Want to buy your own home? Just stop eating
Helpful news, for those of you struggling to save enough to buy a house: sandwiches are to blame. Or rather, your extravagant dependence on sandwiches for sustenance is to blame, according to an estate agent that I refuse to name as that would serve as justification for its whole grubby publicity-grabbing agenda.
People in their 20s and 30s are used to the routine by now. Some article will suggest that if you only stopped going to Pret for oh, at least half a century, you’d maybe get on the housing ladder. Cue outrage from young people struggling to save amid a cost of living and affordable housing crisis. We’re at the point now where, in order to detract attention from a genuinely pressing political issue that is affecting hundreds of thousands of lives, holding the spending habits of millennials responsible for societal inequalities has actually become a genre of clickbait. No matter if that occasional coffee or cocktail helps bring an all-too-brief twinkling of joy to your miserable overworked existence – you are a profligate wastrel, a spendthrift snowflake with an entitlement complex, a parasite.
Never mind that the people who say this are often living in cloud cuckoo land. According to the article, some of the luxuries that younger people could cut back on, thereby facilitating their smooth pole-vaulting on to the property ladder, imply exorbitance of Gatsby-esque proportions: over £100 a week on nights out, for instance, when most people are still pre-drinking cheap wine to 6 Music in their kitchens before they go out and, once they get there, scabbing small pleasures off richer mates (yet again I am forced to wonder if I am moving in the wrong circles). Who are these people who are spending £50 a week on takeaways in the manner of a Rothschild? The answer lies in the article, of course. Even with all the cutbacks recommended, it is revealed, you would still need £30k from your parents to afford a deposit on a London flat.
Which is why you should ignore these cynical content-mongers and instead follow my own easy guide for what to cut back on so that you can finally afford to spaff half a million on a mould-infested hovel so far away that no one will ever visit.
Particularly avocado on toast – commonly known as “millennial crack” – but also all other forms of brunch including eggs, as well as lunch, breakfast, elevenses, dinner, supper, afternoon tea, and midnight snack. Just don’t eat, basically, or, if you get hungry, eat one of your 25 flatmates. Ideally though, you will waste away thus precluding your need for housing at all. Problem solved.
Really, you should not be taking any holidays at all. Foreign travel is inexcusable, even that £150 Jet2 jaunt to Zante where you’d stockpiled a week’s worth of condoms from the clap clinic, shared an apartment with six other lads and ate so many €1 pitta gyros you thought you had gone into protein shock and still spent less than you would on your miserable commute. Who the hell do you think you are, John D Rockefeller? Drop that fishbowl and get back to work.
Ever. What do you mean you need alcohol and human interaction lest you become a lonely husk or a person whose only focus is their crappy job? So what if the only communal area in your flat is a galley kitchen that renders it necessary to eat your dinner from your lap as you sit on the edge of your bed? There is absolutely no excuse for socialising outside your house under any circumstances whatsoever. Speaking of which …
I will not be satisfied that you are dedicating every morsel of your heart and nerve and sinew to the single-minded pursuit of home ownership unless you hermetically renounce all human company and decline all invitations, even Carly’s 30th. So what if her mum died this year? Didn’t anyone tell you that nothing zaps your bank balance as much as a person being so obnoxious as to need someone? She’ll cope. That poky one-bed new-build in zone P awaits.
Pointless parasites which, while they may help assuage your mounting sense of misery and social dislocation, will only divert crucial funds from your One True Purpose and have a positive impact on your mental health, thus tempting you out of the house and making you more likely to indulge in other forbidden luxuries.
Wastes crucial hot water, and now that you have no friends, you’ve no one to impress. If you really must, a communal bath with your housemates in several inches of cold water will suffice.
Well, they can’t give you the £29k needed for your deposit, and they refuse to die, leaving you any
sort of inheritance, so are essentially worthless and need to be replaced with better, richer parents who actually care about your wellbeing, rather than the poverty-stricken, selfish clowns with whom you are saddled.
65 years later …
“Congratulations, having succeeded in eliminating all needless expense while moonlighting as a drug dealer on the side, you have finally succeeded in saving up a deposit. Unfortunately, UK house prices have now risen to an average of £1.5m so we currently have nothing available within your budget.”
• Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett is a
‘Some articles suggest that if you only stopped going to Pret for oh, at least half a century, you’d maybe get on the housing ladder.’ Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA