Most say we’re fortunate because there are ‘a lot more opportunities these days’ and because we have technology where we can communicate with each other through the click of a button. In some aspects we are lucky, but in my opinion, this is more of a problem with today because it can turn people into materialistic individuals. There’s more to want these days, that’s the reality.
Some of the ‘older generation’ even say and think that we’re just a bunch of uneducated lost souls with no manners, discipline, respect or moral values, who are all mean to each and have babies before we’re married. But let me tell you, growing up in this day and age is HARD.
We’re in a crisis if anything.
The financial pressures we’re under take a toll on myself and millions of young Britons. When you leave school you pretty much have a choice; get a low paid job, (maybe a zero hour contract), OR with good GCSE results you can go to university and rack up a load of debt. Not everyone has the benefit of the bank of mum and dad.
I was 15 years old in year 10 of senior school when I was asked what I wanted to do with my life. ‘I dunno?’. Growing up you’re always told you can be anything you want to be when you’re older. Yet there I was having to pick out of a list of college courses. At 15 years old you’re quite simply clueless about the real world and how finances work but nonetheless I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life. It often results in picking courses you’re not really sure on, or the one your best friend picked. But almost all of the time we have absolutely no idea about the course and career paths it can lead onto. In all honesty, I think the education system is shit. It didn’t prepare me in any way, shape, or form for the real world. And at the end of the day, all the school care about are getting the results the school needs to make it look good. It’s not like your teachers get in touch with you when you leave, they’re not bothered. I can remember the day I went to collect my GCSE exam results; I was worried and wouldn’t open them in front of anyone. The teacher pulled me to one side and said ‘dont worry, they don’t matter all that much’. Hold on a minute.. are you fucking serious? You’ve just put me through 9 months of stress and now you’re telling me they don’t matter? ……
Personally I think we should do it the American way and stay in school until we’re 18.
Since the age of 15, I have changed my mind about what I want to do in life about 6 or 7 times. I speak to people in their 30’s and 40’s and they say they still don’t know what they want to do. I mean we’ve all got that dream job right? In an ideal world where everything goes to plan you’d be able to have the time of your life doing what you love. But we can’t….. Even though there are ‘lots more opportunities out there these days‘. Why is this?? It’s all to do with that five letter word that makes the world go round; m o n e y.
Yes, there’s opportunities. But of course they all come with a price tag. And if they don’t, you have to start off by either not earning at all or earning very little and more than likely still having to maintain a soul destroying 9-5 job. I have a great business plan in mind; it would bring me happiness and job satisfaction every day. Only thing stopping me? I need £20k at least to get started.
We’re Born into a system. We’re taught to believe you go to school, college, university, get a job, get married and have children. It all seems so simple when you’re younger doesn’t it? but it’s the furthest thing from simple.
So you’ve got to the part of life where you’ve got through the education system and managed to secure a full time job. You’re working 40-50 hours a week and earning your own money independently. In a perfect world you should be able to buy a house and go on holiday ever year shouldn’t you? No matter how much hard work you put into something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you get rewarded for what you deserve, and rarely do your efforts reflect your pay packet. I mean, look at the emergency services; a perfect example. The long hours they put in and the work they do, helping people and saving lives every single day. Yet you compare their wages to a footballers and they receive a tiny, tiny percentage of that of a footballer. Don’t get me wrong I love football, but do they heck deserve the money they receive. Maybe if they scored every shot they had I would change my mind, but even then I doubt it.
As for settling down in your own home, that is virtually impossible without the help of mum and dad or any other well off family member you’re blessed enough to have. If you haven’t got a partner and you want to live on your own in a half decent place – good luck! You’re gonna need a bloody well paid job to take on rent and all the bills by yourself. The cheapest route in the long run if you’re going to live independently is a mortgage, but be prepared for a long period of saving, unless you’ve got the bank of mum and dad of course. Not only do you need a deposit, you better make sure your credit file is squeaky clean, too. Even saving with a partner takes time, and you have to put up with either living in separate places with family or living together, in a room at your parents. It’s a long process and there are lots of people in their thirties still living at home with their parents. You don’t envision that when you’re younger, do you?
