The 20Something Independent

Yesterday, I had my quarterly meeting with my Financial Advisor. As usual, the meeting consisted of updates regarding my job, still confirming my mother as a beneficiary on policy forms (because nobody has ‘put a ring on it’) and what the next life goal to achieve in terms of financial independence. As we started breaking down my dreams (because they change all the time), I expressed that my next big milestone is to buy an apartment.

I am in my late 20s and although I did not take Accounting or Financial Management to postgrad level, I believe I’m financially sound when it comes to money and believe in ‘staying in your lane’ when it comes to financial success. However, my irrational fear of going through life without enough money comes from a very emotional background where I watched my mother raise two girls on her own, lose her car, lose her house, lose her job and go to bed hungry all because of something called “Community of property” when she got married.

I told my financial advisor my next step in life is to own property. My OWN property, no matter how small. A few ladies my age would say that their next big step is to get married but I am still building my independence over and above the candy floss dream of getting married. He pulled out a calculator and started crunching through the numbers. I felt my anxiety set in as I realised how hard this was going to be and how I felt that this dream was sinking further and further away from my grasp.

I did a simple calculation and after all my basic deductions, if I had to add a bond on top of that, I’d be looking like a toothpick…and this is just the bond! Never mind the levies, rates and taxes, appliances, furniture, repairs and and and! How does one begin to adult ‘at an early age’ the way financial advisors want you to if you will be living on 2min noodles for the rest of your life till that bond is paid up? This is a dilemma for me!

I fail to comprehend how banks can keep offering me a 2nd, 3rd and even a 4th credit card in the economic times we live in but what I REALLY need is for a bank to help me get that apartment. They are willing to sell me more credit but not willing to help me acquire property because they know that property appreciates in value. Yes, I’m under no illusion that that apartment will not be my dream apartment with all the bells and whistles, but at least it will be an apartment or at least a BELL, in MY name and will have nothing to do with my Husband-to-be should I ever get married.

People who do their full grocery shopping at Woolworths, drive automatic 4×4’s, live in the heart of Parkhurst, Johannesburg and eat out every single Friday apart from hosting ‘catch up’ dinners in their homes, manage to achieve living in LSM 55 at MY age?  I like nice things too but what am I doing wrong? Apart from the numbers, the social pressures of it all is tiring as people continue to say “Age 30 is around the corner, when are moving out?” or “When are you buying a new car?”

I am fiercely independent but sometimes, it does not feel that way and this makes me anxious because I look around and it seems like I missed the memo at a fancy dress party. Maybe I need to look into selling my eggs…


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