In your 20’s with no idea what you’re doing? Yeah, me too.
When I finished uni and moved back home to pursue my full time job in marketing, I made a plan. That plan was a budgeted, financial savings plan to ensure that I had enough money saved to move out by the end of January. If you know me well, then yes, I will repeat that for your benefit – I am saving.
Very grown up, I thought. I’ve accounted for agency fees, deposit, rent up front – I’m transitioning into full adult and I’m doing it very neatly in a Kate Spade notebook (which, may I add, is filthy from always being in the bottom of my bag). I even went on to make a month by month breakdown of what pieces of furniture I needed to buy and when. Kettle, toaster, and coffee machine are already ticked off – with the obligatory coasters for decoration – and big bits like bed frames and coffee tables have been saved for bargain hunting in the Christmas sales.
Moving out doesn’t even feel like a big step for me, because I’ve lived away from home for four years whilst studying at uni. In fact, moving back home was more of a big step because I had to let go of some of my independence. And Jesus Christ am I desperate to have it back. If I could move out now, I would, just so I could have a space of my own to call home.
“What? You’re renting? No, you don’t want to do that. Stay at home and save.”
“Well that would take me years. Two, three, even four years maybe if I want to enjoy my life still. I want to move out so I’m-“
“No, really, renting is throwing money away. It’s stupid. How are you going to save when you’re paying rent at the same time?”
“I’m hoping I’ll earn more, so I can save more. A lot of young people rent before buying, you know. I’m only 22 and-“
“I think you’re making a mistake. My cousin Lisa is the same age and just bought a house – I mean, her parents did give her that money that they have been saving for her her whole life, but you get what I mean. Don’t rent, definitely buy.”
I’m not Lisa. I don’t have my parents' savings to fall back on. I live in a shoebox at my grandparent’s house (who are my heroes), squeezing my 6ft boyfriend into a double bed most night’s alongside me. I’m 22, I want to move out with him and of course I have no fucking idea what I’m doing. Of course I'm making it up as I go along.
I’m so frustrated at having this conversation, and even more frustrated at the surprised/bewildered expression people seem to have when you tell them you want to rent. Who wouldn’t love to buy a house? But it’s not something that’s easily accessible to me, and since I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, do I really want a mortgage as well?
This is a plea from me, the clueless, short, 22 year old not a girl not yet a woman, to stop telling me what I should be doing. I’m burdened enough by youthful anxiety as it is, without your two pence about where I’m going wrong. Just let me enjoy making my lists, buying fluffy pillows for the home I won’t own and spending extortionate amounts on café smoothies. I’m sure I’ll figure out where I’m going wrong on my own.
And if you're a twenty-something with no fucking idea what you're doing or where you're going or what the hell is going on – I’m with you. Let’s fuck it up together.