Today I’m sharing the third 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 Jennifer*, a 24 year old who is working in sales and living in North London.
What is your monthly rent? £635 plus bills
What is your living situation? Live with my partner
Total savings: £7,000 in a Life Time ISA, this has been funded by my parents
What are your savings goals? I don’t really have any at the moment, my focus needs to be on paying back my debts
Do you set a weekly budget? I try to stick to £80 a week- that includes groceries, travel, and entertainment. I try and stick to this low budget in order to meet debt repayments
Debt total (not including student loan): Around £24,000 over loan, credit card, overdraft and borrowed money from my family and partner. I’ve accumulated this over approx. 7-8 years.
How did you get into debt? Living outside of my means- spending on holidays and other things I couldn’t afford.
How often do you worry about money? About once a month
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.