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Author: Billy Leonard



I remember when I was growing up I – like so many other little gay boys – watched Doctor Who religiously. At first, it was because I was in the right age demographic. But then even afterwards, when I was well aged out of that bracket, I still watched it every weekend (or at least the following day on iPlayer, once I’d stopped throwing up.)

Like so many kids, I didn’t know I was gay. All I knew is that when I watched Doctor Who and saw an LGBT couple or even a person, it gave me someone to relate to – and I didn’t even know I was relating to them. I just knew it made me safer.

The same is true of the show Skins. I thought of this the other day, for National Coming Out Day. Maxxie was the first character I knew that was gay (who wasn’t an alien, lol).

I was 15 when the first series aired, and it was the exact time I was wrestling with my sexuality. (Wrestling, lol ok sure)

But anyway, I was kind of waking up to my own sexuality and Maxxie was literally the only person in the whole entire world I knew who was gay, and who seemed real. He wasn’t a fake Doctor Who alien. He seemed real to me. A real person, facing real-life dilemmas.

Looking back, I’m so glad that Maxxie was around. I’m glad that Skins existed. Because it showed me the way, kind of. It showed me that it was okay to be gay. That you could be gay and have friends! You wouldn’t be completely ostracised if you came out!!! Hooray.

Maxxie had a family that cared so much that they didn’t even talk about it! Can you believe it?!!!!! Not even mentioning his sexuality. It just seemed crazy to me, at a time when my own sexuality was an enormous elephant in the room.


Not much has changed with me, to be honest. I mean, I know I’m gay now, but I’m still searching for those figures to relate to.

Right now, I’m watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand. If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically softcore porn interspaced with a few fighting scenes. It’s not great (although Lucy Lawless is obviously fantastic as ever.) but it does have a few gay characters in it. So naturally, I’m ploughing my way through the entire four seasons. That’s 39 episodes, all at around 50 minutes each. All to catch a glimpse of some gay characters.

But my point is this. I’m twenty-fucking-five, and I’m still scrabbling around to watch shows – any shows – that have some glimmer, some hope of an LGBT storyline. Twenty-fucking-five and I’m still searching for characters to relate to, even ones that are in a show that only has 64% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This is the reason I get so riled up when people say representation doesn’t matter. I’m not talking about the right-wing nut-jobs here either. I’m talking about your average joe here, who doesn’t understand why we need to have a black James Bond. The woman at the corner shop who doesn’t understand why “everyone on TV is gay these days”.

Well, I’m here to tell you that this is fucking why. So kids like me, or anyone else who is fucking marginalised, can see themselves reflected. So that they know that they are not alone and that there are people out there just like them.

So shut the fuck up Sharon, representation matters.

How much should you save each month??

How much should you save each month??

Saving is the bane of everyone’s life, but it’s time to be sensible. Millennials are notoriously bad at saving for a variety of reasons. Many of us are crippled by lower salaries and more extortionate rent than previous generations, and the rest are just disillusioned with saving in general.

It’s not hard to see why we have such an issue with saving, but it’s imperative that we do save (even if we are on the brink of WW3, thanks Drumpf.) If you ever want to hit that £40k mark for a house deposit (*cue mental breakdown*) it’s time to knuckle down on your finances.

But how much should you be saving each month? What’s a good starter rate for savings in general? My advice would be to follow the 50/30/20 rule.

The 50/30/20 rule

When you’re thinking about how much you should be saving each month, try and stick to the 50/30/20 rule. Try and stick to this rule, as you’ll probably find that it’s actually not that difficult – and it still allows you to spend money on important things (clothes, going out etc) whilst also saving at the same time.

Here’s what you do:

Spend 50% of your paycheck on things you NEED

This should include things that are absolutely essential. This includes things like food, rent, bills and – shockingly – clothes. So there’s no need to feel bad about going on that last minute ASOS binge, as long as you don’t go over 50%.

Many of us will find that we’re spending at least, if not more than, 50% of our salary on rent. This, to me, is completely crazy. Major cities that do suffer from extortionate rent – e.g. my hometown of London – are a problem, I can’t lie. But there are places to be found where you don’t have to spend your entire paycheck on rent. Living within your means is the key here. Don’t try and live that champagne lifestyle if you’re on a lemonade budget.

Spend 30% of your paycheck on having FUN

Nobody likes the plain Jane who stays home all the time. You need to have fun and live your life, don’t just sit and watch it pass you by. You should be spending 30% of your paycheck on things you enjoy, like dinner with friends, drinking, trips, holidays etc. Anything that gives your life flavour.

Put the final 20% of your paycheck into SAVINGS

This final 20% of your paycheck is what goes into savings so that you can feel like you’re making a dent in that eventual house deposit or whatever it is you’re saving for.

But the key is to SAVE.

Living within your means and saving is the key here. Savings are absolutely no joke, as anyone who can’t rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad will tell you.

So follow the 50/30/20 rule, take control of your finances and start saving. Show them fucking Baby Boomers what’s up.

You need a side hustle, and this is why

You need a side hustle, and this is why

As Lily Allen once famously said, it’s hard out here for a bitch. Millennials are finding it harder and harder to save – probably because we spend all our money on avocados. *Cue eye roll*

But between the soaring cost of rent in most major cities (read: London) and paychecks being squeezed now more than ever, many of us are looking for ways to make more money overall.

Enter the side hustle.

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle essentially is a way for you to make some extra cash, whilst still pursuing your day job. Often, side hustles are based on your natural talents or interests – for example, fashion, travel, writing etc. The important part of a side hustle is that it means you can continue with your day job.

Think you’re alone in wanting to start up a side hustle? Oh no. Apparently, around 35 percent of millennials have a side hustle on the go.

Why should I start one?

Ummm that is a ridiculous question. What, are you tired of having money?? Please.

Side hustle money can be used for a variety of things. It might be that if you work part time, your side hustle money can help cover your rent or food.

It could be that you need side hustle money to start making a dent in that credit card you took out at uni. Side hustle money can also be put straight into savings (having savings is no joke, millennials.)

But more importantly than the fiscal benefits of a side hustle is the experience. Side hustles can allow you to get some serious experience in areas that would otherwise be incredibly competitive.

For example, writing, careers in digital, graphic design and fashion all have strong groundings in side hustles. Some of the easiest side hustles lend themselves really well to these skills.

So I should start one?

Fuck yeah, you should!

The first step is to sit down and think logically about the skills you have. Oh but I don’t have any skills! Bitch please, everyone has skills… And if you really don’t have any, learn some. There are thousands of Photoshop guides out there, or you could even learn to code for free!

Once you’ve thought about your skills, work from there to come up with a side hustle that aligns well. Build on your existing skills before you start branching out into new skillsets.

If you’re a good writer, you should look into copywriting or ghostwriting jobs. That way, you’ll be able to write in the evening when you’re home from work. Instead of binge watching The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll be able to make more dosh. (Although can we talk about how good The Handmaid’s Tale is???? Pls.)

If you’re handy with photoshop, the world is your oyster. Sites like Etsy allow you to create whatever you want, be it printed tees, artwork or even furniture. If you’re able to make something, you can sell it on Etsy.

If you definitely don’t have any useful skills – which I’d find hard to believe – sites like TaskRabbit can help. TaskRabbit is an app that asks regular people to help each other out running errands. You can earn some easy money doing things like putting together IKEA furniture or even grocery shopping for other lazy people.

The point is, there is always a way you can get your own side hustle. So stop procrastinating, get out there and take control of your money.