Once every month or so, numerous articles will slither around the internet telling millennials to stop doing something: stop ruining diamonds, stop ruining brunch, stop sacrificing your mental and emotional wellbeing in order to reach standards of social involvement that you’ve set yourself, stop ruining jeans. All that stuff us millennials love doing.
Recently, the target has been housing. That’s what we’re ruining this time. Because of all the meal deals we buy. The culture of millennial-blaming is so incredibly normal, isn’t it? It would seem, due to our crippling addiction to very average sandwiches, we aren’t accumulating sufficient savings to get onto the property ladder.
One British house for nearly 80,000 meal deals
If you ask me, the gap of logic they’ve cleared in forming that hot take is astronomical, but let’s bring in a bit of research for back-up. In five seconds of googling, I have discovered that the average UK house price in June 2017 was £223,257. Divided by £3 (the only correct price for a meal deal, none of this £3.49 Tory nonsense) we get 74,419 meal deals. One British house for nearly 80,000 meal deals. I’m no mathematician but there is a fair numerical discrepancy there. Maybe we could get Banksy to fill a family home with Tesco’s falafel and houmous wraps as some sort of social statement.
The idea that somehow indulgence in lunch is the reason young people struggle to crack the housing market, and not the dire economic conditions, is a ridiculous view to take. Those of an older generation were brought up in a different time, a time when you could stroll into an estate agents, hand over a tuppence and a goose, and walk away with a semi-detached four-bedroom property in a quiet area. Now a millennial would be lucky if a goose as much as spat on their studio apartment. Being a homeowner is just an abstract concept to dream about over our post-sandwich packet of crisps. Something as unreachable as making a professional phone call without psyching yourself up for three hours beforehand, or reaching 40 without the earth suffering total ecological collapse.
living in pure minimalist misery is not the wild university experience I dreamed of
But let’s address the wider theory here: the idea that we should be sacrificing small personal luxuries (for example, food) in order to save for the future. It sounds hellish. I shouldn’t have to suffer the metallic tang of own-brand tomato soup for every meal because I’ve got electricity bills to pay in 20 years. The thought of living in pure minimalist misery so that I’ll have enough money set aside to pay for the house (that I’ll maybe die in) is not the wild university experience I dreamed of. Not to mention there is quite literally a housing crisis. Shall we go around telling Exeter’s homeless to stop buying meal deals? That’ll sort them right out. Cut back on the chicken sandwiches, mate, and 23 Penny Road is yours.
Using millennials as the scapegoat for this nightmarish capitalist reality we inhabit is a cheap move, and I think it’s about time the ruling class was overthrown. The revolution starts Wednesday, we’ll all meet in the town centre, bring your own meal deals.