Millennials Relate to Carrie Bradshaw & It's a Bad Thing
It's my final year of university. Like most other millennials, I've found the past few weeks to have been a real shocker. It's the first global crisis that we're actually experiencing in a hands-on way. Of course, many of us will remember the global economic crisis of 2008 and probably can relate to those who experienced it in some way: parents, family members, family friends, adults who lost jobs or had to tighten spending, but there are very far and few between of us who can say we experienced the primary effects of it. This crisis however, is different. Many of us have only had our jobs for a couple of years or less in very junior positions. Most of us are in the midst of our university journey, still yet to graduate. We're facing a recession that's likely going to be a lot worse than 2008 and we're in vulnerable positions.
You're probably confused at this point: why is a fashion blog discussing this? Well it all starts with myself and my housemate using our time away from having to actually go into university wisely: binge-watching Sex and The City. Neither of us had watched it before and after watching the film and being pretty underwhelmed, we wanted to see what the fuss was all about: I'm glad we did. We're a solid three seasons in as it stands and we've realised we each relate to different characters. Unsurprisingly, mine is Carrie Bradshaw. She loves and lives for fashion. She places importance on experiences with her friends. She is independent and takes pride in being her own person. All good so far. One thing she is not however, is financially stable. At age 35, she's still renting. She has no savings. Having started law school, she still has that debt to pay off. Not such a great thing to be relating to now.
I don't think I am the only one who can confidently say that they relate to Carrie in this way. As someone who really does enjoy the art of fashion, I get quite wrapped up in trends. A lot of my thinking is about earning to be able to get that new purchase, rather than to put it in a savings account to for a rainy day. Even with the now scrapped 'help-to-buy' schemes, owning a property seems like a very distant dream. It's difficult to think about how you can substantially save unless you choose to live at home: I have the luxury of this, but not all of us do. It's difficult to see how we'll be able to secure jobs during a recession to be able to save in the first place. It's an abysmal outlook, but there is a silver lining. For all of us millennials, there is something to be taken from this. Carrie ended up in her position because she prioritised short-term gains over long-term security, but we (myself, included) can learn from that.
Social distancing may be less than ideal, but it does force us to rethink our spending habits. Socialising with friends can be done remotely over a home-cooked meal and cheap glass of wine (I recommend Aldi) over Zoom: a much cheaper alternative to heading out. Spending on outfits is unnecessary: no one will see them anyway! Time to clear through that wardrobe and re-discover pieces you may have forgotten about or can re-style. In some ways, whilst on one hand social distancing the enemy to financial viability, it also can provide us with a financial cushion IF we use it in the right way. No more unnecessary spending (though if you are spending on clothes in particular (no one is completely impartial to retail therapy) try and support smaller businesses and depop sellers) and more thinking about getting ourselves into a strong position. All of those lost university nights out equates to a lot of cash staying in our accounts! We may all love Carrie, but it's time to be less Carrie and more Miranda.