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to feel screwed over by our society, can't afford a home, can't afford children, can't afford car

(515 Posts)
Lauranda Sat 03-May-14 12:07:02

I'm in my early 30s, had a great up bringing, do a job I like and got married last year. I do feel very lucky.

However where we live in the south east, all we can afford to rent is a badly converted 1 bed flat with a damp problem. Can't really save much and are very economical with our money so can't see ever affording anything bigger and could never bring up a child here.

My parents managed to get a large 4 bed Edwardian house on one sallery when I was growing up and dads job level was about the same as dh. No way could with double sallarys afford anything near that lifestyle.

Parents keep saying my time will come, but looking at the statistics that seams very wishful thinking. Parents have kindly offered 15k to help get a house but to be any use would need much more than that and to pray interest rates never rose much.

Am I alone in just being unable to afford children even though we both work full time?

peggyundercrackers Sat 03-May-14 12:13:33

of course you can afford children, lots of people have kids with very little spare income, they don't actually cost that much as they are tiny little people to begin with, yes they grow and need more bits and pieces but they don't need to be showered with every little gadget or new clothes every 10 mins. erm... you could always move from the expensive SE if you wanted to.

plus3 Sat 03-May-14 12:14:03

The thing is you have to start somewhere, and it's not really reasonable to assume that your first house would be the dream one. It always involves compromise at some level, and I have no idea of your income or lifestyle, but on the face of it I do think that you probably have more options than you realise.

ViviPru Sat 03-May-14 12:17:06

where we live in the south east

This is all it boils down to really.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 03-May-14 12:18:09

I don't think YABU to be disappointed that the same opportunities available to your parents are not available to you. Nothing you can do about it though, it's a consequence of the economy and all kinds of historical factors. I think what you do need to do is try and prioritise what you want/can achieve. If having children is important, can you sacrifice living in the SE? Could you work elsewhere? None of the compromises are going to be ideal, but they might be do-able.

Suzannewithaplan Sat 03-May-14 12:18:23

Property prices are at an all time high relative to incomes, bubbles gotta burst at some point surely confused

whatever5 Sat 03-May-14 12:19:04

You don't have to live in the South East. Move to another part of the country.

jasminemai Sat 03-May-14 12:19:07

Cant you have a baby in your current place if your only planning on having 1 for a while?

Lauranda Sat 03-May-14 12:19:53

Agreed plus3, I'm not looking for my dream house, just something with a 2nd bedroom that I can't be kicked out of with a couple of weeks notice.

jasminemai Sat 03-May-14 12:21:20

Cant you have living room as a bedroom?

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 03-May-14 12:21:34

Instead of concentrating on the things you think you can't have I think perhaps you should be focusing your efforts on improving your career prospects and earnings-potential.

You haven't been "screwed over by society" but by your expectations. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, manage to raise a family, whether in a mortgaged home or in a rental. It could mean moving further out and commuting but it is possible. Or relocating to a different part of the country, depending on what your professions are. There is a life outside of the South-East, perhaps a better one than you have now

Lauranda Sat 03-May-14 12:22:44

South east moving I know would help a lot. But we both have parents in the area and dh has been working hard for the last couple of years setting up his own biz.

Ultimately we may have to, but does make me feel disgruntled

odyssey2001 Sat 03-May-14 12:23:46

We live in the south east, have a house and have a child. I'm in my mid thirties and my parents didn't give me any money. Save up a bit and add to the £15k.

How much did your wedding cost you last year? We got married on a shoestring budget and did it for under £1000. We all make choices and have to live with them.

HecatePropylaea Sat 03-May-14 12:25:42

How much money do you feel that you need in order to have a child?

The other question of course is, if you feel that where you live is too expensive for you to have a child - how far are you willing to go in order to change the life you have now in order to meet your financial criteria for having a child? Change the region you live in? Change the lifestyle you have? Retrain for a higher paying career?

These are things that only you can think about and decide what's right for you. Can you have a child, have the dream house in the expensive area and have all the money you want while making no changes to the life you have now? Probably not. That dream is beyond the reach of very many people. Does this mean that if you can't have your ideal and recreate your childhood (tbh those days are gone for all of us!) that you can't have some version of it that is appropriate to your own circumstances?

