In 2016 I left the country and travelled Australia, in 2017, after returning to the UK, I moved into a flat with a house mate. In 2019 I moved back to my parents.
I’m no stranger to moving homes, my parents have moved more times in nearly thirty years than some people do their whole lives, but I think I experienced more change in the last three years than I did over the 25 before that. Let the record show, every single change has been for the better.
That doesn’t mean I LOVE living back with mum and dad though.
I’m currently hoarding my life within the confines of one four walled, awkwardly shaped bedroom with god-awful, yet I suppose, conveniently fitted wardrobes. I miss having my own space that extends beyond a room with a bed taking up all the space and I really miss not having to explain where i’m going every time I walk out the front door.
Whether it’s Brexit, Baby Boomers or simply the cost of living, there are plenty of theories around why more and more people are still living with their parents well into their thirties, none of which have stopped me feeling a little embarrassed when I say I still live at home.
I can’t help but feel totally confused and continually angry toward our housing market. I earn a good wage in a full time job within one of the biggest firms in (literally) the world, I don’t spend money on clothes and ‘stuff’ constantly and I have to sacrifice my endless need to travel to try and save for a deposit – can I afford to buy a house though? No, I can’t even afford to buy a one bed flat, man.
I’m not bitter, i’m not bitter, i’m not bitter.
In 2016 I could have used £20,000 of my parents hard earned pension pot to buy a flat with a guy. I didn’t (Thank fuck), Instead I took £6000 to the other side of the world and ponced around Australia for 8 months. Should I feel guilty for this? I don’t, but if I hadn’t, maybe I’d own my own property now (sans man). Is that what it takes to own a house? The sacrifice of living your life how you want to, in order to live within a building you officially own?
The UK is one of the few European countries that considers owning a home to be better than renting. It’s so important that it’s become a symbol of your status in society amongst the younger generation. If all you can do is afford to rent, your home-owning friends will inevitably still point out the pitfalls of your situation (money down the drain, paying someone else’s mortgage etc. etc.), completely oblivious to their insensitive, arrogant opinions and regardless of how happy you are with renting a nice space all to yourself, it starts to make you think whether you’re doing life wrong.
What about the ones who still live at home though? Have we failed even harder because our mum’s still do our washing or are we sensible, sticking it out with the oldies until we can afford to leave? I don’t know, but it sure feels like i’m not going anywhere fast here.
Ultimately, all the above is moot. You need to live your life however you want; be it in your parents basement playing playstation all day, getting married and moving into a house your parents bought you at 21 or renting a flat with a mate just to gain that independence we all crave. But if the economy could stop telling us we need to buy while hiking up with cost of housing, I’d sure be grateful.