The FT says ‘millennials’ should be putting £800 a month into a pension, which is hilarious
And there are plenty of other ‘adult’ things not to bother with
Last week, an article in the Financial Times proposed that “millennials” should be putting aside £800 every month for our pensions. And millennials greeted the news with gleeful credulity. No one has £800 a month and no one is thinking about pensions. Broadly, we ignore our parents’ generation – especially when they talk about money.
Just because I graduated, moved to London and got a well-paid job (generous) doesn’t mean I’m a proper, grown-up yet. The key to your 20s is taking on just enough responsibility to be independent without completely sacrificing life to all the tiny, dull inconveniences that weigh down “real” adults. With this in mind, here’s a list of stuff – besides pensions – that you really don’t need to be worrying about at the moment.
Going to the dentist
I have had five text reminders from the family dentist since I moved to London but it’s still not enough to make me find somewhere new to go. It’s just too much hassle, and it’s not my fault every London dentist’s surgery looks like a dodgy minicab firm from the outside. Buy some floss and use it, buy some Listerine mouthwash. And lie to mum next time she asks – which she does – and tell her you made an appointment. Try not to notice the stains on your front teeth.
Sending people birthday cards
We’re the internet generation, and you do not need to send your cousin a birthday card. Write on his wall and hopefully Mum and Dad will still add your name to the family card. The same goes for thank you cards.
Understanding the property market
The beauty (generous) about being a part of generation rent is nobody expects you to know if it’s a good time to buy a two-bed house in Surrey.
Nobody has ever commented, “that’s a very well-ironed shirt Mark”.
Making a pasta sauce from scratch
Buy a pot of it in Tesco for £1.25.
Moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend
Sure, you’ve been together four years but is it really worth risking the good thing you’ve got going by living together? At the moment you can easily deflect any questions from your parents about marriage by saying you’re “not one of those couples” but that gets a lot harder when you’re spending every night curled up on the sofa watching The Office US.
Paying for a TV license
I’m fairly sure nobody actually does this. If you woke up tomorrow to the news “TV licenses” had been abolished, it would barely register. No one is going to turn up on your doorstep and demand to know why you’re watching The Great Sport Relief Bake-Off when you haven’t paid for it.
Referring to something as ‘an investment’ and meaning it
At the moment, calling something you’ve bought an investment is merely a transparent way to cover up the fact you’ve just spent hundreds of pounds on a new coat you didn’t even need and now you’re having to buy a salad from Sainsbury’s every lunchtime to have enough money left until payday. Actual investments are for the old, bloated hedge fund managers crammed into the commuter trains every morning, not you.
Buying appropriate wedding gifts
“Have you seen Alice and Simon’s gift list?”
“Yeah, I have. What can someone possibly need six tapas bowls for?”
“I know. The whole thing was just so overwhelming. I’m going to give them a voucher and a pat on the back.”
Getting to grips with wedding etiquette
Ah fuck, I’ve finished my drink and we’re only halfway through toasts…I’ll style it out, I’m sure nobody will notice me raising an empty glass to my lips.
Leaving generous tips in restaurants
They can write 12.5 per cent on the bill as much as they like but we all know the real amount to pay is roughly 10 per cent, rounded down as often as possible.
Listening to BBC Radio 2
There will come a time in my life when I want to spend weekends listening to Paul O’Grady and Michael Ball but I am fairly sure that by the time it does come both Paul and Michael will be dead. This isn’t an element of adulthood anyone embraces. It just seems to start happening. Resist it.
Fixing anything in the flat that breaks
Why learn what the inside of a washing machine looks like when the landlord probably has a guy for that sort of thing? If I did it myself , I’d basically be robbing this other guy of the chance to earn some money. It doesn’t seem fair.