Can you tell what’s on my mind?
Having recently moved to London, arguably one of the greatest and hellishly expensive cities in the world; money has been at the forefront of my mind almost daily. “I’m so poor”, “i’ll never own a home,” “I just wish I could buy nicer clothes…” are just a few examples of the endless, tiresome loops that travels around my brain daily.
I’ve always known I wanted to be rich. While my parents certainly aren’t living on the breadline, money has always been an “issue.” We’ve never been the type of family to just go out for dinner, or even order in simply because we felt like it. We didn’t have a holiday until I was 11, and have always been sensible about the destinations and hotels we stayed in. If something went wrong with the car, it was a problem that couldn’t simply be fixed with the flash of a debit card. It would cause my parents genuine stress and worry.
Of course I know lots of families live exactly like that, and sadly many are far, far worse off, but that hasn’t stopped me firmly deciding that I want more – a lot more, and thinking every single day how i’m going to manage that.
“Money doesn’t buy happiness” is true only to a point; money is nothing in comparison to the one you love or your family and friends and the time you share with them, but what money does provide is some kind of certainty and comfort that comes exclusively from having it.
I realised last week that, although I am perfectly happy for now living in my small flat I share with my housemates, at some stage I’m going to want to move out and move on. Now hopefully that will be with my lovely boyfriend, but i’m pitifully aware that in life there are no guarantees. What if he did decide to cruelly shatter my heart into a million pieces and leave me alone? Could I afford to move out? Certainly not alone – and I don’t like that. I don’t like knowing that I need another person for financial comfort.
What about buying a house? I’m not especially in a rush at the moment; contrary to just about everybody else my age I don’t think buying a property is the key to financial success and prosperity, particularly at the potential expense of my freedom; but one day the time will be right and i’ll want to buy. What then? Living in London means it’s virtually impossible to save anything as rents are so sky high and wages don’t always match that. Saving is paramount to buying – you see the problem.
I always thought it was fine to be poor in your twenties, almost romantic. I was wrong. It’s stressful and miserable and I don’t like it one bit.
As a young person in such a bleak financial position, it’s incredibly difficult to imagine dragging myself out of it and bathing in pots of gold as I was once so sure I would.
I could probably calm down and remember that I am only 24 and really I shouldn’t be thinking too much about all of this and just let it happen, but when you’ve got a brain that works in solid Stalin-style 5 year plan clockwork, it’s tough not to get bogged down in the uncertainty of whether you’ll ever again freely buy a Pret sandwich without torturing yourself over every last expensive bite.