avocado
The reason millennials can't save their money.
Rebecca Wayman

When are we going to stop blaming millennials for the crisis of our economy?

Dear UK estate agents, stop blaming millennials for the crisis that is the current housing market. Full stop.

You may or may not have heard the (ridiculous) research this week from Strutt & Parker. Apparently, if millennials were to give up six things for five years, then they would be able to save more than £6,000 per year.

And, of course, over five years that works out as a total of £30k. But those five thing to sacrifice include: nights out, takeaway orders and holidays. So, you know how your 20s is apparently all about doing the fun, exciting stuff? Yeah, forget it.

I fall into the millennial category myself. I am a 20-something full-time-working young adult on a good wage - like 99 per cent of my friends - and yet, we still come face to face with the struggle of making ends meet.

I don’t have £115 per week - yes, that’s what £6,000 a year works out as - to spend on such things. Seriously, if I did then I would be able to save up for a mortgage deposit… Ahem.

Yet upmarket estate agents, Strutt & Parker, said: “It is possible for couples - who make up 80 per cent of first-time buyers - to save £33k by giving up just six things for five years.” Erm, no, I think your figures are a little off, don’t you?

I recently moved in with my boyfriend and, between us both, we get by… Thank god. While we both pay rent and he pays our council tax - we’re in Band A - I pay for our gas, electric and water bills; my phone contract; travel expenses… Oh, the list just seems to go on.

And at the end of the month, I can put around £100 into my savings - only if I’m lucky. My boyfriend? Practically zilch.

It’s time we stopped blaming millennials for things like rising house prices, for inflation, for apparently spending too much money on avocados…

Just because we seem to spend a lot of our cash on ‘clean living’ food than our predecessors and travel to faraway lands - hello, cheaper, more accessible flights - because we do genuinely want to see different places, that does not make us any less cautious of the economy and our future.

My friends and I discuss ours quite a bit, however frightening it may be at times. We know that we are the generation that has, and is going to continue, to have it tough.

Coincidentally, I received my pension statement through this week, and apparently I will be able to retire by 2059 - which is both sickening and a laugh. This means that I will be 65-years-old when I give up the day job, but let’s be honest, this isn’t going to happen, is it?

Just £20 in total gets paid into my pension each month right now, when recent research shows that, to be a comfortable OAP who can afford to eat, stay warm and survive, I need to be putting away at least £100…

So like everyone else, millennials need to both save for a mortgage in this current economy and for their own retirement. And, with what money? The cost of living is increasing, wages are supposedly staying the same…

Like I said earlier, I can save £100 a month if I’m lucky! At this rate, I’ll still be renting in my forties, scrimping away into retirement and beyond.

Maybe one day I will be lucky enough to own a property and from my white, minimal kitchen I will post my clean living avocado dishes to Instagram like the awful millennial I am.

And say, yes I made it - I have both a house and the leftover money to purchase unnecessary items.

Yours sincerely, a young woman that takes packed lunches to work, and actually spends about £20 on a night out… about once or twice a month if I’m feeling adventurous.

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