February 18th 2018

Today Alice and I decided to start actively saving to buy a house. We went out for a roast dinner with some friends, and we spoke about how we’ve gotten to the age where we should start thinking about buying a house, and thus decided that the first step towards buying a house is to stop going out for roast dinners with friends, and to instead, I don’t know, eat cornflakes without milk whilst sat on the bare kitchen floor because you’ve sold all your furniture.

I mean, that sounds silly (not only because it was a stupidly long sentence) but it’s almost the truth. After our dinner we came home and had a bit of a team talk — a house meeting. We expressed an incline of intention that at some point in the next two or three decades we would like to buy a house, because continually living in rented accommodation seems, frankly, like a total waste of money.

But with our current lifestyle we struggle to save money month-to-month, and so aren’t really getting any closer to leaving rented accommodation.

I whipped up a spreadsheet (mostly because I love whipping up spreadsheets) that showed our salaries, take-homes, required expenses, and ‘spending money’ over the last few months. It did not make for pretty reading.

The problem that we have is that we live our lives by a ‘never say no’ mentality. If we’re invited out for dinner, we’ll always say yes. Evidenced by the fact that we’ve had reason to eat out for dinner on each of the last three nights.

We’ll always say yes. Cinema. Dinner. Takeaways. Pub. Golf holidays to Faldo courses on the southernmost point of the Portugese Algarve. (That last one is more specific to me than to Alice) We just can’t say no.

But we need to start, if we have any desire to ever own our own home.

I added up all of my unnecessary expenditure for 2018 so far, and… well… I spend an embarrassing amount of money at Peri Peri Chicken Ltd.

If I mitigate at least half of the unnecessary chicken burgers, I might one day have a mortgage.

What else I discovered was that, aside from food, there’s not much else I really spend my money on. This year I haven’t spent any money on anything for me that I didn’t end up eating.

And yet, two payslips later I have nothing to show for it. No savings. Just memories of about three really, really nice pieces of lamb I’ve eaten in the last six weeks. Because that’s what I enjoy. I enjoy going out for a nice meal. And until recently I’ve always kind of lived my life based on what makes me happy in any given moment.

But maybe that’s naive, and so I’m trying a more forward-thinking approach. So I’m going to learn what ‘ISA’ stands for, buy proportionally fewer kebabs and sit on the floor of my unfurnished kitchen until the day when I can afford to buy my own kitchen.

Until tomorrow, the damn Daily Mail was right about us bloody millennials with our stupid avocado sandwiches.


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