constantly striving for success and recognition and when I truly delve down deep I think it’s because I’m so frightened of one day retiring having not achieved anything of note.
I think this is a character trait that I probably share with a lot of people, and therefore a lot of people my age can probably relate to the pressures I’m about to talk about in terms of my personal life too.
The main one that is bothering me currently is my finances, and more specifically the fact that I haven’t got a nice juicy house deposit currently sat in a savings account somewhere. I think 20 and 30 somethings across the country are under a lot of pressure from parents and the tabloids to be homeowners. Increasingly, young people are living with their parents until their early 30’s as its one of the only ways to actually be able to save up a deposit to buy a place – a feat that can now take up to 10 years, whereas as recently as fifteen years ago over a third of young adults were either homeowners or well on the way there.
I for one am fed up to the back teeth with the press slamming millennials for being irresponsible for not owning property, while casually forgetting that the average house now costs 6 times the average persons’ income as opposed to when my mother was looking to buy her first property and it cost her £90,000.
£90,000. Let’s just let that sink in for a moment…
I’ve spent the vast majority of 2016 and 2017 worrying about money and feeling like the biggest failure ever because I can barely afford to rent in London let alone look at buying a property. I mean hell, a parking space down here costs £35,000! I worried because I had a credit card and I had to buy my laptop on finance because I couldn’t afford it outright. I’m forever in my overdraft and I feel guilty if I blow £20 in Zara on payday because I know that in three weeks time I will be struggling to put food on the table again – and then I realise how ridiculous that is because after working 9-5, 5 days a week I should be able to enjoy the money that I’ve earned with my hard work.
This weekend I was talking to my parents about the ins and outs of my financial situation and I came to the conclusion that actually, I need to give myself a break. Sure I need to continue really considering purchases and not really buying stuff I don’t need, however at the same time if I want to buy a new pair of jeans I need to stop feeling guilty and just enjoy them.
This year, I’ve consolidated my debt into one monthly payment, and I have actually paid off the finance on my laptop – this means that the only ‘debt’ I actually have is my loan and my overdraft. I have never yet missed a payment, a bill, or come close to not having my rent money on time and when I consider that I live in central London and I am actually only 25 years old I really don’t think that’s too bad or too irresponsible.
So here’s to the continuing spending ban, but here is also to cutting myself some slack. To enjoying the occasional shopping trip and not feeling guilty when I buy myself that pair of jeans at the end of the month. Here’s to a summer of not worrying when I buy cocktails when I’m out, and here’s to enjoying the rest of 2017 without the constant worry of money hanging over my head.
I might not own a house yet, but I’m really not doing too bad.
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