I remember saying to my mum, “mum how the hell am I meant to afford a house, get married AND have a kid?”. I mean, people do it.. but money stresses me out and causes anxiety and finding a way of doing that without getting into debt is hard. It’s hard when you have no financial help. Not that I would ever expect it and don’t get me wrong, if my family had the money to help me, they definitely would. I know a lot of people who have had a lot of financial help; whether it’s help with a house deposit, help to pay off debts or even loaning them money so they don’t have to worry about interest rates. If you’re one of those lucky people, please don’t take it for granted. Not everyone gets that privilege. It’s ten times harder for us.
The truth of the matter is that you need a pot of savings behind you to live comfortably and avoid debt. Living paycheck to paycheck, like lots of people do just doesn’t get you through unless you’ve got a really well paid job. Not many people’s disposable incomes would cover the cost of their car breaking or their washing machine packing up; the essentials, the things we need every day.
You’re not taught this in school though. Or college. If I knew what I know now when I was 16, I’d most probably be living in my own house by now. You can’t blame our parents though, it was a lot easier to get houses back then. I will be drumming it into my children’s heads that’s for sure because I doubt it’s going to get any easier with our corrupt government.
So now you’re at the point where you’ve learnt about life the hard way, you’re in a bit of debt but you understand you need to get on the straight and narrow and get some savings behind you. The thing is, you need to be living at home to be able to save any money, because it’s near on impossible to save AND rent. If you’re able to do that, great… or kinda great, (it’s not always fun where you’re at an age where you want your own freedom). But some people don’t have that opportunity and have no choice but to rent and for those people, it’s going to take a WHOLE LOT LONGER to save any money. The cost of living is sky high. It’s ridiculous. We work hard to pay for a place we’re never in because we’re at work trying to pay for it. It’s twisted.
I’ve always been one to put things into perspective. It’s good to do but it can always do your head in. I completely understand that if I want anything in life I need to work for it; trust me, that is one thing I have learnt. But when you really think about it, which I do because I’m good at that, we are slaves to a system. We sit in traffic or have long commutes to work to make lots of money for someone else which we don’t get paid for, leaving less family and social time. You don’t get rich working for someone else either. I’m not denying you can earn good money, but you’re not going to be on the same salary as the top dog are you. I’m not being disrespectful to the people that have vast turnover, successful businesses, and I’m very grateful to anyone who has ever employed me! And rightly so they should receive more money, but by working for other people it’s easy to lose focus on what you really want to do and staying true to who you really are because you need your job to survive. It’s very important to still do the things you love and want to better yourself as a person, and not just for your boss.
Essentially, we join the “rat race”. If you’ve never heard of the rat race or know what it means, I’ll try to explain it as simple as possible……
We go to work every day.
We receive an income.
We then have to pay our bills and be responsible.
We then want to enjoy life and so we spend money on days out, clothes etc.
We then live beyond our income.
We then get into more debt.
We have to keep working to pay off that debt.
The cycle goes round.. and round….
When you think about your annual salary at work, or look back at what you earned over the year and compare it with what you’ve got to show for it, it can be quite depressing. Most people have to pay out more on bills each month than what they have left over as spare money.
When it comes to politics and voting – what the fuck? I have to choose out of two idiots to run the country and then abide by their rules even though I disagree with some or most of the shit they do and say. Doesn’t make sense does it? I guess it’s always been that way though.
Still be ambitious. Still dream. Still believe. I’m just saying it’s not as easy as it’s all made out to be.
We are living in a system. A system that is NOT getting any better in my opinion. Yet we have to live it. Make the best of it. 🖤✌🏼