As one of the few local authorities to offer the living wage, Cardiff could be seen as a great place for young professionals to find their feet. Freddie Holmes is a recent graduate, who has recently made the move to the Welsh capital to pursue a career. Renting out a one bedroom house in Grangetown, Freddie has been coming to terms with life, loans and loneliness.
“I’ve gotten into it really quickly,” says the 22-year-old, who has settled into Cardiff life with ease. He is no stranger to the city having lived here for 3 years already whilst studying journalism at the University of Glamorgan (now part of the University of South Wales).
A motor enthusiast, Freddie has managed to find a job writing for a magazine within the automotive industry, “I’m a staff writer for Automotive World, which is like a spin-off of Financial Times.” Originally from a small town in Wiltshire, England, ending up back in Cardiff was not intentional; Freddie’s return to Wales was entirely down to work. “I didn’t want to live at home, I wanted to move somewhere good. Specifically it was the job [that made me move], it just happened to be in Cardiff.”
His house in Grangetown seems palatial considering it only has one occupant. Life alone has been something Freddie has had to get used to in a hurry. He simply says, “It’s lonely.” A social life isn’t at the top of his list of priorities, though; sitting on the kitchen table is an invoice for council tax that is yet to be paid. He’s only been living in Cardiff a short while but already bills, rent and other expenses are starting to stack up.
Freddie is grateful for the support he’s had in getting his life as a young professional started, something that not everybody in his position can say they have received. “There’s no other way I could’ve done it really, coming off the back of a degree. Massive overdraft. I started off on the wrong foot.”
That’s not to say that Freddie will need financial support in the long run, his move to Cardiff was well thought out. “I wouldn’t have moved here if I couldn’t do it, I had to sit down and work out roughly what my outgoings would be against what I’m bringing in.”
Overall Freddie is positive about his experience so far; he is relishing some of the freedom he felt he lost by moving back home. “It wasn’t great moving from uni back home, just because I didn’t have the independence. At the moment I’m enjoying it, although I haven’t sorted the bills yet.”