I recently received a letter from the Student Loan Company about the tens of thousands of pounds I owed them. Then the sad reality hit me: I paid all of this money for tuition fees and went to probably 5% of all my lectures. Like every other student who has gone before me, I ignored the letter. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But the impending debt isn’t the only worry that us millennials are weighed down by; housing and the outlook for the future are high on the list too. But actually, if we put these worries into perspective, it’s not so doom and gloom after all.
#1 Student Debt
Going to uni teaches you a lot: like how to maintain a balanced diet of pizza, cheesy chips and Jagerbombs. But living this kind of life comes at a price: a hefty price, to the tune of, oh just £9,000 a year. But maybe it’s worth it for the education you get in return. After all, when your lecturer is just reading from a slide (which you can access online anyway), how could it not be worth it?
Don’t get me wrong, going to uni is a lot of fun. You’ll create memories that you’ll never forget, meet people you wish you could forget and put on at least 11 lbs which you probably shouldn’t forget. But you know what isn’t so fun? Carrying around this huge debt when you graduate. I mean, you’ve got to love the government for tripling tuition fees back in 2012. Thanks guys.
But as shocking as the cost of further education in the UK is, let’s put some things into perspective. The upside is that you don’t really have to pay back that much each month. Plus, for the first three years you have it, you pay nothing. So although two-thirds of graduates may never pay off their student debt, at least the way in which we pay it back means it won’t be too much of a strain on our lives. Plus, after 30 years your unpaid debt gets written off (phew).
It’s a great feeling when you graduate. All that cramming in the library at 2am with budget energy drinks has finally paid off. Now you want to gain some independence and move out of your childhood bedroom. But this is a bit of a challenge. Housing just keeps getting more expensive. This is because demand for housing has been increasing at a faster rate than the supply. And what’s worse is that wages aren’t growing to keep up with these changes. Yep, it’s a pain in the arse.
While it may not seem like the ‘adult’ thing to do, living at home with your parents may be the most sensible thing you can do. Let’s put this into perspective for a moment; living at home means not being broke and being able to save some dollar; you can save for that deposit on a flat or house.
#3 Looking To The Future
One of our biggest worries is that we may not be able to retire as early as our parents will. Cool, we get to work forever! But wait, why us? Well, our generation simply can’t afford to retire.
But not all hope is lost. We can retire if we start being smart about how we save. Most employees save only a tiny portion of their salary (5%) for retirement. We’ll have to save a lot more than that if we want to enjoy a future of sitting on our couch all day, eating biscuits, drinking whisky and watching Jeremy Kyle. That is, if we want to live the uni lifestyle all over again.
We all have financial worries, but often when we look at the bigger picture, however much we’re getting screwed over by extortionate uni fees, the rising cost of housing or the prospect of never being able to retire, there’s always a silver lining. Whilst some areas of our lives may seem to drain our bank account, we also live in a time when it’s never been easier to save money and enjoy life. So whatever financial worries we may have, they don’t necessarily have to stop us from enjoying what life has to offer.