In previous decades it was expected of you to get an education, then a job, a mortgage, a car, and settle into conventional family life. But the current generation is different. With credit so available, payday loan adverts everywhere and housing deposits impossible to save for, we are forced to live paycheck to paycheck and paying for what we need to live in the form of monthly bills.
What does the young generation actually own?
Most people who are aged between 20-30 have student debts, and are living in rented housing that it eating up their wages, therefore making it impossible to be able to pay for bills as well as save up to get a foot on the property ladder. The spiral gets deeper as we take out short-term loans to make payments, credit for cars and live off of our overdrafts.
But that’s not to say that all young people’s money is spent sensibly. We are not all sitting at home, counting our pennies towards a deposit for a house. As well as a generation who seems to be financially struggling, we have also developed an attitude for dispensability. As soon as payday rolls around, we suddenly need a new pair of shoes, a new outfit for a party, and a boozy weekend of splashing the cash.
I’m 24, and unusually for my age I have no financial outgoings. NONE! Not even a phone contract. Working abroad allows me to save money, as all my living costs are paid for as part of my job, allowing my income to be completely dispensable. But as I have no outgoings, my credit rating is none existent. For a person who is completely paranoid about running out of money (as sometimes I can work for 6 months and then not for a few months at a time.), and is overly sensible about what I spend, it will be annoying when I get to the point of applying for a mortgage and some of my career aspects will be against me. How will I be able to prove that I will be able to make payments still working in the same kind of job I am now, when I have no idea when my next pay check with land in the bank and it can even vary in amount? And therefore I will probably be forced to get a ‘normal job’, and rent for a while in order to prove that I am the right candidate for a mortgage.
If we, as a generation, continue to live in a way where we have nothing to show for our money, what will the next generation inherit? Will it make a bigger gap between rich and poor and become as separated as landlords and tenants?
How can we start to get more bang for our buck? Or will we just be Generation Debt forever?