At 30 years old, there are a few things I assumed I would have by this point in my life. With all the gusto and imagination my younger self could muster, I pictured myself at 30, fabulous, married with a couple of kids and a house big enough to hold all my lovely belongings and my enviably hunky husband.
Well 30 has arrived and what do you know? I have none of these things! Not that it’s a bad thing though. While I wouldn’t mind the hunky husband, I’m happy to go without the kids and the house is something I’m happy and willing to avoid for as long as possible.
It seems to be a growing trend among Generation Y. We’re getting married and having kids later in life and many of us have embraced the fact that we won’t be able to afford to buy ourselves a ‘castle’ anytime soon.
In fact, for me, the thought of owning a home is downright scary. To me, owning a home doesn’t mean having a slice of the ‘Australian Dream’, it means being tied down and locked into years of debt and financial pain.
The skyrocketing cost of property has scared me off ever wanting to fork out my hard-earned dollars just so I can have a regular address for the rest of my life.
I think about all the responsibilities that come with owning a home and to be honest, it makes feel a little ill. I take comfort in the fact that I’m not alone though.
Baby boomers all around the country are watching as their children, many of them around my age, are choosing to throw a little bit of their money towards renting a house and the rest of it on other things, like travel, activities, and the general rising cost of living.
The Australian Dream seems to have changed since baby boomers, my parents included, were young. For me, the Dream is about having the freedom and the money to do whatever I want when I want.
Now, I’m not naive – well I’m not too naive. I know there’s more to life than being able to run off and do whatever I want whenever I want. I understand the importance of money and security and establishing a plan for the future.
But my priorities are elsewhere right now.
As social researcher David Chalke says, Gen Yers were born of a different era. Many of us are from broken families and are living in a time of unstable career structures and an unstable society.
“The parents of Gen Ys got out, got married and got a house by the time they were in their early 20s,” he told The Australian.
“In contrast the current generation probably don’t couple up until they are in their 30s, probably don’t finish university until their mid-20s and, rather than being committed to stability, they are committed to exploration, discovery and exhilaration.”
On top of that, Gen Ys are being told that if they want to buy a house they have to look to the suburbs far away from the city and the excitement that comes along with it.
No thank you!
I’ll stick to renting for now and squirrel my money away for a rainy day when, fingers crossed, house prices drop a little and I’ve got enough saved for a decent deposit that won’t see me drowning in debt for the next 30 years.
All of this is much to the dismay of my parents, of course, who would love to see me knuckle down and get my foot in the property door.
Until I feel like I’m truely ready for that responsibility though, I’m going to stick to renting my apartment and enjoying all the little extras that come with the freedom of not owning a home.
What are your thoughts on this issue?