Tuesday, 23 July 2019

The Trouble With Your Mid-Twenties

I'm 27. Like many people in my age bracket I really don't know what I'm doing with my life and yet I constantly feel under pressure to have figured it all out by now. 

I recently discovered an online calculator that the ONS (Office for National Statistics) had created that allows young people (ages 18-29) to pop in their details and compare their financial situation to that of their peers. You can see how you're doing and what the norm is for us young people and it's quite interesting. It also highlights some of the pressure that we're under though! So I got to thinking, what are the troubles of being in your mid-twenties. 


For me this it the biggest issue, I'm earning more that the median ~£20k salary for the 25-29's but I also feel trapped in a job that I know isn't where I want to be and just causes stress. The trouble is now that I'm at this point I feel like I can't go back and start again in a new career path that I would be most interested in and find more fulfilling. I, like many, am stuck here. 

Living Situation

This is a tricky one for any young person. House prices can be astronomical and it's unrealistic to think anyone on their own could become a homeowner without a lot of support I'm lucky enough to be in the 26% of 25-29's who do own their home but that's only through suffering early in my twenties to live like a pauper whilst I saved and the contribution brought forward by my boyfriend as well. We both lived at our parents until we had enough saved, hardly went out and basically lived off as little as possible. 


The further into your twenties you get the more and more of your friends get engaged, get married and start having kids. Even though more of us are continuing into further education and starting to 'adult' a bit later in life than previous generations there's still an expectation that we'll balance our careers and get cracking with the family life simultaneously and straight away/ 


Which leads me on to weddings and the expectation that each is a big and beautiful affair with a beautiful church ceremony, gourmet banquet and band playing you into the early hours of the morning. It's a lovely picture but let's look, I personally don't think a wedding is something worth going into debt for and I definitely can't afford a fairy tale. Weddings cost a fortune even when it's not your own! With hen/stag do's to attend as well as wedding presents it's an expensive ordeal. 


Everything mentioned above is money orientated and as young people we should be raking it in right? Well... that's easier said than done and I'm lucky if at the end of the month I've managed to put £100 into my savings account. In fact many people our age don't even have one! 


We also seem to be the age group that's looked at for our wellbeing. As well as out high-flying careers and growing families we should also be athletic yogi's that have our mental wellbeing on top form. Wellbeing is something that often takes a back seat as well, people ask how your job is going but how often do they ask if you're happy?  


To top it all off the expectation to already be well traveled is needlessly high. I almost feel like it's a criteria to have taken a gap year and have backpacked around South East Asia. I enjoy my summer trip away and the occasional city break but I've never had that insatiable wanderlust and ploughed my limited finances into other avenues.  

For me the social pressure of having everything in my life sorted and together by now is tough! I'm not where I want to be, I'm not where I thought I'd be and I don't know how to get there either! Don't worry fellow 20's if you're stuck in a dead end job, saving for everything, have no time for a social life, it's not just you, we're all just trying to make our way through it!  


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