Apparently it's not polite to talk about money, but I think that it is important to do so. I am ridiculously careful about money; I like to have a certain minimum in my account and I have lots of text alerts set up on my account so I always know when I've been paid, when a large sum has left my account and when I've hit a certain amount. Still, all the care in the world can struggle in the face of the cost of living and attempting to get on the property ladder.
So isn't it time we were all a little more honest about this struggle? Wouldn't it be helpful if we shared our failures and our advice?
I've decided to share my story because it has been a struggle, despite the fact that we've had an awful lot of help.
I'm in my late twenties and in 2014, Rich and I moved out of our flat (which was lovely, fairly reasonable rent, but so far out we spent a fortune on commuting to work) and in with my family, in order to save money for a deposit on a house.
The cost of living in London is insanely high. Rents are ridiculous, going out feels like something you have to save for and buying a house is something of an impossible dream. We'd check housing prices every now and then, when we'd put a large amount of money away and our positivity would be popped by the sheer price of things.
Honestly? It's unlikely we'd ever had been able to afford anything decent in London. Enter, Portsmouth.
In Portsmouth, housing prices are much lower. We're very lucky to be able to live with friends at the moment so we can still save hard. We're dedicating a year to investing in a Help To Buy ISA so that we can buy something nice and have a larger deposit, which will equal smaller mortgage repayments.
There are definitely times when I feel like the mortgage thing is a waste of time. In January, I put more than half my wages into my ISA and have had to scrap my way through February as a result. For the next year, there's a chunk of money that's spent before I even get it - into savings accounts and in rent. It is incredibly dispiriting and often feels like a waste of time.
However, in a years time we will own our own home. It won't be a mansion, it will likely need a lot of work. But, for us, it feels like a good base to start chasing our other, loftier dreams. Owning your own home feels safer in some way than renting. At least you know the money you're pouring into it is yours, rather than going into someone else's pocket.
Money is a draining business and is all too often something that we should be ashamed of or embarrassed by. But why should we be? Money is a vital part of our existence and learning to use it wisely is important and something I think should be taught and more widely discussed.