It’s an indecisive day here at my family home. The weather is fluctuating between sun and rain, and is quite crisply cool. I’m at home due to feeling unwell. I’ve been experiencing strange headaches which I am currently attributing to one of two things, or both – coffee (ie. too much) or not wearing my glasses so much lately. I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s unrelated to either.
I’m taking this day to write a lot. I’ve been thinking about blogging for some time and I think it is best to strike while the iron is hot. I don’t have much energy for much else today, which I’m not really happy or proud of. Alas! to continue…
My life has been in forward motion since having the realisations mentioned in my previous post. I’ve thought about buying a house a few times since my mid 20s and it was always a cycle of hope and despair. The housing market in New Zealand is very difficult and to be able to achieve home ownership as a young person takes a lot of dedication – and realistically a partner.
Even then, those with partners tend to need to pool together their money from their retirement schemes and other grants and to have at least some savings and probably a contribution from their families too. Perhaps this is not true of all but it seems likely for many. This is the reality for many of my generation who spent a lot of time adrift as I did.
I spent a large portion of my 20s studying. Student loans and allowances were pretty easy to come by and for someone like me who is good at managing their income I was able to get by week to week without a part time job.
I was lazy. I didn’t want to work and I saw something romantic about getting by on little. I sold it to myself that I would do better at university which would be better down the line when I got that all important career. Ironically, as I stepped into the workforce, I continued to step in and out of it to study and partially to avoid adult responsibilities.
I rather wish that I was forced into employment as a student. Perhaps the student money was too generous, or did our government think that more students would behave like I did and “get by” on little? I value the budgeting skills I gained but having a larger amount of savings by having a part time job as a student would have been better.
Perhaps I would have borrowed less or travelled more? I have a large student debt now and have been paying that off for years (admittedly at the minimum required) and that’s only reduced it by about 30%. There is not incentive to pay it off faster in this country unless you leave but it still sits as a burden.
When I first completed my BA in Art History and Religious Studies, I thought about Europe. I wanted to see the things I had studied in person and I just felt a pull toward it. It was always just a dream though. I could not fathom how to possibly make a trip half way around the world on my tiny budget.
Since the decision not to move overseas, My Love and I have turned our minds back towards buying property. I started investigating it on my own but soon after talking to him about it, he was on board too. This moved the search from a small apartment, to something more resembling a home. We’ve been working on this for about 9 months now but I think that the obstacles we’ve faced have been blessings in disguise.
My Love changed careers from the unsociable hours of being a baker, to working in a government office role similar to myself. This change however became a deterrent to the bank who were previously keen to lend us what we needed on top of our deposit.
Another difficulty that seems to be apparent is that employers, particularly those offering government roles are hesitant to employ on a permanent basis. The logic behind this in my area is that with more processes going online, less permanent staff will be required in the future. That’s business I guess.
The role My Love acquired is temporary yet ongoing. This is not considered stable by a bank until you’ve done it for at least two years. So we search for new work once more. My Love does not find himself enamoured with the office lifestyle and thus this is another opportunity. There is also a hope that less commuting will be required in the future.
Our weekend just past included a lot of time on job applications so I am feeling hopeful. We both want to get on with our lives, after our next big adventure – the long dreamed of trip to Europe. We go to Rome and Naples in September to fulfil this one dream before we truly settle down to creating our home and family life.
Creating a home is an important step in life for those who want to raise a family. I don’t think that what it takes to achieve home ownership is taught, stressed or emphasised anywhere near enough to younger people. I think that our society has lost sight of what IS important and of teaching the upcoming generations how to get there. I don’t know whether this was taught in the past or not but it needs to become relevant again because without goals like homeownership more and more people are going to be unhappy because they can’t ever do it or struggle to achieve it when they realise they needed to work towards it all along, like myself. Home is where the Heart is. Cliche but true!