Today I’m sharing the fourth installment of my bi-weekly series, ‘Savings Stories,’ where I speak to millennial Londoners about their personal finances. Our personal finances are often kept under wraps, with conversations about money usually kept to a minimum- making it hard to know whether anyone else is going through the same things as you. ‘Savings Stories’ aims to start a conversation about our finances, and lift the lid on millennial spending and saving- is the reason we can’t afford property in London really about overspending on avocados and lattes? I think not.
Millennials have a bad rep when it comes to money management, often accused of being too quick to splurge on the latest food, drink and clothing trends compared to the previous generation- with conclusions being drawn that this is the reason that we find it impossible to save for a mortgage deposit. I personally disagree with this, there is of course a culture built around instant gratification and new media which was not around 20 years ago- which does encourage additional spending- but there are definitely many millennials out there who are making small steps to build a savings account and live a thriftier lifestyle.
This feature will give you a sneak peek into other people’s income, rental, and savings totals- helping you decide if you could make the leap and ask for that pay rise, find a new flat within your price range, or give you that push to start a savings account. It will share the realities of debt, hopefully showing that, if you are in debt yourself, you are not alone.
This week we speak with Emma*, a 25 year old who is working in retail and living in South West London.
What is your monthly rent? £650 plus bills
What is your living situation? Live with my partner in a 1 bedroom flat
Total savings? I have total savings of around £15,000 plus £2,000 which is tied up in the rental deposit on our flat. I have around £10,000 in a savings account, plus £4,000 in a Lifetime ISA (plus the 25% government bonus of £1,000 which I have included in the total). I’ve built up my savings by myself over the course of around 4 years, at the moment I try and save a minimum of £500 a month, and usually I end up putting more in my savings account.
What are your savings goals? I’m saving up for a house deposit ultimately, but I also dip into my savings for holidays and other expenses.
Do you set a weekly budget? I try not to spend more than £100 a week, but I sometimes end up going over this amount. I write down all of my spending on the notes pages on my phone which really helps me to keep track of where my money is going.
Debt total (not including student loan)? £0.
How often do you worry about money? I don’t really worry about money too much, I’ve got into the habit of making sure that I live within my means. But, I do think about money very often in terms of budgeting, ways of making extra money, and meeting my savings goals.
Be sure to leave a comment below if you have enjoyed reading this post! I will be back in a fortnight with another ‘Savings Story,’ telling a completely different personal finance tale. Although each person featured is living in London, everyone’s story is different, and hopefully you will gain something from each of them- even if you don’t live in London yourself!
*Names have been changed to ensure anonymity.
If you are worried about debt, you can find assistance at Citizens Advice and stepchange, two charities who offer free advice and solutions to help you get out of debt.
If you’re a millennial Londoner and would like to anonymously share your personal finance story, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.