Because of course people can and do have children on very low incomes, including IS, or JSA and those children eat, are clothed, etc, so clearly a child can be had and raised on a very low income. It comes down to how much are you willing to compromise on your ideal in order to have a child and / or what are you willing to do and to change in your life?

Have you made a list of all the things you think that you need in place in order to have a child? Or broken down the costs of having a child ? In order that you can look at it and see the best ways of getting from where you are now to there?

It absolutely has to be right for you, but I wonder if there aren't things that you could do, change or compromise on that would make it feel more safe or realistic for you?

HPparent Sat 03-May-14 12:26:19

I agree with you but when I first had children I had very little and we struggled, we worked different shifts so we didn't have to pay for child care. I did jobs I loathed for a few years and finally got a proper job when youngest started at nursery. Both DH and I have managed to do ok in our careers and are better off now. I have always lived in a flat but luckily our rent is relatively cheap and the flat is in quite good condition.

Personally I have never owned a car and living in central London I don't really need one. We use a car club car - not cheap but a great deal cheaper than owning one.

Have you considered shared ownership? They have advertised deposits as low as five per cent?

plus3 Sat 03-May-14 12:27:30

We live in the SE - had DS 1 whilst we were renting & kept renting the small 1 bedroom flat until he was 20mths, moved to a small 3 bedroom rented house further out of London when pregnant with DD, and finally have just bought our first home ( it's a bit if a fixer upper...) it can be done. It was my absolute goal to find something to buy & we rented longer than was ideal but it allowed us to save.

ViviPru Sat 03-May-14 12:28:00

Feeling disgruntled is fine. Claiming society has screwed you over isn't helpful or accurate. If you're in your early thirties I'm guessing your parents are post-war babies. That generation have had it good, possibly the best. My Mum and Dad had my brother and sister while they were living in a massive apartment in Chiswick, my Mum was a SAHM and my Dad had a job as a Junior draughtsman, they had no financial assistance from my Grandparents yet they were very comfortable. It's futile comparing ourselves now to them then.

AlpacaYourThings Sat 03-May-14 12:28:57

Not everywhere in the SE is expensive.

Kent can be very cheap; especially Margate Ramsgate etc. You could easily get a 2 bed there for about £115,000-£130,000.

Mybellyisaneasteregg Sat 03-May-14 12:29:16

You just have to prioritise.

Perhaps take up the generous offer of the £15k and forget about houses, but look into 2 bed flats. That is all you need for 1-2 children for the next 10 years.

I think if you have done fine without a car until now, you don't need one. Unnecessary expense.

NearTheWindymill Sat 03-May-14 12:33:42

The thing is what have you been doing about saving up until now if you are in your early 30s. So, that's 10 years of earning power behind you. I work with people of your age who have parents in the area and they have had the luxury of living at home and saving up quite large sums of money whilst still running a car. What have you done with all your money up until now? I worked my socks off from 20-34 and by the time I settled down I was pretty secure. DH had spent more time studying and training than me but that was an investment in his/our future.

Suzannewithaplan Sat 03-May-14 12:37:51

How anyone can argue that we've not been screwed is beyond me, the economy has been run in such a way that housing, a basic necessity is unaffordable.

We are all living fodder for an extractive elite.

bigkidsdidit Sat 03-May-14 12:38:46

It is shit. We left London and my family to come to Scotland in order to afford dc. But now we have two boys and a three bed flat looking out at the sea - for the price of a garage in london. It's a shame gentrification forces people to leave where they grew up.

Suzannewithaplan Sat 03-May-14 12:39:16

We live in a modern technologically advanced society, shouldn't have to work our socks of just to have a decent standard of living.

NearTheWindymill Sat 03-May-14 12:40:51

And a higher percentage of you than ever before has gone to university. A higher percentage of you has a high disposable income spent on holidays and nights out. A higher percentage of you than ever before has grown up with central heating, good sanitation and a high standard of living generally.

It was very usual for my parents' generation (now late 70s) to spend the first years of married life living with their parents.

happybubblebrain Sat 03-May-14 12:41:21

I agree with the OP that society is screwing young people over, all the wealth is in the hands of a few. Most people in this country can't afford to live in London or the SE, certainly not to buy property there. I don't know why people see it as the ideal, there are better places to live anyway. I understand people want to live near family, but maybe they could move too? They would get much more property for their money elsewhere too.

I think moving away from one of the most (over)expensive places in the world is key to having the life you want.

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