Last weekend I dedicated my time and car like the proper class friend that I am, to help a mate move house. Her new living situation will allow her a lot more opportunity to save up some money and hopefully buy her own house in a year or so, and it’s really got me thinking.
I had kind of already accepted that I’m never going to make it onto the property ladder. Who in their right mind would give me a house?
In the meantime, while I spend my twenties mid-way between adulting and just wanting to have a good time, I rent, which allows me a lot more flexibility to move around as I please. But am I just throwing away my money?
Do You Consider Renting to Be Dead Money?
Oh… You want me to what? Pay your mortgage for you? Sure, no problem!
You want to charge me for the damp seeping through that bad paint job you tried to hide it with in the windowless bathroom that gets no air because the fan has never worked? Of course!
Oh and replace your once white but now covered in ominous stains cheap blinds that have been hanging in the living room for the last hundred years before we arrived? Yes, of course, who am I to complain?
Anything else? The hair off my head? My first born child? My still-beating heart straight out of my chest? Sure thing. You absolute weapon.
I moved out for the first time and into a flat with a friend as a fresh faced yoot at 18, so completely and utterly clueless yet full of life and determined to spread my wings and escape my parents clutches at the earliest opportunity. I’m going to be independent and live my own life and you can’t stop me!
Safe to say I had not a clue. Not sure I’d ever even washed so much as a sock in my life, I thought seasoning ended at salt and pepper and my salary at the time barely covered my rent, but I thought hey what’s the worst that could happen, how hard can it be? Stop worrying mum, I’m a big girl I can look after myself.
My rent at the time in that absolute shithole that I moved into was only £300pm, I thought, that’s pennies!
What about gas, and electric?
That’s still fine, I’m sure they can’t be that expensive. It’s only a two bed flat.
Uhhh… I thought that was built in.
What the f is that?
Agency fees as well, don’t forget about those. So we can pay while we pay.
And the famous ‘refundable’ deposit you’ll definitely not get back at the end of the year.
I had the shock of my life in that first year of being an independent adult. Besides having to ask the builders next door how to work a washing machine, watching my fish die slowly from starvation because I couldn’t afford fish food and living off nothing but pasta pesto for 6 months, it really got me thinking, how much money are we throwing away on rent each year?
A Post I Read On Twitter Recently…. Work Out How Much Money You’ve Spent On Rent Since You Moved Out
Well… it’s been about 8 years, I’ve rented almost solidly for that time. As a rough guide, if we call it 7 years and average out my rent for different houses at £350 a month in Central Cardiff, that’s just under £30k.
THIRTY THOUSAND POUNDS.
Excuse me, 999, I just witnessed a murder.
How am I ever meant to drag myself out of this mildly dark hole of poverty while continuing to go out and drink as much as I like every weekend and save for my own mortgage alongside paying someone else’s each and every month. Something’s got to give.
Yes, in the grand scheme of things, £350 a month may seem like not a lot. But everything is relative to your own salary. Once all your outgoings are paid off and you’re only left with a few hundred to play with, as well some super minor spiralling credit card debt issues we won’t talk about right now, where is the £20k I need for a mortgage supposed to come from.
And this is Cardiff. I can’t imagine how people in more expensive areas of the country must cope. In London for example. Jeeeeeeez. With my salary?! Cupboard under the stairs is it? Come on now drive, don’t make me laugh. I’d be lucky to rent a flat with windows.
And Does Renting for Years Benefit Us As Young People in Any Way Towards Buying Our First Property?
Course fucking not.
You may have made every rent payment on time for the last 8 years, but somehow, that isn’t evidence that you could pay a mortgage. Even though that mortgage is half of your monthly rental payment….
Riddle me that, Boris.
So for those of us not blessed with a high paying salary or rich very generous parents, as young people how do we get on the housing ladder?
The quickest and easiest way it seems for many friends of mine who became home owners in their twenties, is to move back home for a year or two, or worse, move in with a partner’s parents while you save up.
I mean don’t get me wrong, part of me would love to be a stay at home daughter. MUU…..UUUM WHAT’S FOR DINNER?!
Moving back home is a great financial decision, the high life, you can indulge and take longer in the shower and use all your mum’s fancy soaps, eat all their nice food… is that smoked salmon in the fridge for me? It is now.
There are some definite pros to being at home, when she’s not screaming at me to clean my room and taking me right back to my teenage years, the childhood bedroom I might add. Which is my least favourite room ever. It feels like teenage angst in there… and if you listen carefully you can almost still hear my over emotional emo music still haunting the room and echoing through the walls.
The home life isn’t for me. I love my mum obviously, I’m not a monster, but if I moved back now as an adult there would be chaos. It wouldn’t be worth the hell we would wreak on one another. I like my independence and my own space and I want to grow and develop on my own. So where does that leave me? Doomed never to have a mortgage of my own. Shout out to my young rent crew! We’re poor but at least we know how to cook a banging dinner from scratch and look after ourselves”.
I haven’t even touched on the absolute worst thing about renting, so I’d like to take a second to have a little bitch about that.
Is There Honestly Anything Worse In This World Than Moving Day?
An absolute horror show. And why do we do it to ourselves so often? It’s our generation’s curse. I’m not convinced we’ve ever stopped. My life has become a cycle, a blur of moving in and moving out so much that I don’t know whose damn cutlery is whose anymore.
It starts off so promisingly, you’re packing things away carefully and neatly in separate boxes, this box can be for these things, and this one for those. Tidy. Better fold my clothes as well, that’ll make unpacking on the other side even easier.
Give it an hour, I’m pissed off. Packing is shit. I am angry. I’m at the stage of shoving everything I own into fucking bin bags and I’ll deal with it later. What’s in this bag? Who knows, not me. Some clothes I think, a candle, my one good tupperware, that box of 2ps I’ve been moving around for 5 years, the spice rack and that weird thing that nan bought me 8 years ago.
And when did I acquire SO MUCH STUFF?! I think to myself, as I fill the usual fifteen bin bags full of clothes I haven’t worn since I was 12 and prepare them for the annual trip to the next property. Maybe this year I’ll get better at Depop and sell them, or maybe they’ll sit in the deepest, darkest part of my wardrobe for another six months until it’s time to move and begin this whole process again.
And what is this charger for? I’ve never even seen this before. It’s not for my phone. Is it for yours? What the hell does this charge? And all these loose wires. Never mind, better pack them anyway they will definitely come in handy. 100%.
Hate to sound dramatic, but honestly I’d prefer to chew on broken glass than prepare myself for the big house clean. Pulling out sofas for the first time since moving in, so that’s where all our socks have gone.
And when you get to the new house, guess what?! You get to clean again!